My adventures in central vacuuming.

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Comments (24)

(24) Anonymous, February 5, 2008 7:20 AM

Pipes Clogged

Thank you for the inspiration and motivation. The plumbers were here for 7 hours yesterday trying to clean the roots out of the main drain of my house. First they snaked the lowest shower drain, then they had to get to the main drain, but it was covered in 2 feet of cement. The price was going higher and higher every layer of cement that they got through, there was another problem. Finally the plumber got through to the main pipes. He brought in this huge equipment and was working on those pipes for three hours. It would not clear. Then he had his coworker come with his machine- still not clear. Today they are coming back with an even stronger machine to blast out those pipes. But I remembered what you said, because I saw your video last week, I took out the tehillim book as soon as he started working in the morning, and I prayed. I am trying to think of what I am doing that is making me stuck. I prayed to Hashem, that I would try not to complain, that I would try to do better, and be more conscious of my actions. I wish I could see the genuine deeper message, so that I could improve myself. Thank you Lori for making me look within. Do you have any suggestions where to start? Are there any special prayers to say that will unclog the pipes?

(23) Anonymous, February 3, 2008 2:18 AM

To Skeptic Again

To Skeptic: Is it blaming the victim to say a sore throat is caused by a person speaking loshon hora—even if it is the person with the sore throat examining himself?

To answer: A righteous person does not at all know why Hashem has given her a sore throat. A righteous person, since she does not know why Hashem has given her any affliction, instead uses the affliction solely as an opportunity to stop and ask, why COULD this be happening to me? Not why IS it, but why COULD it be happening to me.

We don't know why anything happens to us. We don't. But everything, from getting an illness to getting over an illness—everything from good to bad as we see it (though to Hashem it is all good and we should ultimately see it this way too)—is all an opportunity for us to slow down our regularly-scheduled lives and to stop to connect with our Maker.

Example: A righteous person gets a bruise on his hand. He can stop to think why this has happened. He remembers that he forgot to write a letter to someone he had said he would write. Or, he can stop to think about why this has happened and honestly may not come up with any answer at all! Both are good according to Torah; both times this person has done what Hashem has asked us to do. Sometimes a sore throat can lead a person to realizing that she spoke badly about someone, sometimes it might lead one to daven to Hashem and not come up with anything else to work on!

In fact, the reason we are to look at someone else with an affliction as being a holy person is as follows. Hashem knows that a righteous person is going to look at her deeds whenever she is given something that causes discomfort. Many times Hashem sees some attonement is needed in the world and Hashem knows that a righteous person is going to bring that attonement into the world by the mere fact that she is always making strides to improve herself. Hashem is not going to send an affliction to an unrighteous person because it would be a waste of time; that person won't examine his deeds and bring attonement or even daven to bring attonement. So when we see someone else with an affliction we are to think, "There's a holy person," because Hashem knows that person is going to capitalize on the opportunity to bring some kind of attonement into the world that Hashem sees is needed right now. Is the affliction because the person did something wrong? No, it's because that person is going to daven and get closer to Hashem. That person is going to bring brachot into the world. The attonement needed from this person's davening and self-examination might have to do with something completely unrelated to the person with the affliction. This is an important point. Hashem gets attonement into the world in a variety of ways. He knows holy persons are going to get the job done. This is why we have no idea why we get the afflictions we get, why anyone gets any kind of discomfort. We just know that holy persons are going to look at any affliction as an opportunity for personal growth.

This also works with "good things" too. For example, if you ask any elderly holy person, why has Hashem given you so many years in this world? That person will have an answer ready and it will be a well-thought out answer…because a holy person doesn't waste any opportunity, whether "good" or "bad" to serve her Maker and connect with Hashem. I have also asked holy people, why did Hashem do "x" in your life or "y"—and these are good things by our standards, such as a child having an easy time finding his shidduch or a child overcoming an illness in a seemingly miraculous way against all odds—and thinking people will have some answer because they use every event as an opportunity to become close to Hashem.

We don't know whether we are right at all in ANY of our examining. But we don't have to be right. We do have to be striving and honestly examining and always wanting to be closer and closer still to Hashem.

I hope with all my heart that this was a better explanation. All the best to you, and keep asking questions. See what brachot you have brought into the world by your questions?

(22) Crystal, February 2, 2008 5:14 PM

secret mitzvah

I tried and tried to take you up on your offer. And, what I ralized amazed me as much as your idea. Some of the first secret mitzvahs I wanted to do, I realized that as soon as I'd done them, everyone would know who did it. There are some things I do that I am now known for. Alas, a great feeling! So, finally I'm at a Bat Mitzvah for the Rabbi of our Chabad and his 18month old is runnign around the hotel happy as can be, but with LOADED diaper. So, I grab him and change him lickety split, and no one was the wiser. Just he and I, and G-d. Thanks for the test.

(21) Scott Granowski, February 1, 2008 6:12 PM

Two Levels Of Understanding

Excellent presentation, as usual. I particularly related to the concept of two levels - the physical and the spiritual. Nothing is random in the universe; HaShem works my growth on both levels simultaneously.

(20) Annette, January 31, 2008 10:17 PM

so true... accountability doesn't have to be heavy stuff...

Many years ago I went to look at a house on the market with a girlfriend because she didn't think she was worthy of 'looking at a house just because it was on the market', the realtor caught on and she pulled out a book to share with my friend, a book she attributes to the beginning of the success in her life; it was a book on metaphysics and self healing; I latched onto it too! I had tried it without knowing others knew how to heal themselves using 'the power of the mind' - as we used to call it.
My girlfriend & I, over the course of some 10 years, attended self improvement seminars. All of this combined led me faster to discovering my own judaism, as did with her and her faith.
The point of this is, what Lori is sharing with us maybe something seldom heard of at secular & secular jewish circles, but the rest of the world is working anxiously at it... I figured 'they want it, we've got it, why don't I just give it a try through judaism and... see what happens!' All the positive affirmations, metaphysical healing, PMA (positive mental attitude learning) and more, much much more than I can imagine, IS judaism.
As one of aish's rabbis said 'they got it from us'... darn right!
When I learned how to heal my throat, it worked; in how to deal with headaches/migraines, etc., it works;
It takes accountability to a new level where there is no fingerpointing, just the one in the mirror: ME - and I am the only one I have to sell myself the idea of self healing, therefore getting rid of the 'tales of whah whah' and straight down to the point.
All our illnesses and situations are caused by ourselves, and in Torah/Talmud we can learn how to heal ourselves.
I hope you try it; you'll LOVE it.

(19) Anonymous, January 31, 2008 9:37 PM

Mah Nishtanah

I understand, appreciate, and enjoy all the give and take, but there is one question nobody has raised; what does the Torah have to say about this? By the Torah I mean its sages both modern and ancient. I did not hear one word about I asked my Rabbi and he agreed that the Torah outlook on this is . . . Or even though I took from this a great lesson, my Rabbi when asked said it may not be so clear cut.

Mah Nishtanah . . . Why is this issue of how to look at the world and how it reacts/interacts with us, any different from all the other interactions we have with the world? Don't we always seek the eyes (and minds) of our nation -- the Rabbis -- when we want to understand what the Ratzon HaShem is saying to us? Hasn't this been the way of the Jewish nation since the beginning?

I, look forward to the almost live messages the Rebbetzin provides weekly. However, it is precicely because I assume her comments represents the Torah's view of the world that I click and listen.

(18) sharona, January 31, 2008 4:51 PM

Agree with Anon 1/28

I think that Anonymous 1/28 makes a good point. On the one hand, we shouldn't assume that something happened to someone because he did such and such. But when something happens to oneself, s/he should try and see whether G-d is trying to tell him/her something.
For example, when I have a challenge, I try to see what I can learn from it.

(17) Jeanette Weinschel, January 30, 2008 8:16 PM

always inspiring Lori makes you think

I always enjoy listening to Lori as she is unique in her presentation and makes you think really hard of what the message is when something occurs

(16) Gary, January 30, 2008 4:38 PM

Sometimes a cigar really is just a cigar.

Is there a deeper meaning to EVERYTHING? Lori suggests yes and Skeptic suggests no. And Skeptic opines that this way of thinking can be dangerous because this might be construed as blaming the victum.

As I type this, I'm thankfully getting over a sore throat. I probably caught it from two wonderful friends of mine who had it before I did and who I continued to interact with because I wasn't concerned that I'd get it from them. What was I supposed to do? Avoid the pleasure of their company because maybe I'll catch something?
While I'm not always such a great fan of Freud I think he was right when he said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." And I would add, "Sometimes a sore throat is just a sore throat."

(15) Nels, January 30, 2008 12:20 AM

Well done vidio with a messege!

Causes me to think of areas where I may be stuck.Thank you Lori!

(14) Shoshana, January 29, 2008 5:16 PM

Learn from everything

I can't wait to see Lori's video each week. It's not just what she says; it's how she says it!

(13) Still a Skeptic, January 29, 2008 10:55 AM

Still concerned...

The two anonymous posters (9) and (5) didn't fully understand me. The thing that bothered me about this clip is that Lori seems so sure of diagnosing each problem: "If you're sick, and it's in your, what's the message?...Why are you using your words that way?" Again, this makes it seem that ALL throat problems are caused by Lashon Hara, and can lead to blaming the victim. We can't be so sure.

(12) Anonymous, January 29, 2008 9:26 AM

A Pen!

Interesting that it was a pen... I would never surmise to see the meaning in someone elses "challenges", but don't you see the "poetic justice" (pun intended) in a PEN being stuck in your system- the writer and author that you are? G-d is giving you the gift of stearing you in the right direction of introspection!
Keep up the good work.

(11) Baruch Gershom, January 29, 2008 9:23 AM

Response to post #2

I think you're confused about the message of the Gemara. Yes, there is a Gemara that tells us that most things come from G-d, however, if you go out in the cold without a cold and get sick, this was not an act of G-d, but an act of your negligence to take care of his vessel (i.e. you). Another Gemara, Berachos 5a, tells us that when something bad befalls you, first you should examine your deeds. If you have sins or avoided doing mitzvos, then its time for a correction. If not then you make a second investigation -- you look into your Torah learning. If your Torah learning is lacking, then the answer lies in striving to improve your learning. Now, if you are a very righteous person and you are not negligent in your mitzvos or Torah learning, then you may be receiving "afflictions of love." Those are punishments that G-d originally planned to mete out to others for their particular sins, but He realized that if those persons received all of the punishments which they deserve, then they might lose all faith and think that doing mitzvos was useless. So G-d takes these punishments and puts them upon the righteous who can accept them with love and the recogintion that G-d did this out of love. So, if someone tells you that so and so suffered you for the sins of the weak, your answer would be, "as did many other righteous Jews in every generation."

(10) Hena Gitel, January 29, 2008 4:46 AM

Second Sight

To see things in this way makes life so much more wonderous. Many blessings to you rebittzen and thank you.

(9) Anonymous, January 28, 2008 9:19 AM


I question the message of this video, being that the Gemara tells us that the common cold does not necessarily have a deeper message, but rather is an indication on the need to take care of ourselves better. (I thing the same would apply to tripping-watch where you're going).

(8) Anonymous, January 28, 2008 3:04 AM

Skeptic's Question

Skeptic asks an important question: Can we really say that everyone who has a throat problem was speaking lashon hara?

The answer is found in many sources, including the Ramchal's Derech Hashem.

We are never, ever supposed to look at someone else and think that they have problem "x" because he has done "y". In fact, when we see someone else with an affliction or problem, we are supposed to think, "There's a holy person." We always give the benefit of the doubt and we never, ever presume that if someone would do "a, b, or c" then his problems would be solved. Hashem is the Judge, not us.

But with oneself--ah, there's the difference. I don't know why Hashem gives me a certain problem. But I do know that everything--from the "good" to the "bad" that I receive from Hashem is supposed to give me pause to think. That's all that Hashem wants is for us to think and be connected to Him.

But we think about ourselves, not about other people. That's the big difference. Torah never, ever says to look at another's affliction and take guesses at why that person is having that affliction or problem. But we are to examine ourselves.

Hope this clarified things. All the best.

(7) Beverly Kurtin, January 28, 2008 12:37 AM


You have a gift of getting to the point in a way that is both insightful and helpful. I've been stuck for awhile in some areas of my life. I've got to find out where the sticking point is. Thanks.

(6) Anonymous, January 27, 2008 8:31 PM

Midah k'Neged Midah

One of today's great teachers of Torah ethics teaches that HaShem relates to us MIDAH k'neged MIDAH NOT action k'neged action. He tells us which trait we need to work on. Things are happening that turn your world upside-down? Perhaps we are "out of order"; we don't say our prayers in the proper order or perhaps we do not learn Torah the same time every day. Are your plans always being delayed - traffic, phone call interruptions? Perhaps your midah of zerizus needs attention. Mitzvos and avairos, on the other hand, and their reward or punishment, is not on this world.

(5) Stuart Davis, January 27, 2008 1:11 PM

Humility is in order

What was the deeper meaning to the victims of the Holocaust? What is the deeper meaning to the victims in Israel of the rockets? Is there a deeper meaning when one sports team wins and another loses?
Hashem has a meaning for everything that happens but that meaning may not always be evident. Perhaps looking for a reason why things happen works in the Dr. Phil/Oprah world but it does not make sense in my world. I have faith in Hashem ,and my responsibility is to do what it says in His Torah.
I, and you, can say with certainty that the vacuum failed to function properly because of an obstruction in the mechanism. I, or you, do not know why Hashem chose to have this happen.
Perhaps I misunderstood the video, but it seems a bit arrogant to think that I can figure out a deeper meaning for everyday occurences. And especially arrogant to think that my guess will be correct just because it sounds good to me.

(4) Anonymous, January 27, 2008 12:24 PM

To Skeptic

What you're missing is the broader picture- you wouldn't necessarily know WHY something happened- you simply aren't a prophet. But to know that there IS a why- that is the proper approach.

If you can think of something in your internal life that relates, work on that. Do you know for sure that you hit the nail on the head? Of course not. But your very act of attempting to understand G-d's messages, and awareness that everything, even the seemingly small things, are from G-d, is a huge step to living the life that we are meant to be living.

G-d sees our efforts, and rewards our efforts accordingly.

(3) Mordechai B., January 27, 2008 11:01 AM

Lessons from a Fall

Recently, after the fall (pun intended), I was leaning over a railing on my balcony with a blower, trying to blow away some leaves, when the railing gave way, and I fell off, onto the railing and ground below. The railing had never been installed properly. Thank G-d, nothing was broken, and after a week, I was walking again. Of course, everything that happens to oneself is a lesson. I learnt two lessons from this incident. 1)To put better guard railings and fences around myself. and 2) I should only "lean" on our Father in heaven! (Talmud Sota 49)

(2) Rosen, January 27, 2008 9:24 AM

high maintenance and upgrades

When buying technological equipment that claims it will work good still involves the costs of high maintenance and upgrades. It makes one think why he/she didn't get what they paid for the first time. Just so complicated and expensive!

As for little things getting stuck, isn't it still a rule of thumb not to sweat the small stuff? Some things are more important in the larger picture of life.

(1) Skeptic, January 27, 2008 8:12 AM


I think it is dangerous to say that EVERYTHING has an outwordly message. For instance, can we really say that EVERYONE who has a throat problem was speaking Lashon Hara? That could lead to blaming the victim.


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