Monday, March 31, 2014

Sophie's Kids


Sophie says that she was born into a family where no one cared about each other. From the time she was a little girl, Sophie was alone. Her parents weren't "real"  - nothing in her life was real - she couldn't depend on people for anything. 
 
Sophie's mother drank and "raised" her children without a husband. She constantly had men coming in and out of the house. She would lock Sophie and her sister out of the house everyday when they came home from school. They were not allowed inside the house at that time. They had to find something else to do.
 
One night Sophie's mother came home drunk. It was about 2:30 in the morning. Sophie remembers her mother standing at the bottom of her bunk bed. Her mother, who was in a rage, was whipping her sister with a belt and calling her "filthy" names. Sophie's sister's top bunk  was held up by flimsy wooden slats which cracked - the whole bed came crashing down on Sophie - she blacked out. Sophie told me what she recalled when she came to:  "She had my sister on the ground... I was screaming... my mother was going to smash a light bulb on my sisters head. I screamed: 'you get off of her!... get off of her!...if you know what's good for you...get off of my sister!'" 
 
Sophie began to feel more real and connected 19 years ago when she found Judaism.  This caused an irreparable divide between her and her family. Her family yelled and told her that she was going to Hell - but Sophie didn't believe it. She has severed all ties with her family. She said that she has made a study of Judaism and no one can take it away from her because she has found the Truth. 
 
I asked Sophie how she knew that Judaism was the truth? 
 
She told me story after story about how she saw Hashem in her life, helping her work out one severe test after another. She said, "If you put all of your trust and faith in Him, you'll see how everything always works out for the best." 
 
Here are a few examples:
 
There was a time, after her divorce, when Sophie's ex-husband and his mother would call the police and tell them that Sophie was abusing her children - but every time that child protective services came to Sophie's house, they could never find anything wrong.  Sophie knew that she was in the right and had G-d on her side. She said this made her absolutely fearless at those times. "Eventually I got so tired of this nonsense that I literally chased those people out of my yard. I would tell them that this is my home and you're not coming in! You're breaking the constitution of the United States! You have no right to keep coming here!" The police and the CPS workers backed down and just left.
 
"I could really intimidate people then," said Sophie. "I had to in order to protect my kids. I have no fear when I get like that.  I can do the same thing for any kid. There is absolutely no fear in me because I have Hashem with me and that's why I usually win. Especially whenever someone tries to hurt a child. I knew if I stood on the side of justice, Hashem would always back me up." 
 
Another time, Sophie's ex-husband grabbed her kids and she couldn't stop him. Her "x" got so drunk that he didn't bring the children to school the next day - but the school called Sophie. Stepping before the Judge, Sophie prayed "G-d help that Judge if something happens to my children because of him." Then Sophie told the  judge that her "x" gets drunk and drives with the children in the truck and that she was there to "put a stop to that." She said, "G-d made me so strong that I could say anything to these people. I didn't care who they were. I was completely without fear.  Laughing, Sophie told me: "The judge usually let me have my way." 
 
Then there was the time that a teacher started up with Sophie's daughter. Sophie spoke to the other parents in her daughter's class and sure enough the new teacher was being abusive to their children too. Sophie asked, "Ok, who is going up to the school with me about this." Nobody wanted to go so she said "Okay, I guess I'm going myself." Continue reading here...


Check out more of Breslev Israel's English writers:

By Rabbi Lazer Brody - Who Will Survive?

By Rabbi Shalom Arush - A New Pair of Shoes

By Rivka Levy - Bubby Got Roasted

By Yaakov Bar Nahman - The Fall of the Ax

Have a wonderful day! 
Dr. Zev Ballen

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Self-Belief and Self-Acceptance


Inner calmness is the master key that opens the doors of self-belief and self-acceptance - it is also our most fundamental way of proving to G-d that we trust Him. 



Have a great week and new month of Nissan!
Dr. Zev Ballen


Friday, March 28, 2014

Emuna in the Treatment of Asthma


You'll breath easier with this 7-minute emuna-charged asthma therapy.



Have a wonderful Shabbos!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Attention Deficit Disorder

If you've tried everything else, why not try this spiritual approach?



Have a great day!
Dr. Zev Ballen


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tips to Stop Smoking

Here's my latest video-clip. It shows how with emuna a person can stop smoking and never smoke again. 




Have a wonderful day!


Today's Live Broadcast: Easy Does It


Inner calmness is the master key that opens the doors of self-belief and self-acceptance - it is also our most fundamental way of proving to G-d that we trust Him. 

G-d Willing we'll be broadcasting today's lesson live from the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva in Jerusalem at 5:00 PM Israel time. The broadcast, as well as my lessons posted are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in as follows: 11:00 AM in NY; 8:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 9:00 AM Denver, 9:00 AM Mexico and Central Daylight; 3:00 PM in the UK, 5 PM Johannesburg and Capetown.

G-d willing, we'll post a link to the broadcast for all those who couldn't see it live by 12:01 AM  Sunday (Israel time). If you can't see the broadcast, you might need to download a new version of Flash Media player, which you can do here. If you have any questions or comments regarding today's lesson, please write to me at: zevballen@yahoo.com. 

With blessings,


Dr. Zev Ballen

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Practical Tips for Fighting Depression

Here's a ten minute clip that's guaranteed to get you connected back to Hashem and feeling so much better! I hope you like it!




Have a great day!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Monday, March 24, 2014

Child Sexual Abuse




After practicing psychotherapy for more than 30 years, I thought I had heard it all - that was, until I met Izzy. Her story of courage shows us that with emuna, even the darkest of circumstances can be transformed into light.  
 
Like many abused children, Izzy dealt with the horror of her life by hiding behind a "mask" - she needed to make believe that nothing bad had happened to her. In the end, it was only emuna that provided a reason for her to uncover and face the truth of what happened and to set her life straight. 
 
When Izzy was six years old, she made the "mistake" of yelling at her mother. When her father got home he said "go to your room, strip off all your clothes and wait in bed." Izzy was terrified. She knew that something "really bad" was going to happen. That was the first of many times she was raped by her father. 
 
Izzy's mother also wore a mask and so she didn't "see" what was going on.  This was how she had "survived" the abuse of her own father. Izzy calls her parents Mr. and Mrs. Egypt. "Mom and Dad" are words that she cannot pronounce. "Mrs. Egypt was repulsed by me. She would become furious if I touched her or got too close." To others, Izzy's family looked "normal," but the first time that Izzy knew what it was like to be held in a loving way was by a nurse in the hospital. 
 
In the 1970's, child abuse was less talked about. Izzy was put into rooms with other children. There were toys and candy there but they weren't allowed to touch the toys or take any of the candies. The men were frightening and mean. Only when the children stripped, would the men become "nice" -  then they could play with the toys and eat the candy.  Some men were "affectionate" - at those times, she desperately wanted to believe that the affection was real. 
 
For years Izzy was taken places where men paid money to do whatever they wanted to children. She was passed around. Films were made of her. Some of those films were violent: "if we cried or resisted, they would threatened to hurt another kid. Once Mr. Egypt pointed his gun at my dog. He acted like he was joking but he killed my dog before my eyes. 
 
Izzy was always suicidal but nobody would have known it. She had a teacher in junior high school who asked her if she was being abused by her parents. Of course she denied it. Her denial "worked" until she became a mother. As her own daughter grew up, Izzy was reminded of what had happened to her. It wasn't until this point that she developed psychological symptoms. "I started having lots of flashbacks but there was still no way to face the truth of what happened without G-d."
 
Izzy's husband was also abusive. After the divorce, she and her daughter fled to a safe house program. 
 
Izzy received lots of therapy over the years. All of her therapists were warm and compassionate people. "It was helpful to be cared for by a therapist who models kindness -  but this can only go so far - it can't get you where you need to go." Izzy said that she wanted her psychotherapists to speak to her about faith. She yearned to come to terms with her fears and sadness at their root but couldn't. "My ultimate healing was to reconnect to Hashem and my mission.  EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing)therapy was able to reduce my triggers, but what did it matter if I wasn't really healed and was not getting the vital tools I needed  and a reason to recover and go on living."
 
One day Izzy heard from somebody that there was a group leaving to visit the gravesite of Rabbi Nachman of Breslev in the Ukraine. Izzy went to Uman and put a picture of herself as a child above Rabbi Nachman's grave. She saw a copy of the Garden of Emuna there and the book "stuck" in her mind. After Uman, she flew to Israel and met a holy woman at the "wall" who told her all about Rabbi Shalom Arush. When Izzy got home she ordered the Garden of Emunaand read it over and over again - the healing  began. 
 
When Izzy met Rabbi Arush it was the first time in her life that she felt safe with a man. Continue here...


Need more to read?

By Rabbi Lazer Brody - Rhythm of the Heart

By Rabbi Shalom Arush - The Blessing of Wealth

By Rivka Levy - The Good Friend

By Reuven Levy - Focusing on Me

Have a blessed and successful day?
Dr. Zev Ballen

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Finding the Good

By using these guidelines, it's possible to only see Hashem's goodness everywhere you look. 








Have a great week!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Friday, March 21, 2014

Overcome Any Challenge

This is an infallible all-purpose method for mastering any test that comes up.



Have a fabulous Shabbos!
Dr. Zev Ballen


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Angels for Kids


My Rebbe, Rabbi Shalom Arush, warns us not to rebuke our children. He raised his own beautiful, successful children without criticizing or rebuking them at all. With emuna, Rav Arush knew that if he prayed for his children and did teshuva (repentance) for every personal defect that he saw in them that they would excel.
 
One might object saying that this is all well and good for Rabbi Shalom Arush, but we are not tzaddikim and we do not have his strength to refrain from making critical remarks. To this the Rebbe gives you his promise that if he could do it so can you. The truth is that Rav Arush is not expecting us to be on his level. His level is actually much higher than this - he just sees capabilities in us that we do not see in ourselves.
 
Rav Arush's writings about child-rearing are completely consistent with how he raised his own children. The Rebbe calls his bookChinuch B'Ahava (education; or more specifically preparation with love) to show that the only way to raise healthy children is tosimultaneously prepare ourselves to be parents. Rav Arush does not expect perfection from us, he simply wants us to acknowledge the futility of forcing values and traits onto our children that we do not possess. The Rav prays for all of us to have the wisdom to avoid the pitfalls of psychological and even religious approaches to parenting that focus exclusively on the child. 
 
How can one who is still being ruled by arrogance and self-centeredness expect his child to listen to anything that he has to say about the importance of humility and loving kindness. How can one who is constantly competing with others and looking at others with an evil eye teach his children to believe in themselves; have the courage to find their own path in life and to judge others favorably. It is not possible.
 
Michael demanded respect from his children. He felt justified in scolding them for sitting in his seat, interrupting him when he was speaking or for openly disagreeing with his religious views. Michael believed that it was necessary to instill fear of his authority into his children in order for them to be successful in life even though he himself had a problem with obedience to authority. In fact while serving in the army, Michael was brought up on charges of disobeying his commanding officer and was later fired from numerous jobs for the same defect of character. Little did Michael realize how deeply his children loved him, when they were young, and wanted desperately to please him - but that could not last. When those children grew up they wanted nothing to do with Michael even though he changed. Michael's wife, who was quiet for all those years, now rages openly at him and sides with her children who never call their father. To Michael's great credit he is learning to see that this is all from Hashem and is doing a very deep and penetrating t'shuva on himself. What a gift Hashem has given to this man. He has become an incredibly strong servant of Hashem. It does not look like Michael will ever stop doing t'shuva until his children return to his loving, repentant arms. May it be so!
 
Suri is a mother of five.  Her daughter, Chavie, was 12 years old when she had not yet taken an interest in cleaning her room and organizing her possessions. Suri wisely refrained from making an issue of her daughter's unmanageability - instead...continue here...


Have a wonderful day!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Today's Live Broadcast: Looking for the Good



G-d Willing we'll be broadcasting today's lesson live from the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva in Jerusalem at 5:00 PM Israel time. The broadcast, as well as my lessons posted are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in as follows: 11:00 AM in NY; 8:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 9:00 AM Denver, 9:00 AM Mexico and Central Daylight; 3:00 PM in the UK, 5 PM Johannesburg and Capetown.

G-d willing, we'll post a link to the broadcast for all those who couldn't see it live by 12:01 AM  Sunday (Israel time). If you can't see the broadcast, you might need to download a new version of Flash Media player, which you can do here. If you have any questions or comments regarding today's lesson, please write to me at: zevballen@yahoo.com. 

With blessings,


Dr. Zev Ballen

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Rapid Fire Jewish Meditation


Dear friends, 

Here's a very short (3.5 minute) Jewish meditation that I made for you. It's based on the writings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslev. I hope you like it. It's my gift to you!

Here's a few samples of what people have been saying about it:

"This is like taking a machine gun and shooting bullets of blessing into people; it's a continuous mantra of healing. I'm impressed with the simplicity and effectiveness of it!"  Aman Ex

"It filled my life with joy..and reminded me that I have a special purpose...given by the King of Kings...Thank you, Rav Zev." Giordana Daniella Carolina

If you would like more personal assistance - please call us (Breslev Israel)  from the U.S at: 1-718-577-2975 or dial Israel direct at: +972-2-532-3339 X 1 between 3 pm -11 pm Israel time and ask for an appointment.



With all my love,
Dr. Zev Ballen




Monday, March 17, 2014

Asher


Asher, whose name means "blessed" or "fortunate," was born into a religious family. His parents were sad people and so Asher also grew up feeling sad most of the time. When he was 14, Asher turned to pornography to distract him from his sadness. He became addicted to pornography and eventually to illicit relationships with women. 
 
When Asher was 19, he married Leah whose name means "to be tired." Asher had hoped that he would change once he was married, but he nevertheless continued having affairs. Leah knew that her husband wasn't loyal to her and became very depressed. As usual Asher had spent the whole night having "fun" at a bar. He staggered into the house at dawn - but Leah was no longer there - she left a short note - her lifeless body was lying on the bed. 
 
Asher wanted to hurt himself too for what he had done.  He signed himself into a psychiatric hospital. While in the hospital, Asher got involved in a 12-step program for his addiction. Asher had a "spiritual awakening" in the 12-step program and he continued in the program after being released from the hospital. Asher's lustful behavior stopped.
 
Moshe, was Asher's sponsor in the program. Moshe had been sober for more than twenty years.  Moshe was also born into a religious family, but like many religious Jews in the program, he put the program before everything in his life. Moshe told Asher all about how he had stayed sober and set down the rules for their relationship. Moshe explained to Asher that although he had been sober for many years that he was still too sick to deal with someone challenging his opinions. He also told Asher that due to his illness he would have no tolerance for any disagreements that Asher might have about how he sponsored him. If Asher wanted to continue to be sponsored by Moshe, he would need to refrain from expressing any disagreements with Moshe. Moshe explained that Asher too would be in danger of acting out if he didn't do the same thing with others. Moshe told Asher that he must accept that there was no cure for his addiction. 
 
Moshe's main way of coping with interpersonal conflict was to say, "I'm sorry but I'm still too sick to deal with this now and politely end the conversation. Moshe's wife understood that because her husband was such a sick man, that she had to back off whenever he said this so she would not cause Moshe to lose his sobriety. After 20 years of this type of sobriety, Moshe and his wife were a model recovery couple.
 
Asher met Tikvah in the program and they got married. Her name means "hope." Like Moshe, Asher became very active in the program attending many meetings. Asher stayed sober for 14 years by modeling himself after Moshe his sponsor. Asher's relationship with Tikvah and his children had always been distant. They walked on "egg shells" in his presence. Asher's observance of Jewish rituals had also cooled off during this time.  
 
Asher began to travel with his secretary. Tikvah didn't like this but she never challenged her husband. When she discovered that Asher was sending and receiving romantic emails from his secretary, Tikvah didn't know what to do. Finally she confronted him and he admitted that he was wrong and tried to make amends.
 
Asher had a boat. He spent time on the boat when he needed space from his family. Sometimes Asher slept on his boat. One night Asher's son went down to the boat and caught his father with his secretary in the act. Asher rushed home and cried and begged his wife Tikvah to forgive him but Tikva needed time away from her husband in order to sort out her life. 
 
Tikva had lost faith in her husband and the program he had attended. She began her own search and discovered...continue here...


More great reading:

By Rabbi Lazer Brody - Sacred or Profane

By Rabbi Shalom Arush - The Ice Villian

By L. Barr - A Parent Confesses

A very happy Purim!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Saturday, March 15, 2014

United on Purim


The message of togetherness is the essence of the holiday of Purim.  I heard the following from Rav Dovid Ostroff:

The S'fas Emes says that when B'nei Yisroel (the Jewish people) are united, Amalek (Haman) does not have a hold on them. It is when they are separated and don't have unity, that the enemy can attack them. Haman told Achashveirosh to wipe out the Jewish nation, to which he replied that he cannot, as all nations that attempted to do so were wiped from the face of the earth. Haman countered that the Jews were not unified. 

So Mordechai said to gather them, make unity amongst the Jews, and they became unified because Mordechai showed great love for them even though they partied with Achashveirosh and bowed down to idols (which he had warned them not to do). 

Our unity is our strength, and the removal of our arrogance, which puts walls between us is our main task. 
When the Jewish people saw how much Hashem loved them during their time of strife and despite their not behaving themselves they accepted the Torah with a total love that they didn't have when they "received it" on mount sinai out of fear.

We only know someones true love for us when we see them demonstrate it in hard circumstances. It will be our total and love and acceptance of each other that will make the future ge'ulah (redemption) so magnificent that it will dwarf the nissim (miracles) of yetsias mitzrayim (the coming out of Egypt). May we see it soon!

Dr. Zev Ballen

Friday, March 14, 2014

You're Never Alone

Now you can to connect with others like yourself who are trying to grow in emuna. Here's how...



Have a wonderful Shabbos and a very happy Purim!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Jewish Meditation 2


Here's a mediation that I developed based on the writings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslev. I hope you enjoy it. 

For more personal assistance - call us from the U.S at: 1-718-577-2975 or dial Israel direct at: +972-2-532-3339 X1 between 3pm-11pm Israel time.





Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Today's Live Broadcast: Slow to Anger



G-d Willing we'll be broadcasting today's lesson live from the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva in Jerusalem at 5:00 PM Israel time. The broadcast, as well as my lessons posted are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in as follows: 11:00 AM in NY; 8:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 9:00 AM Denver, 9:00 AM Mexico and Central Daylight; 3:00 PM in the UK, 5 PM Johannesburg and Capetown.

G-d willing, we'll post a link to the broadcast for all those who couldn't see it live by 12:01 AM  Sunday (Israel time). If you can't see the broadcast, you might need to download a new version of Flash Media player, which you can do here. If you have any questions or comments regarding today's lesson, please write to me at: zevballen@yahoo.com. 

With blessings,


Dr. Zev Ballen

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Minute of Silence

What can you accomplish by praying for 60 seconds a day? This quick lesson will give you some idea. 



Have a great day!
Dr. Zev Ballen


Monday, March 10, 2014

Anna's Way


Anna was born into a life that made it hard to believe there was any good in the world. The water and power in her house were frequently turned off because her father drank his paycheck away rather than using it to pay the bills. Her father left the house early in the morning and didn't come home till very late after Anna and her brother were in bed. There was always fighting and yelling when her parents were together. It took so much strength, but Anna had a way to hold on. 
 
Anna's mother was psychotic - she never threw out garbage - instead she put it in cabinets and in the stove.  Her mother had irritable bowel syndrome and often didn't make it to the bathroom. The hallways of Anna's house were filled with her mother's excrement. When her mother would get discharged from the hospital, the doctors would tell Anna that her mother couldn't be sent home to a house filled with excrement because she would become psychotic again. This confirmed little Anna's fear that she was the cause of her mother's illness. It was nauseating - but even at such a young age, Anna was constantly cleaning up her mother's filth. The garage was piled high with garbage - and excrement - that leaked from the bathroom floor into a huge bulge in the roof of the garage. Nevertheless -  Anna had a way to hold on.
 
Mother's bedroom was piled to the ceiling  with trash - there were swarms of roaches everywhere - but Anna had a way. At night, Anna showed her brother how to move their beds away from the walls and cover themselves tightly with the covers to keep the roaches off their faces and bodies while they slept.
 
When Anna was three years old, she would wake in the morning to the sight of dead rats floating in the kitchen sink amongst the rotten food and filthy dishes. Utterly alone with no one to turn to Anna started fainting. It was then, when she "woke up" that little Anna received the greatest teaching of her life -  her way of holding on. Wet from tears, Anna would reach out and just hold G-d's hand. It was her way of not feeling so alone.
 
Anna was eventually hospitalized for her fainting spells in 4th grade and again in 6th grade. Her doctors couldn't find the reason for her fainting but Anna didn't wait for the doctors to figure it out...continue reading here...


Additional Reading:

By Rabbi Lazer Brody - Right Action, Right Time

By Rabbi Shalom Arush - Crusaders of Stringencies

By Rivka Levy - Pull Me Out Rabbenu

With Blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Video Lesson: Jealousy

What can we learn from the Torah about jealousy, and how can we eradicate this harmful trait? 




Have a great week.
With every blessing,
Dr. Zev Ballen


Friday, March 7, 2014

Simple Faith


With Hashem at her side, a woman of simple faith laughs her way through some very severe tests. 




Have a very happy Shabbos!
Dr. Zev Ballen


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Rabbi Lazer Brody & Dr. Zev Ballen

You won't want to miss this!



With Blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen



Practical Tools for Addiction

These are some practical tools for dealing with addiction from today's 9 minute lesson. If you would like to arrange a private consultation, please call us from the U.S at: 1-718-577-2975 or dial Israel direct at: +972-2-532-3339 X1 between 3pm - 11pm Israel time. 



With blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Today's Live Broadcast: Jealousy


What can we learn from the Torah about jealousy, and how can we eradicate this harmful trait? This will be the subject of today's live broadcast.

G-d Willing we'll be broadcasting today's lesson live from the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva in Jerusalem at 5:00 PM Israel time. The broadcast, as well as my lessons posted are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in as follows: 10:00 AM in NY; 7:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 8:00 AM Denver, 9:00 AM Mexico and Central Daylight; 3:00 PM in the UK, 5 PM Johannesburg and Capetown.

G-d willing, we'll post a link to the broadcast for all those who couldn't see it live by 12:01 AM  Sunday (Israel time). If you can't see the broadcast, you might need to download a new version of Flash Media player, which you can do here. If you have any questions or comments regarding today's lesson, please write to me at: zevballen@yahoo.com. 

With blessings,


Dr. Zev Ballen

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

"Vitamin E" North America Speaking Tour, June, 2014

Breslev Israel is delighted to announce:

"Vitamin E: Emuna for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul" - 


Join Rabbi Lazer Brody and Rabbi Dr. Zev Ballen on Breslev Israel's summer 2014 North America Tour! There are still a few event time-slots available, so if you'd like your community to be included, please contact David Reckles (david@breslev.co.il) right away. 

Academic Success

Here are some practical tips you can use right now to improve your ability to absorb and remember new information. For more personal assistance - call us from the U.S at: 1-718-577-2975 or dial Israel direct at: +972-2-532-3339 X1 between 3pm-11pm Israel time.



Have a great day!
Dr. Zev Ballen


Monday, March 3, 2014

Why Me?

Larry Puller was the softest boy at John J. Picken Elementary School. He had always managed to avoid getting into fights.
 
As he stood at the plate, Larry Puller had two strikes against him. The pitcher stared him down and said: "Puller you punk. Get ready to swing at the air."  The third baseman Charlie Watson chimed in: "Yeah, Puller all you can hit is air - Strike out you dirty Jew, you!"
 
Something snapped in Larry. He threw the bat down and ran out onto the field. With strength he didn't know he had he threw Watson to the ground and pounded him into a bloody mess. Larry was out of control and couldn't stop. He would have seriously injured Watson if his friends hadn't pulled him off. 
 
It was the first time in Larry's life that he had tasted the bitterness of senseless hatred. He had never even thought of himself as "Jewish." Judaism had nothing to do with him; yet something primal was  stirred in Larry Puller. He was given a loud wake-up call that day. His life had changed course, but he was unaware of how until he was much older. 
 
Charlie Watson never forgot the humiliation of being beaten so soundly by Larry in front of his friends.  From that day on, he declared war against Larry. For the next 6 years, until Larry left for college, Charlie did everything he could to make Larry's life miserable. He spread lies about Larry and tried to get Larry's friends to turn against him. He cursed at him and mocked him publicly. He send out letters filled with lies about Larry to all their neighbors. Charlie Watson swore that he would do everything in his power to get revenge against Larry. He was committed to hurting Larry and other Jewish kids till his last breath. Larry felt overwhelmed. He had no idea of how to help himself.
 
Dr. and Mrs. Puller were hollow people who had no faith with which to guide their son. Dr. Puller was a professor of Philosophy at a local college, but neither he nor his wife had any knowledge about G-d with which to encourage Larry by showing him how he could turn his troubles around. As Larry's self-esteem spiraled down, his parents took him to one therapist after the next but no one could identify what was really bothering Larry or knew how to sooth his aching soul.
 
When Larry was a senior in college he was still hiding from himself. He was a painfully shy young man who was an underachiever in every area of his life. He was repulsed by Jewish women but didn't know why and therefore avoided dating them. Larry had still not learned anything from his years of suffering - but that was soon to change.
 
Larry's life started to make sense to him after he attended a lecture...continue reading here...


Here's more!

By Rabbi Lazer Brody - The Thorn in Haman's Side

By Rabbi Shalom Arush - The Tale of Four Kings

By Rivka Levy - The Ketuba Rabbi

By Racheli Reckles - How Much I Love You

Have a great day, friends!
Dr. Zev Ballen