By deciding you are capable of accomplishing more, you will accomplish more.

What people believe about themselves and their abilities serves as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Believing oneself to be inferior, untalented, unimportant or incapable influences one’s actual abilities. One’s self-concept greatly determines what one can actually do. If you view yourself as unable to do things, you will be unable to do them. On the other hand, if you see yourself as talented, capable, and important, your self-concept will open up powers and talents that would have remained dormant had you thought of yourself in lesser terms. We have the ability to change our self-concept…. Hardly anyone utilizes their entire capabilities. Most people use a low percentage of their potential, and could accomplish much more than they realize. By deciding you are capable of accomplishing more, you will accomplish more.

From ‘Building your self-image and the self-image of others (Rabbi Pliskin)’


Ethics of the Fathers (4:1) describes the honourable person as “someone who shows honour and respect to someon else.”

I have always wanted to know how this works. Why should honouring someone else make you honourable. Rabbi Pliskin says:

Think of times you’ve noticed people being treated and spoken to with respect. How do you speak to people you greatly respect? What do you do treat them with respect? Speak to many more people this way, and treat many more people this way.

You will become more aware of the potential of each and every person, and know that they can continue to develop themselves further. Your belief in others will make it easier for them to believe in themselves. When you treat other people with authentic respect, uou will have a positive influence on their self-image. They will see themselves in a more positive light.

After you consistently treat other people with respect, your self-image can be: ‘I am considered an honourable and respectful person by my Father, my King, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, because I treat other people with respect.’

Building your self-image and the self-image of others (Rabbi Zelig Ploiskin)

What can you be?

Don’t needlessly limit and block yourself from being all that you can be. Don’t wrongly assume that you can’t be a magnificent human being with refined character traits. Don’t mistakenly think that your awesome brain’s billions of neurons can’t learn and know a massive amount of knowledge and wisdom.

The way you think about yourself creates who you are. The way you think about your happiness and joy, your confidence and courage, your intellect, and your potential talents and skills, creates your self-image. Be open to more and more possibilities for yourself. Be willing to develop yourself and your self-image step by tiny step.

From ‘Building your self-image and the self-image of others (Rabbi Pliskin)’

Let me know if this book speaks to you and we can work our way through it, in bite-size chunks over the next few weeks. I think apart from what we will learn about ourselves, which will be really valuable, it will be a great tool for helping us educate our kids, grandkids, colleagues, pupils etc…

Who are you?

Rabbi Pliskin says: ‘Each and every day gain a greater realization that you are a child of the Creator and are created in His image. Every blessing you make adds to this awareness. Every prayer you say adds to this awareness. Every mitzvah you do adds to this awareness.

Knowing that you are a child of the Creator makes you recognize that greatness is stored in you. You have the ability to become a person that thinks, speaks and acts in ways that bring more and more of your awesome potential.’

From ‘Building your self-image and the self-image of others (Rabbi Pliskin)’

What is a Jew’s real profession?

They were frightened, so the children of Israel cried out to G-d. (Shmot14:10)

Rashi says that when the Jews ‘cried out to G-d’, they were practising the ‘profession’ of their forefathers, i.e. prayer. A Jew should perceive prayer and likewise Torah study as his ‘profession.’ He shouldn’t feel the urge to pray only when a problem arises and he needs God’s help. Similarly a person shouldn’t study Torah only when he needs to know what to do. Rather he should preceive prayer and Torah study as his ‘profession’ which he devotes himself to constantly whether there is a direct need to do so or not.

Similarly when drawing another Jew closer to Judaism, one should never think: ‘He does not look the type to become involved in lengthy prayer or in deep Torah study.’ For every Jew is, at heart capable of treating prayer and study seriously, since it it is his ‘profession.’ We simply need to reveal this potential by drawing the person with warmth and love.

From ‘Chumash’ The Gutnik Edition


Real Freedom

And on that day the Almighty saved the Israelites from the hand of Egypt. (Shmot 14:30)

The Ohr Hachayim comments that the Torah states that on that day they were saved, which was the day the Egyptians who pursued them perished in the sea. Even though they were already liberated on the day that they left Egypt, they were not really considered saved since they did not feel secure in relationship to the Egyptians.

We see from this that even though in actuality a person is free, he is not really considered free unless he personally feels free. A person who worries and feels insecure is a person who is imprisoned even though he is not behind bars and no-one will harm him. To be truly free you must feel free and that is up to you. You have a great deal of control over your thoughts if you work on it. The greater your mastery over your thoughts, the greater freedom you will experience in your life.

The Equalizer

No, I’m not talking about Teddy Shringham in the 1999 European Cup Final or an average detective series starring Edward Woodward in the 80s, I’m talking about this great concept I’ve just discovered. It involves looking at a choice you are about to make or a  reaction you are going to choose to make. Before you make it ‘equalize’ the results, meaning play both options out in your head, the one where you get what you wanted and the one where you don’t and be at peace with both results.

So for example you are about to walk through the door after an exhausting day, and you pray before you walk in that your wife is delighted to see you and the kids are quietly doing their homework at the table. You know there’s an equal chance that your wife is more exhausted than you and the kids are tearing each other to pieces. So accept that if it is the latter that turns out, that is Hashem’s will and he knows what’s better for you than you do.

Based on Forest Fields (Rabbi Arush),


Extra portion (Daily Lift is on holiday tomorrow!)

He who believes in Hashem speaks to Hashem; he who speaks to Hashem, ultimately sees Hashem! How? Soemone who speaks to Hashem regularly sees how everything runs according to Hashem’s will.

Garden of Wisdom (Rabbi Arush),

A well known joke tells about an atheistic teacher who challenges his G-d-rearing pupil. “If you really have a G-d, why can’t I see him?”

Unabashed the pupil responded, “If you really have sense, sir, why can’t I see it?”

Jokes notwishstanding, some things are strongly felt, despite the fact we can’t see them. We can’t see our senses or character traits, but they all certainly manifest in our actions. Although we can’t see Hashem, we know for sure that he’s right there in our midst, because nothing can exist, act or operate without His precision Divine Providence.

Garden of Wisdom (Rabbi Arush),

Hashem is in charge of every detail

‘This month shall be for you the first of the months.’ (Shmot 12:2)

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein commented that the month of Tishrei is the month of the creation of the world. The month of Nissan is the month of the exodus from Egypt. Both months are lessons in our awareness of the Almighty’s power. The first lesson is that the Almighty is the Creator of the universe. The second lesson is that of Divine Providence, that Hashem is involved in every detail of our lives. The Almighty controls the events of the world and therefore he is the one who enslaved the children of Israel and He is the one that freed them. The Torah is telling us in this verse that the lesson of the Alimghty’s guiding historical events is even more important than the lesson of the creation of the world. So Nissan, when the Jews left Egypt where the hand of G-d was felt tangibly in every Jew’s life takes precedence over Tishrei when Hashem created the world.

Based on Growth through Torah by Rabbi Pliskin.