Advice From My World

Contributions from Friends, Family, and Teachers 
    Compiled by: DJ Handelman 

 

This book is dedicated to the family of David Kandelman for raising a son who showed me the meaning of self‐discovery, forgiveness, and friendship.

 

Table Of Contents

Jacob Handelman (Uncle) ...................................................................................................................................... 8 Bill Handelman (Uncle) .......................................................................................................................................... 9 Pocket Silbermintz (College Friend) .............................................................................................................. 10 Yaakov Weiner (NCSY Advisor) ....................................................................................................................... 11 Diane Algava (High School Friend) ................................................................................................................ 12 Eitan Levine (College Friend) ........................................................................................................................... 13 Josh Redlich (College Friend) ........................................................................................................................... 14 Kali Smith (College Friend) ................................................................................................................................ 15 David Elkaim (College Friend) ......................................................................................................................... 16 David Shinefield (College Friend) ................................................................................................................... 17 Neil Handelman (Grandfather) ........................................................................................................................ 18 Janice Handelman (Mother) .............................................................................................................................. 18 Jon Belolo (College Friend) ................................................................................................................................ 19 Ivan Kaspruk (Grammar School Friend) ...................................................................................................... 19 Daniel Kotsias (High School Friend) .............................................................................................................. 20 Michoel Kerendian (High School Friend) .................................................................................................... 20 Zev Gold (High School Chavruta) .................................................................................................................... 21 Baruch Shawel (High School Friend) ............................................................................................................ 21 . Mike Shacter (5th Grade Chavruta) ............................................................................................................... 22 Paul Cantz (Synagogue Friend) ....................................................................................................................... 23 Anonymous ............................................................................................................................................................... 24 Boulderina Rockhart (Ideal Wife) ................................................................................................................... 25 Toviah Moldwin (High School Friend) .......................................................................................................... 26 Matt Kochanny (Grammar School Friend) .................................................................................................. 27 Michal Yablong‐Boyars (High School Friend) ........................................................................................... 28 . Sarah Palmer (High School Friend) ................................................................................................................ 29 Cindy Pollack (High School Friend) ............................................................................................................... 30 Malky Weil (College Friend) .............................................................................................................................. 31 Jacob Appelbaum (College Friend) ................................................................................................................. 32 Allen Sears (High School Physics Professor) ............................................................................................. 33 Joey Kandelman (NCSY Advisor) ..................................................................................................................... 34

 

Leo Langevin (Family Friend) .......................................................................................................................... 35 Tal Kohn (High School Friend) ........................................................................................................................ 36 . Gershie Meisel (NCSY Advisor) ........................................................................................................................ 37 Chava Weissberg (College Friend) ................................................................................................................. 38 David Ginsburg (Bar Mitzvah Rabbi) ............................................................................................................ 39 Ariana Wetak (College Friend) ........................................................................................................................ 40 Ben Baxley (College Friend) .............................................................................................................................. 41 Evan Kander (Grammar School Friend)....................................................................................................... 42 Melissa Handelman (Sister) .............................................................................................................................. 43 Anonymous Divorcee ........................................................................................................................................... 44 Jenna Cooper (Grammar School Friend) ..................................................................................................... 45 Shifra Nelson (College Friend) ......................................................................................................................... 46 Sruly Heller (College Friend) ............................................................................................................................ 47 Ariana Handelman (Cousin) .............................................................................................................................. 48 Yael Handelman (Cousin) ................................................................................................................................... 49 Sam Handelman (Father) .................................................................................................................................. 50 Leila Handelman (Grandmother).................................................................................................................... 51 Josh Mawhirter (High School Friend) ........................................................................................................... 52 Danny Robinson (High School Friend) ......................................................................................................... 53 Maxine Handelman (Aunt) ............................................................................................................................... 54 Ann and Albert Cohen (Grandparents) ........................................................................................................ 55 Alisa Unger‐Sargon (College Friend) ............................................................................................................. 56 Arel Kirshstein (College Friend) ..................................................................................................................... 57 . Becca Gollman (High School Friend) ............................................................................................................. 58 Leora Cohen (College Friend) ........................................................................................................................... 59 Louis Feldman (Greek/Roman Literature Professor) .......................................................................... 60 Evita Arce (Swing Dance Instructor) ............................................................................................................. 61 Patrick Slaven (Hipster Librarian) ................................................................................................................. 62 Phil Pascua (Grammar School Friend) ......................................................................................................... 63 . Elisha Karen (High School Friend) ................................................................................................................. 64 Uncle JB’s Friends .................................................................................................................................................. 65

Note: Origin of relationships placed in parentheses

 

Introduction

A common question I received while editing this book was “Why are you doing this?” Most people assumed it was a school project. Every time I gave a reason, I would come up with a new answer, almost as if I was experimenting with my words, trying to discover my true motivation. Some of the reasons I gave were:
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It seems like a neat thing to do I want to concretize the advice of people that have affected my life I want to give people the chance to teach others lessons they learned from their lives I need another book to prop up a table

While some of these answers are true, I think the real reason I created this book goes back to one of my core beliefs, stated in Pirkei Avot, the Ethics of our Fathers: “Ben Zoma said: Who is wise? He who learns from all people.” (4:1) I believe this wholeheartedly. I am constantly aware how vastly different my own ex‐ periences are from others’. From our different life experiences, we come to different conclu‐ sions and learn different lessons. If we contemplate our own past, we may gain more from our experiences and lead better lives. Then, if we share these lessons with others, and they share theirs with us, we can all benefit. I can’t think of a greater gift to share. Some say that a person is the sum of his or her experiences. But an experience does not define a person; instead, it is what a person learns from those experiences. Then, after a person learns from his or her own experiences, they are able to share it with others. Subse‐ quently, the advice a person gives allows others to get a glimpse into that person's essence. It shows what is most important to them. It shows who they want to be. One thing I found especially neat about this collection is that while many contributors share similar pieces of advice, some of advice conflicts with others. But neither contributor was necessarily wrong. One friend said that before we complain about our own problems, for context, we should compare our lives to those living in third world countries. I could agree with that. But then another friend wrote that while other people may be worse off than us, we are entitled to feel bad about our own challenges and problems without feeling guilty. You may decide you agree with only one, but I see value in both approaches. My final message is this: Learn from everybody. Learn from those you love. Learn from those you hate. Everyone has something to teach; you just have to search for it. They may verbalize it or they may show it through their actions. Keep your eyes and ears open. Even if someone is the lowliest, despicable, vicious person there is, well… They can teach you how not to act.

 

The letter I sent for advice solicitation In our lifetimes, there are many people that have a great influence on who we were, who we are, and who we will one day become. I decided to look introspectively and determine who has had a seminal effect on my life, who has inspired me greatly, and whom I respect ineffably. And YOU are among these people in my life! What I am asking is that you contribute approximately one page of advice or lessons that you try adhering to scrupulously, strongly believe, or you think I specifically need to hear (and have been dying to tell me!) I prefer to leave the parameters somewhat flexible to allow for creative interpretation. Once collected, I will compile everyone’s advice and put it in book form, and perhaps put it online for the public’s viewing pleasure. I understand this might be a little time consuming, but it would really mean a lot to me, and if you wanted, I would be happy to reciprocate the favor. Along with the letter, if you could attach a picture of yourself along with the contribution, that would be wonderful. Thank you very much for your time and thanks for having such an impact on my life, whether you may know it or not. Sincerely, Daniel [DJ] Handelman

 

   

All Contributions are              randomized using random.org’s  random list generator 

  Dear Uncle Daniel,

Happy twenty‐first birthday. I love being your Uncle and friend. Thank you for confiding in me, exploring together and listening to the advice which spouts from my mouth. What advice should I put on this page? If it is good advice we have already discussed it ad‐ nauseum. Nonetheless, my own biggest suggestion is: marry a girl who (in addition to being physically attractive) you admire, who makes decisions in a way you can handle and who treats children kindly. A healthy spousal relationship will touch on every other part of your life. With her at your side you will evaluate challenges, argue, raise children and celebrate. So, choose a teammate who both talks & listens. I have been blessed with having your Aunt Max in my life. She does amazing work with pre‐ schools, writes books, works on the CJDS board, and ably keeps our family running from place to place. Though we do not see eye‐to‐eye all the time, we respect each other’s decisions, discuss issues well and treat each other nicely even when frustrated. Her advice, respect and patience have carried us through troubles. I love watching her with our daughters. She takes time to read, cuddle, teach, nurture and raise wonderful girls. May you find such a woman who compliments your own wonderful talents at the time when you are ready and open for her to be in your life. Years ago we read H. Jackson Brown, Jr.’s book of advice, Life’s Little Instruction Book. Many of those tidbits still apply even though they were written in a time before the Internet and cell phones. Maybe we could read through it again with the new eyes of a college student and a man with a graying beard. Other personal Brownesque pieces of advice I’ve incorporated in my life are: ‐Show your love with deeds even more than words. Do something romantic for your lady every day and show your appreciation for her even more often. new.” ‐“Old baseball gloves are the best because you cannot buy history

‐Learn to trust your own judgment. ‐Brides expect that they can change their husbands. Grooms expect that their wives will not change. Both are wrong. ‐“If we don’t start trusting our children, how will they ever become trustworthy?” ‐(1) Don’t discuss important matters after 11pm; (2) Agree on an amount over which permission must be granted to spend; and (3) Never go to bed angry or at least share a kiss. DJ‐ You are already an amazing guy who does not need advice from his old friends and teachers. You are well on your way to becoming a well‐rounded man in your own right. With Love, Uncle JB

DJ, ‐ Happy birthday! You asked for some words of wisdom so here goes:     When leaving your house, before closing the door, make sure you have your keys in your possession. When you are having a bad day just remember that if it wasn't for rain... there wouldn't be roses.   Tolerance is a very important quality to have. Understanding that everyone has different opinions and values is key. You must not only understand this, but also accept these differences so that you do not make others feel inadequate. Following are some thoughts I heard from a very respectable source. Can you identify the source? Understand that civilization is currently at a place where one G‐d is the norm. In the past it was believed that the universe was controlled by multiple deities. Belief in one deity will allow you to fit in with the rest of society easily. Do not attempt to make images of G‐d. It is enough to believe in an all powerful G‐d but not at all necessary to make images of him (or her). I assume that the people that make images of G‐d do so in order to put a human face on G‐d. This is not necessary for true believers. G‐d is an entity that is not human and should not be put in human form. Do not make statements using G‐d's name to add additional weight. Things that you say, whether they are promises or curses should be said with only your weight behind the statement. By using G‐d's name, a person is trying to add extra power to the statement. This removes your responsibility. A good person knows that their honor is derived from the weight of their promises and actions. Although cursing others is not something that someone with good character does, it often still happens. Do not use G‐d's name to add weight. If you are going to curse another do so knowing that you are taking full responsibility for your words. We as a society work very hard to provide for our families. We may think that what we get is directly proportional to the effort we expend. To some degree it is. However, many of the things we accomplish we could only do because of G‐d. It is he that enables each of us to have the skills to accomplish that which we set our minds to. Because of this you should dedicate one day a week to honoring him. All of our parents have worked very hard over the years to provide for each of us. Often our parents make us feel uncomfortable with the way they speak, act, or the things they believe in. Be tolerant and respectful of them, despite their differences. It is the sign of a truly honorable person who is able to treat their parents with respect. Understand that they may just have different opinions and values. Do not kill another person. Hold human life dear. Know that you are not better than anyone else. Some people believe that they are better than others and to kill them will make the world a better place. I believe that we do not have the right to take the life of another. Each of us is important to the health of our society despite our differences. When you make a promise you must keep it. Going back on your word is not honorable. At the end of the day a person's word is really all he has. When you go back on your word it is incredibly difficult to win back trust if that is even possible. There are many among us who believe that they have the right to take things that belong to others. I believe it is our responsibility to work hard to support our families and to provide them with the things they need to thrive. Taking things that belong to others is nothing more than irresponsibility. Work hard, be honorable, and allow others to keep the things they have worked hard to acquire. Honesty is a very important virtue. There are all kinds of lies. None of them are honorable. Lying does nothing to improve the world or relationships with others. One of the worst things to do is to lie about what another person has done or has not done. All this serves to do is to harm others. Jealousy is a very unhealthy emotion. It is very important to be happy with what you have in life and yet at the same time strive to improve your situation. Understand that what others have accomplished is because of the effort they put forth. Be happy for their accomplishments but do not be envious of them. I love you. All my best wishes for a long and happy life. Love, UB ‐ Bill Handelman

 

Advice from Pocket (NotDJ) The world comes crashing down. Your world. Imagine. It’s the most intense conversation of your life and you’re stuck neck and neck with the person you love the most. You are tearing each other apart, and each word just elevates the conversation to a higher dramatic point. You’re in the middle of a black street, where dark things happen, at a black time. She says something. You lose all hope. It’s not the time to be melodramatic, but you can’t help the drowning pool of what you should be feeling, which is just awkward nothingness. You can’t talk. You glance over her shoulder to find a homeless man standing there. He catches your attention for a brief moment and she notices. She has not finished her point so she just continues. The homeless fellow unzips and, like divine potty humor, starts urinating in the middle of the street. You stare her in the eyes and tell her “We have to move”. She looks at you with a distrusting glare and asks, “Why?!” You say, “Because there is a man behind peeing all over the place.” The tension is broken. The first fight you won all night. The only fight you win all night. I’m not going to say what facts are true from that story, and frankly, the rest of the story just gets morbid. But of all things that night, that moment just made sense. The lesson I’m going for is, of all things, is “Why so serious?” You will find times when you think it might be the most intense, important point in your life, but for someone else, that same moment can be a time to just unzip and pee. So think of applying a person’s junk to any situation you feel is too serious, laugh a little, and try to work through things like they are not happening to you.
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  Hey Daniel, I don’t know if I have anything all that earth‐shattering or sagely to say. I will do my best to offer you a couple of ideas which have taken me years to learn and which have helped me in my own life. I hope they do the same for you. By nature, I am a passionate and principled person. I think that is a good thing. It is good to live for something. If we do not live for something, we just exist‐‐a state which often leaves people feeling uncomfortably empty. Living for principals fills that gap. That involves both possessing a vision of what you live for, and the practical living of those values and principles. Proverbs 29:18 says it well: “Without a vision, people perish, but he that follows the law is happy.” This value does not accept any deviation. On the other hand, it is important to accept the fact that we are at times inconsistent. Principles are not human beings, which get tired, confused, depressed, or worn out. We are, and we experience these states. Things are not so simple. Principles conflict. They are often unclear. There is always a counter‐argument, another side. Furthermore, even when the principles that we believe in are clear, we can simply fail to live up to them due to weakness. It is important to accept the times that we just cannot live with a passioned sense of idealism. Chill‐outism is the antidote. Yes, it accepts a lack of passion, the antithesis to the previous principle, but it keeps us from going crazy when we don’t have the answers and when we fail. In sum, living for ideals is important. However, being a complete idealist is usually impossible for the thinker who realizes that there are many sides to almost any issue, as well as for a weaker willed person. On the other hand, being a complete nihilist is also unacceptable. The best way to live is as a flexible idealist. That way, one can live both a meaningful and healthy life. Another dichotomy I would like to share with you is the dichotomy of trusting ourselves versus trusting others. It is often good to trust ourselves even in the face of adversity. It allows us to find our own places in the world. It is important for self‐esteem. Ultimately, any decision we make, even the decision to defer to others, comes down to us. However, complete trust in oneself is arrogant and can cause us to stop listening to others. It is important to hear others and take what they say seriously because they may have insight which we may not have thought of or offer information which we may not have known. The completely self‐trusting person can miss out on a lot of insight and can end up hurting themselves and others. Knowing this, one can understand the importance of deferring to the judgment of those wiser than us and those with more expertise. On the other hand, it is not good to always think, “well maybe I’m wrong and he/she is right.” It leads to paralysis in decision‐making and it sucks passion out of what you believe. It also kills self‐esteem. The ideal is to trust ones judgment with confidence, yet genuinely listen to others. That way, we can feel good about ourselves and act when we truly feel the situation calls for it; “It is a time to do for God.” (Psalms 119:126) On the other hand, we can listen to others and gain from them; “Who is wise? He who learns from all people.” (Avot 4:1) Daniel, you are a special guy who I feel privileged to know. I wish you much success in all you do. May you live a fulfilling, happy, healthy, humble, confident, honest, and upright life. ‐Yaakov Weiner

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Dear DJ, Remember when I barely talked and used to call you Daniel? And you would sometimes just stare at me and wait for me to talk? Yeah, those were the days… Anyway, I think I’ve learned a lot from you in the past few years about how to be more confident, and I would definitely say you’ve made a huge impact on my life, so I guess it’s time I return the favor! I think the biggest thing I’ve learned in the past few years is this: If you are unhappy with the way things are, do something to change it, because continuing in the same fashion will never make it better. In fact, it will just make you bitter, cynical, and hopeless about the situation. The longer you feel like that, the harder it will be to see a way out. I hope that you will always have the knowledge to realize when you’re not happy with something, as well as the knowledge to find a solution . (Notice how I said “A” solution, not “THE” solution– there are always many ways to do the same thing, so find a way that makes you happy. If one way isn’t good, there’s always another one.) Another thing I strive to do is to look past people’s faults. Nobody is “perfect.” Everyone will have some little thing about them that irks you. However, you have to realize that in the grand scheme of things, it JUST DOESN’T MATTER. They’re still a valuable person, and getting frustrated about something so silly is a huge waste of time and energy. Unless someone has a pretty major character flaw, just take a step back and look at him or her as a whole person, rather than as a conglomeration of individual character traits, some of which may really exasperate you. Essentially, patience is the key here. The more patience you can have with others, the better able you will be to feel positively towards them. When you feel positively towards others, and are able to step back and see them for their whole self rather than their minor annoying character traits, it is much easier to be able to handle them. One last piece of advice would be to think well and hard about things, and then put them into action. You tend to push major decisions out of your head like you’re running from them (ex. career choices, girl things, etc.). Sometimes you can be too spontaneous, and it can get you into some messy situations that could be avoided if you really give it some forethought. Having a plan isn’t a bad thing, and sometimes can be helpful to be working toward some tangible goal. Having a solid goal or two can be all that is needed to have some direction, purpose, and meaning in life. Yes, it means limiting your options a bit, but you can always go back and change it! You won’t get a good idea of what needs to be done by just thinking about what you want; you need to just start actually working towards something for a while. Make a choice, try to follow it through, and if you find yourself not liking it, go back to square one. Otherwise you might just sit at square one forever and never get a sense of which way you should be going. They say this a lot in school I think – You won’t learn by just watching someone else do it, you have to try it for yourself. Best of luck DJ/Daniel, and Happy 21st Birthday! Oh yeah, and one last piece of advice – Don’t you dare stop being my friend, OR ELSE. Love, Diane Algava

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“My Rule” When I was asked to do this project I thought about the way I have lived my life thus far and I can see one common trend. I don’t get afraid. Sure, I fear things like Roller Coasters and horror movies (Haven’t watched one since I was 12) but those are small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. When I say I don’t get afraid it takes a deeper meaning. When I was 10 years old I was diagnosed with cancer. A small pain in my knee went from being “Growing Pains” to forever changing the course of my life. I can distinctly remember one time when I was unable to sleep where I heard my parents talking in the kitchen. They were using phrases like “Mortality rate” and “Chemotherapy treatment”. I started to cry and my parents heard and came to my room. That is probably the first time my mantra came into my life. I was told I would never play hockey or even run again. On top of that I was told that for the rest of my life I would need the assistance of a cane of crutch to aid my walking. 12 years later I walk without the use of a cane, play multiple sports and am to a point where people don’t notice I have leg issues unless they see my scars. Although the main phrase I use is “don’t get afraid” I feel that I need to expand it to another level. Don’t be afraid of doing something you want to do. You should never look at something you want to do and not do it because of public pressure. Don’t be afraid of pushing the status quo or pissing someone off. See something you disagree with? Stand up and tell them what you don’t agree with. Wanna get national attention by bringing a sign to a rally that says “Palin! Call me!” with your cell phone number on the bottom? DO IT! Wanna interview a porn star on Yeshiva University radio and ask her about religion? DO IT! Wanna fight the school administration about censorship? DO IT! People are afraid of doing things that push the status quo but without those people who push it, we would not have the same world we have today. If George Washington didn’t fight back against the British, would we have America? No, no we wouldn’t. (Did I just compare myself to George Washington? YOU BET YOUR ASS I DID!!!). Take a stand, fight back, push the status quo, and most importantly, DON’T BE AFRAID. If you believe in your cause then you will succeed. That being said, don’t be a dick. ‐Eitan Levine
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What follows may be entirely unintelligible, but it’s supposed to be me listing the most important things to me. To that end, let me start with the thing that I think is most important. Friends. I really have no idea what I would do without my friends. I care more about them than anything else (even Harry Potter; I know, shocking). For that reason, I’m one of the only people I know that are still close with almost half their 1st grade class. I don’t believe in forgetting friends or moving on. That’s not to say that I stop making friends either. Wherever I go, I constantly make new friends, but I refuse to let go of my old ones. As the expression goes, new friends are silver but old ones are golden (at least I think that’s how it goes. I may have just made that up). The result: I have at least eight people that I can call best friends. Some are from elementary school, some are from high school, some from NCSY, some from Israel, and some from YU. My point in rambling, even though I’m only 20 and I have a lifetime ahead of me with a lifetime of people left to meet, I don’t plan on forgetting anyone, because my friends are special to me and nothing can change that. Another thing that is important to me is religion, or, to be more specific, G‐d. In my opinion, I have a pretty fantastic life (the fact that I have so many good friends pretty much makes that a given), and I strongly believe that everything is from G‐d. Therefore, I do my best to follow the Torah as best as I can because, let’s face it, what G‐d asks from us may seem like a lot but it’s nothing in comparison. We’re coming out ahead. The third thing I find most importance is dreams‐ Don’t be afraid to have them, and never stop trying to pursue them. Friends are great, but without a goal to chase after, life can lose its meaning pretty fast. Dreams are what drive us, and there’s no such thing as a dream too big. All that means is a longer chase. ‐Josh Redlich
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So keep friends close, dream big, and thank G‐d for it all!

 

Dear DJ, I have no idea how to format this or make it look or sound deep and wise. I had an idea that I would write a lovely letter in which I divulged the wisdom of the ages. However, as I am only a few years older than you, this is not going to happen. I only have bullet points and it isn’t great truths or anything. Stay true to yourself and don’t let this sway you in any major way.
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Always know where your towel is. People are crazy; just accept that fact. When it comes to common sense, it isn’t. Have something that makes you smile – at least 10 min a day. Particularly when you are busy. Communication isn’t about what you say; it is about what people hear. Never underestimate the power of whimsy. Keep your frame supportive, but not like a vice. Nobody is perfect. This includes you and me. Cut yourself some slack once in a while. This is not the same as slacking. Get as much sleep as you can – make it a priority. There will be bad times. That is what friends are for. When something goes wrong/ you have a fight/ someone is hurt– ask them why. Try not to interrupt them when they tell you. Bring a good book with you all the time – you never know when you’ll have to wait. Mentor/take under your wing somebody younger – they will teach you about yourself and other ideas that never occurred to you. Helping others is rewarding – but your well‐being comes first. If you hurt or get sick you won’t be much help to others. Sometimes listening and not giving advice is more helpful than expressing a personal opinion. Your socks don’t always have to match – unless you are at a job interview of course. Be able to laugh at yourself – it will feel better than being offended all the time. Sometimes it is nice to just stay home. Good sites for background noise: Rainymood.com and soundsleeping.com Have a comfortable chair to lounge in. Hugs help. Sometimes there is nothing you can do. Sometimes just being there is enough.

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But I am sure you knew these things already. I am most likely repeating myself. But hey, I do what I can. Hope this helps! Love, Kali Smith
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DJ,   The past year we spent living together has technically been as long as any other, though it may have seemed perhaps a bit longer. Throughout, as you may have noticed, I have learned much about myself, with you and Pocket being close runner‐ups. In that way, I believe that our living situation has been remarkably mutual. I could write an entire list of things that you are and that you want to be, but I believe that you are quite aware of them by now. In light of that, there are a few that should be mentioned. First and foremost, I believe you are a dedicated person. You aspire to, often times very mechanically, prioritize and follow a set order of what is important in the short term and in the long term. That, paired with your sincerity and compassion, makes you a valuable friend indeed. Sadly, from what I know of not just you, but myself and others, it is our greatest attributes that are also our downfall. From what I have gleaned in my brief opportunity of getting to know you, I have noticed that it is these very things which cause you to worry too much. To put what I am trying to say briefly ‐ take the care without the worry; that leads to fear. I am unsure as to why you aspire to be an accountant; your spirit is dynamic and insatiable. You want to learn, you want to see, and you want to hear what others have to say. The proof of my assertion, I believe, is in your very asking for these letters. Maybe you decided on accounting because your way of pursuing the order that I mentioned earlier ‐ but that question is for you to answer alone. Speaking of questions which need answering: in regards to the religious conundrum, I have found (at long last) that it is important not to worry about it too much. I realize that you in particular are torn between your parents and are at a loss to please them both in that way. Please yourself. Live your life in the way you see fit ‐ and I say this to you because you are grounded, as well as I am, by your moral imperative. For me, my ethical values and the people I hold dear are my anchor, without which I would be terribly lost. You know better than I do that in swing dancing, one must initiate, try something new here, and follow the flow there. You were there when I started trying to swing dance; I was afraid. Don’t be. Don’t doubt yourself and if you build your esteem from within you will never have to. A few quotes that I think would serve you well: "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." ‐Albert Enstein "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ‐Dr. Seuss "Closed‐mindedness begets ignorance. But be wary that your mind isn't so open that your brains fall out completely." ‐Myself

Stay in touch, ‐David Elkaim
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In a romanticized world we may find that the things we are bothered by are wisely discarded so that we can make room for a brighter future. A man who is engaged to marry a certain someone with whom he does not quite get along and who may even seem maniacal and vindictive. In our imagined reality he may finally find the courage to leave her despite his declaration of undying love, and as a reward find his true love with whom life would be perfect. In this world, one may finally take the initiative to quit their job and thus pursue their true dreams. However, this is not so in the reality we must actually deal with on a day‐to‐day basis. We may finally courage the removal of an obstacle only to find that what seemed to be better is similarly if not more antagonistic. The love of my life presents one of the boldest examples of this social misnomer. I first dated this woman, then just a girl, in high school. This relationship ended as soon I was presented with opposing feelings. I began to see her as too involved, too needy. Between high school and college, before I would eventually end up with her once again, I had a couple of flings. It seemed that all of these were patterned in the same way. A week of excitement followed many weeks of misery. Neither of these relationships lasted as long as my previous stint in high school had. The only similarity was that I lost interest as soon as I began to see these women as antagonistic. When my life swung back to my high school sweetheart I was presented once again with a similar theme. Initial love and adoration was followed by a disdain towards her mutual love. Much to my credit, I had learned that this desire to run had nothing to do with her and everything to do with me. It suddenly dawned upon me that no matter who I decided to connect with, she would eventually wear me down and leave me resenting my decision. This is the most freeing realization I had ever been struck by. My romantic notion of finding the perfect situation shattered before my eyes but I was left with a more practical outlook. No matter what I had, I was bound to poke gargantuan holes in it and watch as the excitement burst out like blood out of a severed artery. The trick is not to find a new body, but to fill these holes and retard the dangerous flow of blood. We find joy in imagining a romanticized world but none whatsoever in living within reality. Whatever we run away from is bound to present itself later in life. We might as well learn how to deal with these blockades when they present themselves. Who knows, instead of being confronted by these challenges we may just learn to love them. ‐David Shinefield
17 

 

You wanted us to tell you the best advice we would like to give you: My grandfather, Jacob Handelman (roughly 1875‐1962), was a very warm and loving person. He would always give the following advice to Handelman sons who were getting married. We had to assume that it was really tongue‐in‐cheek since he was a kind person and loved his wife Minnie; they were married for over 70 years. He would call it in Yiddish "tzareisen de kats," which means, I suppose, "ring the cat." The object of the advice was that a new groom should take his new kalla and tell her that if she doesn’t do exactly what he says, this is what he will do to her. Then the groom is to take a cat and ring the cat’s neck with his bare hands. This is to scare her and make it clear that this is a man’s world and she has to do what he says "or else!" Again, taken from a man with an extreme loving demeanor and kindness, it was funny. But we always refer to tzareisen de kats in fun when we want to make this point. Love, Papa Neil ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Dear Daniel, I could probably give you the usual motherly advice, like: Clean your room, brush your teeth, and clean your dishes. But I won’t. Instead, the advice I can give you is to never lose your sense of humor. It can come in handy for everyday life, especially when it comes to interviewing for a job. Keep on running; it will keep you fit and healthy. Make sure your ukulele is tuned up, since you never know when you’re going to have an audience to play for. Make sure you have all your ingredients on hand before you start cooking. It will save on multiple trips to the store. You can make your famous beef‐barley mushroom soup for me anytime. And finally, make sure whoever you pick to marry, you can swing dance with her down the aisle. It’s your life, make it your own, your way. Love Always, Mom
18 

D   J,

As you know I have been around YU for a while, and I always seem to have an answer for everything (whether correct or not). Though with this time I have had the chance to spend a decent amount of time with you. You asked me (I am still uncertain why) for advice. Well, the best thing I can tell you is to look around you and look at the people you are surrounded by. If you are happy with your friends then you will be happy with yourself. Sometimes we take our friends for granted, and then once they are gone, or move on to a different stage in their life, we realize what we lost. But the goal is not to think about what you lost, rather remember the times spent together. My advice to you will be in Latin, Carpe Diem, “Seize the Day”. Most people tend to seize only 50% of their days, which isn’t bad, but you have a unique skill that you can truly seize all 100%. I mean, honestly, how many people have the skills to organize everything that you do? So the only advice I have for you is to be more confident in yourself, since you have the ability to do so much with yourself, all you need to do is believe. Also, you happen to be a lot better at not procrastinating than me, which is why you will probably get this letter so late. Yours truly, Jon Belolo ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Daniel Notpocket Handelman: hey Ivan, it's not too late to write the page of advice if you still wanted to. Do you think you'd still want to do it? Ivan Kaspruk: I'm sorry, I don't think I'm in a place to give advice. I don't think anyone but you can give yourself purpose. Daniel Notpocket Handelman: I’m not asking for purpose; I’m asking for a different perspective or something you live by or value/feel Ivan Kaspruk: there’s my perspective then, I guess Ivan Kaspruk’s Advice Via Facebook Chat

19 

 

Daniel, My good friend, what advice can I give you? I would say a key point in life is to never forget where you came from and how much you have accomplished, but yet not be satisfied. Always strive to be the best person you can be. There’s always a higher mountain to climb (unless you've done Everest). Part of life is getting people to like you, but never forget who you are. Always act with your own personality, and don't just try to please people just because. Pick your friends carefully because, whether you like it or not, they will be a big part in molding who you are. Always look for real meaning in life. A lot of the world’s temptations are appealing, but after the few minutes of pleasure they give you, what else is there? Just a thought to ponder... ‐Daniel Kotsias ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ BS"D Danielsan, I'm very honored that I've had any impact at all on you. But then again, I do what I can. Regardless, just because I'm writing this for you doesn't mean that it should be the final say on our relationship; let's keep it going. And if you're looking for advice, I guess I can give you a reminder along those lines. Life is a series of relationships. There are relationships between you and yourself, between you and other people, and between you and Hashem. Often in life we lose track of the simple nature of the relationship. Relationships (at least successful, healthy ones) are built on love and trust. So maintain that love. Maintain that trust. Keep it going. Oh and have fun too. Tootles! ‐Michoel Kerendian 
           

20 

 

Sitting here thinking about what "sage" advice I can give to someone like you, I started thinking back to the first time we met. It was during your sophmore year of high school. You went up to be a chazzan for mincha, and I don’t remember the exact details, but something you did as chazzan was a bit out of the ordinary. I decided that that would be a good way to start a conversation with you – just to see who you were. That conversation led to the most gratifying chavruta I had during my year in Chicago. So the point is, I guess, not to be afraid to approach new people. Every person is a world of its own, and you never know exactly whose world you will touch, who you will connect to, who will inspire you, and who you will inspire. You never know what any actions of yours will do to other people. Never be afraid to reach out and to open up. ‐Zev Gold ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Dear DJ, We have spent many good times together. The first time I met you in the airport in Israel, I knew you were a cool cat. We spent the summer of 2006 rooming together in NCSY Kollel; you came to visit me in Dallas, Texas in the summer of 2007. There is a picture of you in my high school yearbook. We spent a year rooming together in Israel. All of those moments were a blast. If there is some word of advice that I could give you, it would be “keep to your values.” You are one of a kind. Don’t feel tied down to a society or a group of people. When we come into this world I believe we have a mission. And every person has his own mission. I believe one should try and follow the Torah as much as possible but that does not mean you need to give up your own life or your own personality. I would say try and find out what your purpose in this world is for yourself; try and set goals for your self to accomplish your purpose in this world. I believe you can accomplish those goals with your personality and character. I wish you all the luck in the world and try not to keep your eye off the ball. ‐Baruch Shawel
21 

  Daniel:

I agonized over this project for a while. I started and stopped, tossed away a version and delayed completing it until I arrived at an epiphany that never came. I came to two conclusions: First, my experiences, successes and regrets don’t necessarily transfer to you so I can’t tell you how to live your life even upon request. Second, although I fought hard to avoid clichés, I believe that we all just want to be happy. Obviously, that means something different to different people. However, I am a happy, content person so I’ll tell you why that is, and maybe you can cull some value from my explanation. Unfortunately, these mostly turned out to be cliché’s. My apologies. My actions have consequences. It’s a concept I am attempting to instill in my children and one that I have not fully grasped. Essentially, it’s important to be mindful that each even seemingly innocuous decision, may have some fall out. I try to be kind and when I fail I try to apologize. It seems simple, but for a long time I behaved as though my words and behavior only impacted me. I try to remember that our words, actions, silence and inactions affect others. Where I used to live by the maxim of “I don’t care what anybody thinks of me” as an Orthodox Jew, husband, father of five and son to my parents I want people to say “that’s a good guy” because it impacts they’re perception of Jews, my family and how I was raised. That is a fine line, because you can’t live for anybody else, but you do have to acknowledge their perception of you. I believe that I know and have accepted my failings but that I am mindful of them in my attempt to become a better person. I’m not a perfect Father, husband, lawyer, friend or son but that’s ok because I know what areas I need to improve. I don’t necessarily know how but I’m working on finding out. Conflict will happen. It can be amicable or it can be aggressive. We have a choice. Avoid chippy, unnecessary and menial conflicts. Our dignity is more important than our pride. A personal failing I hope you don’t suffer from is that up until recently, I would judge people before I knew them. I’m not completely cured. Everybody has a story and I regret looking at people’s age, profession, attitude, gender even their behavior and labeling them. We have no idea what or who somebody is until we actually know them. Everybody has some value. If you are unhappy in your current situation do not bemoan it but find the positives and work to improve. I argue with my wife, my kids are not always well behaved, my work is not always fulfilling and I’m not always good at it, I have financial stresses and there is not enough time in my day to complete the required tasks and pursue my own interests. Nevertheless, I am unequivocally happy and at peace while striving to be better and to maintain this contentment. Basically, be nice, accept who you are and always know that you have the power to make things better even when they’re already pretty good. Finally, don’t hold too fast to your plans or who you think “you are”. What I wanted at 20 is not what I am excited to have at 31. ‐Mike Shacter

22 

 

Dear Dan, “Mentsch tracht, Gott lacht”. The Yiddish proverb “Man plans, God laughs” is on the one hand a simple concept – the idea that God controls the universe – but on the other, an extremely difficult idea to keep ever‐present in one’s mind. A common misnomer that has become popularized by well‐meaning but nevertheless nearsighted Hebrew school teachers is that Judaism was the first monotheistic religion to hit the world scene. It’s a nice talking‐point, but it fails to capture the essence of our heritage. The real significance of Judaism is not the belief in one God, but rather the principal of a personal deity who cares about each individual human being; a deity who strives for a special relationship with his favorite creations. And so man plans. We plan for ourselves, we plan for our children, we plan for our retirement, we plan for our future. Although we may be cognizant of some of these plans, much remains ultimately unformulated and unarticulated. We assume that everything will go “according to plan”. We weave for ourselves a tapestry of security that is seemingly impenetrable to unforeseen circumstances. But this tapestry is illusory and the security is false. Even the best laid plans inevitably are subject to change, sometimes for better and sometimes, seemingly, for the worse. And so God Laughs. God laughs at man’s perpetual forgetfulness that He runs the universe, that His plan is the only plan that matters. God laughs because He is paying attention to our plans and He is concerned about our well being. God does not laugh out of a sense of malevolence or spite, but because sometimes laughing is easier than crying. To know in our minds that God controls the universe is easy enough to acknowledge. To trust in our heart of hearts that God has a plan for each and every one of us represents the challenge of a lifetime. Listen to God’s potches and know that He loves you. ‐Paul Cantz

23 

 

I think that what you are doing is a great idea. I think it is a great way to hear what is important to other people and what they think should be important to you as well. I am also honored that you feel I have made a significant impact on your life and that you want me to participate. However, I do not feel comfortable giving over general advice to you, or anyone else for that matter. It is nothing you have done that has made me not want to participate. It is due to all of my own actions and decisions throughout my life that I feel I am not someone who should be giving advice. I am typically a a caring and selfless person (or at least that's the type of person I always hope to be when I wake up in the morning). However, despite that aspiration, I still manage to be a horrible, selfish person with an anger management problem and I find myself constantly apologizing to the ones I love for doing or saying stupid things because I was only thinking about myself at the moment. Most of the time I am forgiven (to some extent), but every day I replay in my head all of the stupid things I've done or said throughout the years and wish I could go back and change all of them and wish I was less selfish. And sometimes, I can't be forgiven at all. I haven't told this to many people, but when I was 15, my grandmother (who basically raised me from the day I was born) had been in the hospital due to pancreatic cancer. She had been in a coma for quite a while, but she eventually woke up, and the doctors said she didn't have much longer, but at least long enough that we could get her a special bed and other things, and she could come home and stay there with periodic nurse's care for a while. They said she could come home in time for Rosh HaShannah. Obviously, my parents felt it was only right to ask me how I felt about this situation because she meant so much to me and I would have to see her every day in the horrible state she was in and I, being selfish, said I wouldn't be able to handle it. Problem was, my grandmother was already aware that this was a possibility and then when she was told she wasn't coming home, she lost hope. She passed away the day after Yom Kippur. I have spent the last 6 years of my life angry at myself for how selfish I was that day and constantly blaming myself for my grandmother's early death. Even my mom blamed me for a while. That is partially why we don't get along today as well as we used to. It gets better with time, but it will never be the same. I don't feel like someone like me should be giving advice when I'm the type of person who needs it myself. If there's anything you can take from this message it's that I'm truly sorry I kept forgetting to respond to your messages and that you should keep being the kind and caring person that you already are. Daniel, when you meet new people, everyone sees that you are a funny and fun‐loving person, but it doesn't take them long to realize that you are a super kind and caring person too. Just keep being who you are. ‐Anonymous
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My Dearest Daniel, I miss our long hard talks. They really solidified our rock‐hard relationship. You grounded me in a very turbulent time in my life. Though you did not specifically ask for my advice I figured that I would impart upon you a story that l heard when I was but a little stone. A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him. From this we learn: 1. Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy; 2. Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend; 3. And, when you’re in deep shit, it’s best to keep your mouth shut! Keep on Rollin’‐ ‐Boulderina

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Some Words of Advice By: Toviah Moldwin The task of writing a letter of life advice is a daunting one. It is invariably true that no one piece of advice, no single word of wisdom, will remain relevant in every life situation. The world is too complex and too unpredictable for a rule–or even a system of rules‐to ensure order and sanity in our daily lives. At the end of the day, we humans cannot rely on hard‐and‐fast axioms, but rather on heuristics, that is, ‘rules of thumb’, or general guidelines that are true and useful often enough that we can feel comfortable incorporating them into our lives. It is with this disclaimer that I offer my advice, that this letter is nothing more than a series of loose guidelines and ideas, and that these comments may be pertinent at some points in your life, yet at other times they will be completely irrelevant. My first point relates to identity, how you relate to yourself and to the rest of the world. Since the earliest civilizations, men have lived as part of artificially constructed systems. The systems to which I refer are social, political, intellectual, and religious. People cannot survive without these systems‐or rather, they can, but a life without the sense of community and direction provided by these systems can hardly be said to be a life at all. Of course, no one is a member of every system, and many can do just fine only identifying with a few or even a single system. Regardless of how many systems a person chooses (or is compelled, by virtue of his circumstances) to adopt, the systems to which we ascribe are essential parts of our identity and our sense of purpose and personal significance. Nevertheless, it is important to have a sense of self which exists externally to the systems in which you find yourself; ultimately, you need to be true to yourself‐that is, your own knowledge, understanding, and conscience, even if it means that you are stepping over “party lines.” On the other hand, do not allow your own opinions or predilections to overpower you and stop you from appreciating what others have to say; at the end of the day, you are the one who makes decisions about your life, but it is your responsibility to yourself and others that you weigh every consideration before making decisions. My second point is simpler and a bit more straightforward. Be human. Not just any human, but a good human. An awesome human. Enjoy yourself and learn to love your life, but remember that the greatest joy in life is not self‐gratification but doing for others and directing your actions towards some higher purpose. Always continue to develop your artistic, intellectual, and athletic abilities. There should never be a moment in your life when you are not in the middle of a book. Obviously, you can’t be reading at every second, but you should always know, in the back of your mind, that you have an ongoing ‘project’ of reading a particular book and that you will get back to it when you have the opportunity. Keep a mental list of books you intend to read so that you never have ‘downtime’ between books. Have a regular routine of exercise; all too many people in our day have given up on that essential part of life‐‐don’t let it happen to you. Perhaps most importantly of all, remember to have good friends and to be a good friend. Treat your friends with dignity and respect and be there for them when they need you; your friends will be your lifeline when you are sinking under the pressures of your life. Finally, be a moral person. Of course, morality has a different meaning to every person, so in the simplest of terms, don’t hesitate to put the needs of others before the desires of your own, even if it may cause some inconvenience to yourself. By taking heed of these suggestions (and the many other important suggestions that you will encounter in this book and in the rest of your life), you will have the opportunity to be human par excellence; perhaps the highest compliment that can be paid to a person.
26 

Daniel, I’m really glad to hear that I have had a positive and lasting effect on your life. As I have met many new people and have had many new experiences in my life since we were in middle school, I have been given quite a bit of advice to problems that I was facing. Here are some of the ones that I personally feel have helped me out when I’m stuck in a sticky situation or have had some sort of impact on my everyday life. I hope what I’m providing you with will one day help you as it has for me.
 

As simple as this one sounds, you would be surprised at how many people neglect this concept; if you’re not happy with a situation you’re in sometime in your life, change it. Seriously, so many people wake up every morning dreading to take on the day. Don’t be one of these people. If you don’t like your job, find another one. If you’re not happy with a relationship you’re in, don’t just settle, find someone else who’s more compatible for you. It’s your life, and, as an independent adult, only you have control of how you feel and where you want to be in life. Take time to admire the little things in life. So many people (including me) sometimes tend to worry too much about things such as the future, relationships, and finances. But it is very important that you take time every now and then to appreciate the little things in life that most people take for granted. For example, you look outside your window on a beautiful day and notice there is a beautiful sunset. Why not take some time out of your busy life to stop and admire this scene for a few minutes? Life is too short to always be stressed out, so keep a positive outlook on life and admire all the little things and situations in your life. Doing this will, no doubt, bring a stressed, anxious, or depressed mood up to a happy, joyous, and peaceful mood. We all take a major blows (and sometimes several) in life that we feel are too much for us to handle. Loved ones will pass away, friendships will come and go, illness and disease is everywhere, the list goes on. The reason I bring this depressing notion to attention is because I feel this piece of advice I have been given has helped me out the most. There are just some things in our lives that we truly don’t have control over. There is nothing you can do about it. We just have to be strong and understand that there is always something worse that could have happened. In fact, upsetting situations I believe most often make us a stronger person in the long run. Don’t dwell on all the negatives in your life. Life is way too short to do that. Focus on everything you have accomplished, the peoples whose lives you have had an impact on, and maintain a bright outlook on life. It’s better to live a short and happy life than a short, depressing and miserable one… These are little tidbits of advice that have helped me out in life and I hope that they have a positive impact on yours! I wish you the best of luck in life! ‐Matt Kochanny (a.k.a. “Koch”)
27 

 

Hi Daniel! First off, this is the greatest idea ever. Second, I am honored that you might think that I have any pearls of knowledge to share (and that, my friend, is where you are wrong). But, after looking at the long pages of sacrosanct knowledge that others have given to you, I will try to write a couple words. Number one, and something we might have discussed before, is that it is important to have a goal in mind before doing anything of significance. If someone gets in a car, driving without a destination, they could go across the country and not feel satisfied. If you don't have goals in life, it will be hard to ever feel satisfied. Plus, it gets expensive. You spend energy and time on things that aren't really #1, and then you don't have those reserves left for the things that are really important. Also, write these goals down. An unwritten goal is nice, but as soon as things get tough, you will waffle and waver. Having them written in a list will also let you know if you are demanding too much from yourself. (If some people wrote down their goals, they'd have an entire scroll. Keep it short.) Even though it's a little annoying at first, it's worth the effort to think of a goal or two to write on a sticky note every morning, or to write down some bullet points at the beginning of the year. Plus, it always feels good to look back at those lists a while later and say, "Man, I got so much done!" With that in mind, Number Two is Nike's slogan, "Just do it." I know, maybe it sounds like I sold out, but there's a lot of wisdom to this catchy phrase inherently created to make us spend all our money on fancy sports apparel. In order to get things done so we reach our goals, we have to block out all the noise in our heads that tells us to be nervous, unconfident, etc. Just do the damn thing. (Obviously, I'm the best person to give this advice because I procrastinate everything.) But in all truth, it's something I got much better at, especially once I started doing yoga. There, the whole point is to go straight into the posture without any thought. Sometimes, even with important things, the key to success is just doing the task. That letter to a friend you might be intending to write doesn't have to be perfect‐‐it's a lot better existing imperfectly than not existing at all. Thanks for being a great friend and for all the good advice you've shared by example. ~Michal Yablong‐Boyars

28 

 

Hey Dan, Sorry I'm flaky. And happy belated birthday. I don't know if this is what you want, but this is, to the best of my ability, my contribution: Falling into what is best articulated as my identity is a key process of growth. I have accomplished a lot in this process already, but have a long way to go. The identity is constantly evolving, responding to its environment; but a lot of it is constant and I find that comforting. I think about my identity as something I passively developed, something I fell into rather than elected. Maybe that's a way of feeling less responsible for my actions or avoiding decision‐making (something I often struggle with), but I think it has truth to it. And my painting has helped me understand this phenomenon. Artists frequently talk about paintings as if they have thoughts and feelings and life. A professor once told me he didn't care what I want to paint, rather what my painting needs. Obviously what we think our paintings need is a reflection of our own needs and desires. But it's more complicated than that. It often feels as if a painting has a mind of it's own and that there is a gap between the artist's desires and his painting's. Similarly, the activities I choose to participate in and the people I surround myself with shape who I am. And those are choices I make. But as human beings, we often know we need something even if we don't consciously choose it. Be it a healthier lifestyle, more hours of sleep, or graduate school. It is something our body or mind drives us to do, which can feel disconnected from personal will. It is a leap we must take between our conscious and our intuition. Tuning in to what your painting needs takes skill and patience as well as an ability to step outside of yourself. I think the same is true with self growth. Let's hang out. ‐Sarah Palmer
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Daniel,   I wasn’t sure how to impart any kind of wisdom to you, but here are the some pieces of advice I try to keep in mind. Don’t be afraid to try new things. I have found that I am always scared to do something out of the ordinary, but when I end up putting myself out there, I regret all the times I missed out. Always be honest with yourself. If you are uncomfortable with something, or people try to influence you, take a step back. Think about if it is truly good for you. Don’t let others compromise who you are and what is right for you. Happiness is something you have to strive for. No one can be happy all the time, but the only way to be happy most of the time is to work for happiness. Try to see the best in everything around you. Even if you are having a horrible day look for one thing that made you happy that day or one thing that went right. Always strive to look for the good and work towards what will make you happy. I truly believe as cheesy as it may be it will always work out for the best in the end and if it hasn’t worked out then it is not the end. Remember, you can’t let anyone dictate your happiness. You have to make your own happiness. Follow your heart. I know its cliché, but it’s important. If you don’t it will probably lead to more of the regrets in your life than anything else. I’ve found that even if it doesn’t work out, I do not regret as much when I follow my heart as when I do when I ignore it. Smile every day. Set aside some time to do something that makes you smile. It’s the only way to stay positive and happy. Don’t let anyone intimidate you and that includes yourself. Often times we are our own worst enemy. Don’t be your own undoing. Dream big and never tell yourself you can’t do it. Yes, in reality you may not succeed, but you will never know if you don’t try. Keep your friends close, but your family closer. Nothing is more important than your family. In the end they are the only ones you can count on to always be by your side. Friends may come and go, but family is forever no matter what hardships one has with them. With family there is nothing that cannot be worked out. When you love someone, don’t leave a problem unresolved. It may sound morbid, but you never know what tomorrow will bring so it is important to lay it all out on the table. Yes, the fight may escalate, but you need to insist on finishing it and coming to some kind of even ground or resolution before walking away. Live without regrets. It’s better to fix the problem today than to wait until tomorrow. Don’t focus on the past. It won’t help you. It’s more likely to cause you heartache than give you solace. I have found that agonizing on what could have/ would have/ should have been is never productive. Focusing on how one can move forward and fix errors in the past instead of obsessing and berating oneself about what you should have done should always be the priority. Kill them with kindness. When people talk down to you or treat you poorly, don’t take it to heart. Pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and remind yourself how amazing you truly are. Don’t dwell on criticism; dwell on complements (but not to the point of arrogance and vanity). There is a balance. Find that balance. Remember you may have difficulty with some things but you are strong at others. Remember getting into fights doesn’t help anyone. Stand up for yourself when necessary, but know when it is time to back down. Pick your battles wisely. Words are cheap and meaningless. In the dictionary there are thousands upon thousands of words and many of them share the same meaning. Actions are what define you. You can tell someone you care, but why should they believe you unless you show them with your behavior. You can tell someone you are right for a job, but how can they believe you unless you behave professional and have the confidence to demonstrate your skills that make you a true asset. So although many people say don’t let anything go unsaid I say don’t let anything go undone. I hope this has been helpful and I wish you all the best in everything you do. You are a unique individual who has a lot to offer the world, and you should keep that in mind every day. My last piece of advice I will leave you with may sound simple, but I think it may be the most powerful of all I have said: ‐Cindy Pollack 30  Never underestimate the healing powers, strength, and clarity that can be found in a hug.

 

We are all given a wonderful gift called life. God gave us existence and put us into this world, and it’s our choice what we do with the time we have. With my life, I try to make the most out of my time by following my passions and trying to make the world a better place. Hobbies and passions are things we are good at and enjoy. I think they are gifts we have, and we should use them to better ourselves and the world. You are better at something than most people, so use it to help others. Everyone has unique passions, and the world is only complete when everyone brings their unique strengths to help compliment everyone else. Always look for the best in people. No matter who the person is, there is good inside them. If you take the time to find it, you will treat people better, and become a better person yourself. You can learn so much from others. Everybody has a story, and if you just stop and ask them, it will enrich your life infinitely. Appreciate every moment you are given, even the hard ones. Because looking back on hard times, we can learn so much about ourselves. And be thankful to God for the good times. It is very important to be thoughtful, but sometimes you have to live in the moment without overanalyzing everything. When something feels right and wonderful, go with it. Let the wind sweep you away, stop and feel the warm embrace of the sun, and just enjoy everyday miracles. If you have the urge to run barefoot in the grass, run! Never forget how beautiful the natural world is. Rules are made to be broken, so have fun and be crazy sometimes, but make sure that your trouble will not harm anyone. Find a spot and make it your place to think and relax. That way if life ever gets too heavy, you have a place to go and sit out, think, and recharge. Remember that whatever troubles you have, you have the power to overcome, and life will always improve. And a positive attitude makes everything better. ‐Malky Weil
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Jacob Appelbaum’s Advice If I were prompted to write a page of advice, I would probably start by introducing the topic. That is ironically my first piece of advice; that essays should start off with an introduction. Also make sure its spell checked so you don't make a fool of yourself. It’s really really important to be smart and creative so you can do cool stuff. Be nice to people so you can delude them into thinking the stuff you do is cool and fun. If it’s hot outside make sure to drink plenty of fluids and stay indoors unless you have to leave for dire reasons. It’s easy enough to learn how to play guitar mediocrely but it’s difficult to learn how to be really skilled and even more so creative. Sad stuff is bad for you, avoid leaving your DNA in public places, and never take essay prompts too seriously. Also make sure you know what that little red thing is under chickens necks. Just so I don't stray from the topic, I want to point out that I think the most profound way to tell someone hello is to come up from behind them, tap them on the shoulder, and then when they turn around, give them a freshly baked apple pie, because that couldn't possibly be confused with any other message. I always make sure to remember that no matter where I am, the first Muppet Movie is one of the best movies of all time. We all know that no one ever actually watched the Fat Albert television show, so its just really disingenuous for them to reference it as if they have been watching since “the good old days.” We all know that's not true. John Wesley Harding is Bob Dylan's best album, but nobody knows it, and our local Baltimore bowling alley has happy hour from 4:30‐6:00 PM, which is really weird timing, and also I didn't realize bowling alleys sold alcohol until like, a week ago. Weird. You have to finally stand up to that lazy brother‐in‐law of yours, who refuses to get a job and support the family. Obviously don't demoralize him, but you know, just a swift kick to get things started. It’s been three years now since the incident so I see no good reason for him to keep stalling. Yeah, I know its tough, but it has to be done. The mustache has to go, it just doesn’t suit you long term, for a day or two it’s ok, but it’s just too much for a whole week. Make sure to state really witty observations about stuff like the fact that there are two Dominican hair salons on Reisterstown Road, and that a Pepsi bottle with a strange orange substance has remained upright in the middle of Colonial road for more than two days. Also the word ‘ingenuity’ doesn't come from the term Injun, meaning Indian (Native American). I thought it did for like, a long time, or at least suspected it for a long time. My grandparents live in this really neighborhood‐like part of Queens and that was the only part of New York city I would ever see, because my parents are from New York, so it never occurred to them to do touristy stuff with me and my siblings even though we were raised in Baltimore. As a result for the longest time I didn't get what the big deal about New York City was because it just seemed like a regular suburban neighborhood to me. Its like “why are you so excited to go there? Its just a neighborhood?” Don't make those mistakes based on limited information. Just to conclude, there are winners and losers out there, and it’s better to be a winner than a loser. Do what it takes...to be the greatest, because I want the best for you son (I'm imagining that this thing is for my son). Also, only get into cars with strangers if they're rich and will give you free money for no reason, and if you have to be a beggar on the street, that beats the corporate lifestyle, never give in. Listen to your mother.
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  I have relied on the advice of some special people throughout my life. People are so different that it’s tough to come up with a universal plan for fulfillment. What I do know is that living requires sustainability, health and companionship… so I will focus on these things. Nobody knows better about your own happiness than yourself. Try lots of things. Read up about the world. Go visit strange places and eat their food. Find something that makes you happy and do that thing for many years. Now you have a career. People seem to get really worked up over jobs and making money. If you focus on doing things that bring you enjoyment and fulfillment, no matter how lucrative, you will find that you can live off the results. Now that you’re able to sustain yourself, let’s keep you healthy mentally and physically. Find a way to stay active whether it’s a gym membership, recreational sports, or riding your bike to work. There is a big difference between being “in‐shape” and being healthy. Your body might not look in‐ shape but you could be much healthier than someone that looks like a gym rat. Your body will tell you if you are doing it right. The other key part is to eat food. If you are eating something that you cannot identify as a plant or animal you are probably doing it wrong. Learn to cook and understand where your food comes from and how it gets to you. These are important parts of the enjoyment of eating. When you start to appreciate the food you eat you will start to eat better and, in turn, become healthier. When you have gotten really good as preparing food, you can invite friends over and impress a special someone that may just become the love of your life. Food is social; it is a connection to our planet and our history. Now that you have this amazing life, go out and share it with some special person. You do not have more problems than those other people. You are not less desirable than those other people. There is nothing more attractive than somebody who is comfortable in his or her own skin. Go talk to them. You don’t need some special line or a magic phrase. You are a confident person with tons to offer so take charge of the situation. If it’s not working out you will realize it quickly and then just let it go. No time for sulking, there are more people out there to meet. In fact, this is important in more than just relationships. Move on. There are other people like you out there. Get with them. Make obnoxious plans and be amazed that you made them happen. Let others get infected by your enthusiasm and make the world better as a result. ‐Allen Sears Physics Professor, Ida Crown Jewish Academy
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Daniel, I have thought many times about what kinds of advice to offer. There are so many insights, and I wish I could share them all. But I will share with you some of the things I live by and I hope they inspire you like they inspired me. 1. Pirkey Avot says: "Ayzeh hu ashir? Hasameach b'chelko." "Who is wealthy? He who is happy with his portion." If you want to be wealthy, the ONLY way is to be grateful and appreciative. We need to look no further than the richest people we know. Actors, singers, athletes... many of them have money beyond our wildest dreams. But how many of them are truly happy? If they don't appreciate what they have, they are still poor, no matter how big their bank accounts are. Being "rich" is about how much money one has, but that is basically irrelevant to happiness. It is a number. Being "wealthy" is about how much somebody has in life. Be appreciative, be wealthy. 2. Change and Flexibility is power. The more a person is flexible in life and is open to change, to adapt to things going on around him, the more he will be successful in life. When the first horseless carriage came out in the early 1900's, I believe it was General Motors who changed their technology and manufacturing plant to include an engine in their carriages, and that ability placed them at the top of the industry at the dawn of automobiles. But in the 1970's and 1980's, the big, powerful GM stopped listening to suggestions about how to innovate. But the Japanese listened carefully, and worked hard to change and adapt. By the 1990's and 2000's, Japanese cars sold like hot cakes, and the mighty GM has been struggling to stay in business. The more flexible you are, the more powerful you will be in the world. 3. What makes somebody "cool"? I heard Rabbi Segal once define it as not caring what other people think about you. I like his definition, but I think that is only part of it. By that definition, a Martin Prince or Ralph Wiggum could be cool given a little self‐confidence. I think the other component is they put other people in a positive mood or state. Think about it: all of your friends have the ability to make you feel good. Isn't that why they are your friends? And people who change your mood so that you feel lousy around them are the opposite of friends. We tend to stay away from people like that. That is also why some people tell jokes and laugh with each other ‐ they are elevating their moods and the moods of others. So the way to make friends and the way people befriend you is by elevating the emotional state of others. (Obviously, you don't need any help in the area of making friends. I offer this one because it is so interesting to understand WHY some people tend to draw in many friends and why others tend to drive people away. Shana tova, Daniel. Kativa v'chatima tova! ‐Joey Kandelman
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While he was not part of my early influence, Rabbi Avraham Kook is one of those luminaries that I could not help but be drawn to. One of the reasons was his love for all Jews, no matter how religious they were, or what they did, he was accepting of everyone. And above all else, I would have to say that this is the one trait that I have a deep commitment to. When I interact with someone, when we exchange our stories, I keep in mind that they are just that – stories. Am I willing to lose a relationship or an opportunity because I believe that my story is better or more important than his? Am I willing to harm someone because I am intent on invalidating his or her story because I feel that it is incompatible with my own? One of the difficult things to do is to meet someone new and to do so without making up a story about him or her, to quickly sum up that person’s entire existence in a moment, and thinking that the short story that I just made up is the same thing as the person that I am just meeting. For example, sit and watch a person in an airport – who is in love, who is sad, who is rich, and who is important? And then give that person an opposite story. That person didn’t change, just my story about him or her. Those who are committed to Shmirat HaLashon, often use the saying that we should give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I suppose you could say that I do the same thing by giving someone a much better story than what he or she may be presenting. And just think of the opportunities that it presents! It has been my experience that human beings will grow into the story that you give them. If you see someone as incompetent, then he or she will, more often than not, fulfill your character development. But what if you see the other person as having greatness within him or her? Imagine the type of student that such a teacher makes. Finally, I accept that people have stories about me, and nearly none of them REALLY know me at all. Some of these stories are positive, and some are negative. But then, these are simply their stories, as important as they are to the author. And it is my point of view that stories are the most powerful transforming facility that the Original Author gave us. Or at least, that’s my story! ‐Leo Langevin

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 Daniel‐

Thank you for including me in this project. It is a tremendous thing that you’re doing, reaching out to those close to you to ask for their life advice as you approach a turning point: your transition from college to the “real world.” It reminds me of something I myself did when I was your age. But you have to understand that life is a journey, and depending on where someone is in life, he or she will have different perspectives, personal challenges, and questions that he asks himself. These bits of advice will not only vary from person to person but even within the experiences of any one individual. But that’s the beauty of humanity: we are all so different, and we each evolve and change over time. And perhaps that is my first message to you: learn to not only accept but appreciate the diversity of humanity. When you’re young, you want to be a fireman, police officer, astronaut, teacher, and the president all at once. But as adolescence hits and you have to start making life decisions, you realize that you are so limited. Life is short, man is finite, and you must choose one path for yourself. It can be depressing. But when you find the place where you most belong and gain satisfaction from your contribution to the world, you can look around at others, see how they are accomplishing your dreams for you, and take solace in the fact that the world has so many people doing so much for it in the best way they can. You can get a glimpse of the great plan that Ha—em has for us and the great wisdom with which He created the world. This is an inspiring realization which can change your perspective on the world. And in that spirit, you need to know, trust, and accept yourself. Be aware of your strengths and take pride in them, and do not become discouraged by your weaknesses. Gila Manolson has said that if you did not have weaknesses, there would be nothing for you to work on and strive for in this life. But that’s not the point of life. The point of life is to correct and perfect and follow in Ha— em’s ways. You need your weaknesses, but in order to work on them, you must be aware and accepting of them. At the same time, trust your gut. Introspection casts a lot of doubt into a person’s mind, and sometimes one becomes critical of things which are not objective negatives but differences. Again, difference is something to be embraced, not combated. So if something rubs you the wrong way or you believe that you are being unfairly criticized, listen to that voice within yourself. No one can tell you how to think or who you are inside but you. Always take seriously the way others think of you, but never be afraid to reject their opinions, even if they are older and wiser than you. No one really understands you but you. Similarly, you must never assume that you understand someone else fully. Pirqei Avot says, “Do not judge your fellow until you arrive at his place.” How can you ever arrive at a person’s place, though? You cannot live their life, you cannot undergo their experiences or perceive them in the same way that they did. You can never fully judge another, and as such, I believe that you should always choose to believe in the goodness of people. Many people corrupt their inner goodness or become corrupted, and that doesn’t mean that you should continue to deal with them if that is what they’ve made of themselves or had made of them. Still, cry inside for them and mourn the loss of their goodness. Speaking of Pirqei Avot, learn mussar every day for 15 minutes. A little bit every day will change your whole perspective on the world. A little bit every day and you’ll be surprised how much it’ll impact you. And learn Pirqei Avot. Learn it once. Then learn it again. And when you’ve finished it, learn it a third time. Pirqei Avot is replete with the greatest of wisdom, and you find its messages recurring constantly. The more you absorb its messages, the more refined and pure of a person you will become. And once you’ve finished it that third time, teach it to a child and see how much more you learn from him. It looks like I’m out of space. These are starting points. If you really understand what I’ve written here, the rest of the messages will spill out before you as you go. Best of luck in your journey, ‐Tal Kohn
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  To my dearest Daniel, First and Foremost, I want to tell you how honored I am to be asked to write a page of advice. I want you to know that you hold a very special place in my heart. We've shared a lot during the years and I always enjoy our interactions. You've often entertain me with your fun loving personality, and you intrigue me by bringing new thoughts and perspectives to the table. Most of all, the warm memories and the friendship we’ve shared has left a foot print on my heart with the letters DJ etched inside them . Anyway, to get down to the piece of advice, there are so many things to say, but of all ideas ringing in my head right now, there is one thought in particular that stands out as a lesson for a life time. I would like to explain the idea based on a thought from the Torah, my source of truth and guidance. There is a very climactic yet cryptic episode in the Torah in which Moshe Rabeinu asks G‐d for the opportunity to see Him face to face. G ‐d responds to Moshe that no man can have this level of revelation and live. Instead, the Almighty tells Moshe that he shall pass by Moshe and allow him to see the back of G‐d. Moshe has a deep mystical experience and so to speak ‘sees the back of G‐d.’ Chazal (our sages) have a tradition about this deeply powerful moment in Jewish history and say that Moshe’s vision was of a tefilin knot. Meaning to say that resting on the back of G‐d’s head was the knot of tefilin which rests on the back of the head tefilin. There are numerous questions to be asked here. Obviously if the Torah describes G‐d with a head or wearing a pair of tefilin, we are not talking about an actual head. An omnipotent being with no physical body or boundary certainly doesn’t have a head. So what is going on here? There are many deep Torah concepts to be learned here, but I would like to touch on one small element of this episode. What is a knot? And specifically what is a knot of tefilin about? And why is this so significant, so powerful, and so holy that it is said to be resting upon G‐d’s head? A knot is a connector piece. It unites two things together. The knot of tefillin rests upon the part of the brain that connects to the spinal‐cord, and therefore it represents the uniting of these two elements. The brain is the place of thought and ideas; it is the place where you search for truth. The head therefore becomes very significant because it is the only part of our body which can help us decide our path in life or make decisions about good and evil. The spinal cord on the other hand is a transmitter. It takes the thoughts of the brain and commands the body on how to function. This place translates thought into action. We signify the importance of connecting the brain with the spinal cord by placing a knot upon it. This knot tells us that we must act upon belief. It is all too often that we find ourselves knowing the importance of doing something, and yet deciding against it. For example, when walking into a cafeteria and seeing someone sitting alone looking for a friend, do you force yourself to sit with them, or do you go ahead and take the easy way out by sitting with your friends? If you are really tired at night, do you still go out of your way to call your dad to say goodnight? Etc. These are just examples of ways in which we may have a disconnect between thought and action. Therefore the message I would like to share with you is: “DO GOOD.” There is a beautiful world at your fingertips with opportunities to make a difference at every corner. There are always homeless people who could use someone to talk to, simply so that they can feel human again. There are parents scraping to make a few dollars to pay their rent. There are kids who just need the love of a big brother. Now we all know that these are noble causes to invest in. It’s easy to point to something and say “that is so sad,” but when are you going to act upon that thought? The message of the “kesher shel tefilin,” is to bring creed to deed. Take a thought and make it alive. Daniel, we have so much beauty bubbling inside, waiting to overflow and shower the world, our job is to take that potential and make it a reality. My dear friend, my advice and blessing to you is not to dream about life, but rather to live your dream. Thank you for this opportunity. –Gershie Meisel 37 

So this is my advice, so try to stick with me here.   Life man. Its’ real, and it’s crazy. I can spend the next paragraph or so just quoting some of my favorite lyricists and writers on their beliefs of just how crazy it is. But the thing that people tend not to realize is that that is what life is all about. Pure craziness. Things rarely go the way they are assumed to go, which is funny because this is coming from someone who maps out every situation from beginning to end. I have recently decided to stop that process though, because of just how unpredictable things have proven to be. So the question now is, “how do we maneuver ourselves down this road with tons of surprise twists and no brakes?” It’s a tough question, and the answer is that you just have to wing it. We all have the tools to survive; they are just so much a part of us that we barely realize that they are there. This past week I had some anniversaries of some pretty awful things. I was mentally preparing all summer for how awful this week was going to be. As the Monday started, I realized that I was actually having an okay day, same with the next, and the one after that. It dawned on me that I shouldn’t be mourning over what had happened, or dwelling on my past mistakes, I should be celebrating. We all should celebrate all of our past failures, all of our past mistakes, or anything that haunts us. Why is this? Because we are still here. We MADE it. We are alive. High fives and chest bumps for all. It’s hard to forget just how strong we are when we are feeling so lost. But all you have to do is take a moment, and realize that you are still standing, and you still will be standing next year, and the year after that……unless you don’t have legs, then you will be stumping (which is just as good, cuz when I say standing I mean it in the metaphorical sense. I have nothing against people without legs). All this crap we are put through just shapes us into these wacky crazy awesome people, and then we go meet some other wacky crazy awesome people and together we have wacky crazy awesome parties and, without realizing it, pick each other up and push each other forward through times that are too hard to get through alone. There are three things I really believe it is impossible to survive life without (asides from food, water, shelter, and shiny things). Those things are: respect, kindness, and smiles. I know I sound a little bit like I’m in some girly girl pageant competition, but I actually do believe it. These things save lives. They strip people of their loneliness and lift their heart, and even if it is just for a minute, they might remember it for a lifetime. The human soul is such a beautiful gift, and this planet has billions of them, each with their own story, their own hardships, their own smiles. When you share a smile with someone, it is as if you ignite this little connection that we all share, no matter what race, religion, size, color, or superpower (mine is donut‐vision). Cherish those smiles, and cherish every moment you spend with the people who make you smile. Introduce yourself to someone new and random; I choose people who are homeless or lonely, because making them smile, even for a second, is worth the world. So that’s my advice. Just continue being extraordinary, make people smile, and keep being that crazy kooky DJ that we all know and love. Here’s to a long lasting friendship. Wishing you nothing but the best, ‐Chava Weissberg
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Giving advice is a highly subjective activity in general, but when you have a target audience of one, it helps to focus the advice. I must ask myself, what in my experience is fitting not just for me but for the both of us? I could give advice that I myself don't follow because for some reason I wish I did. Such nuggets as: A stitch in time saves nine. Early to bed... A bird in the hand... However I'll stick to those bits of wisdom that I have been more or less able to integrate into my life and that have become fulcrum points of my personality. That aikido piviot around a center of ki energy that sends opponents twice your size flying. Let's begin:  It’s not a good idea to disinter bones from Revolutionary War soldiers and array them on the back window of your car. Cops might see them and arrest you.  It’s not a good idea to steal those flashing warning sawhorses from construction sites and drive around with them on the top of your car. Cops might see them and arrest you.  It’s not a good idea to throw bricks off a bridge onto cars.  Never set a rack of pants on fire in the department store. OK, I think you get the point. Let's just leave it at: 'Chochom, ainav b'rosho'. The wise man has eyes in his head. And G‐d, in wisdom, put our eyes in the front of our heads so we can see where we are going.  I know the more I focus on me (my needs, wants, pains, etc.) the worse I feel. Conversely, the more my sight is turned outwards, when I engage others with empathy and compassion, the better I feel.
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There is almost nothing as sweet as self‐control. (Hit it on the one.) So much self can be found in losing one's self in the moment. (I'm pretty Zen for a Rabbi.) Sometimes doing what is right is not what you or anyone wants, is painful, doesn't feel heroic and, like, totally sucks. Sometimes we don't have the strength to do it. Sometimes the only way to get through is lose our overblown ego and mechanically get things done. A handy skill to develop. Constantly seek to understand the world around you. The science, the mechanics, the history, the psychology, the technique. The who, when, where, how and why. It will make your mind beautiful and you fun at parties. Keep up with old friends who you still care about. There is great satisfaction in seeing those who you care about succeed. Work hard on your ability to love. And reap the rewards.

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With deepest respect, ‐David Ginsburg
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So this will probably be very cliché and not funny, and you already do many of these things, but take it for what it’s worth. Be happy with your downtime; have it be ok for you to be alone. Talk to yourself. Tell yourself jokes. Buy sexy lingerie and wear it around the house when you’re alone (Ok maybe not that last one). Take time to do absolutely nothing because you’ll miss it when you’re too busy to even do the things you need to. Don’t take yourself too seriously…or life…or anyone else. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Try not to take criticism to heart. Laugh at yourself…often. And try to laugh at the bad things that happen in your life. Don’t step on the cracks in the sidewalk or you’ll break yo mama’s back. Be nice to everyone and be open‐minded. The more people you talk to the more experiences and friends you’ll have. Try new things! Even little things like a new fruit or taking the alley home instead of the street. Experience everything! Be amused by the little things. Lie. Follow your appendix, unless you don’t have one, then you’re screwed. Give out “business” cards with your name and number on them to pretty girls you meet. Bring your wife a bouquet of dead fish every day…or at least on her birthday. Marry a girl named Ariana Wetak or Barianna Betak. Be happy. ‐Ariana Wetak
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Benjamin Baxley’s life advice From my parents: ‐ If there’s something you don’t know and you’d like to learn, look it up yourself. Don’t ask somebody else to do it for you. ‐ Don’t try to constantly please everyone, because you won’t be able to. ‐ Always listen to both sides of an argument, and don’t let emotions get in the way of reasoning. ‐ It’s good to have plans, but it also pays to be very flexible. From teachers: ‐ Only write what is needed to get the story across, and don’t change the story to have a happy ending if it shouldn’t have a happy ending. ‐ Under promise, over deliver. ‐ If no good can come from a conversation, don’t have it. ‐ Sometimes it’s better to just wait for a better situation than to drive ahead with plans. From books: ‐ Be patient, not tolerant. ‐ Honest people don’t need to pause when they speak, because they don’t need to take time to think if they’re telling each person the right lie. ‐ You appear much wiser when you listen than when you talk. Advice from myself, for myself: ‐ Don’t tell another person what to do, unless it affects you or somebody else. ‐ Avoid things that make you upset, and instead surround yourself in happiness. ‐ It’s best to not put off difficult things. ‐ Food is a great, simple way to cheer up someone’s day. ‐ Be decisive, but not forceful. That way it appears that you know what you want, but you’re willing to listen. ‐ When people tell you their problems, they usually don’t want you to fix them. They just want you to listen. ‐ I enjoy giving to people that like to give. I don’t give much to people that only take.

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In my short lifetime, I have learned that age and wisdom are indeed positively correlated. With every new year comes a plethora of new life lessons. Each individual lesson we learn plays a vital role in sculpting our beliefs and indirectly affecting the people we become. I am 21 years old, and I can’t say my belief system is anywhere near being sorted out and set in stone; however, among my ever changing beliefs, two remain constant. These two beliefs are basic, yet I habitually adhere to them and they haven’t steered me wrong: If you give respect you get respect. Once there is mutual respect, maintain it. To me, this could be a description of loyalty. Loyalty helps create, maintain, and perhaps enhance friendships and family ties. The people whom I am most loyal to are family members and close friends. Having such a large number of people who will always be there for me while I am always there for them is reciprocity at its finest. The bond that holds together two mutually loyal people is impenetrable. Such a rare bond should never be taken for granted. I firmly believe that the loyal people in my life collectively made me who I am. My second belief is trust. Not surprisingly, trust in a relationship, like loyalty, creates an unbreakable bond. Trust actually goes hand‐in‐hand with loyalty: in order to have a loyal relationship trust must exist; trust is the root that nourishes the tree of loyalty. If I were to measure the health of all my relationships, I would analyze trust first. To me, a relationship without trust isn’t a relationship at all. A trusting friend, family member, acquaintance, etc. is someone whom you can confide in; he/she is a crutch to lean on when times are tough. A friend of this caliber is also a loyal friend, which further explains how trust and loyalty coincide. ‐Evan M Kander
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Dear Daniel, I have always admired you. You don’t seem to make decisions at the drop of a hat. From what I can see, you put a lot of thought into the choices you make and that truly shows maturity. You know who you are and who you want to be, and you don’t let other people influence your decisions. I want you to know that I am so proud of you and everything you have accomplished. We are in very different places in our lives right now. Along my journey I have learned a few things. Maybe some of them will hit home with you. ‐Your family loves you unconditionally. Try not to take them for granted. ‐Spend time with the people you love while you still can. ‐Falling in love is easy. Staying in love requires work. ‐Don’t try to impress people by being someone you're not because, in the end, you'll lose yourself. ‐We don't have to do anything ‐ we always have a choice. ‐The older I get, the less I care about what others think of me. Therefore, the older I get, the more I enjoy life. ‐Past failures should never dictate who you are today or where you are going. ‐Enjoy life and cherish it. Remember the good times, the bad times, and the worse times, because each one has made you a better person and has helped you grow. ‐There is no alternative to hard work. ‐Life can sometimes be pretty tough but without these challenges, it wouldn't be called life. The downs in life make the ups much more enjoyable. ‐ Life is a journey full of obstacles. ‐ Live your life how you want to live it, not how other people want you to live your life. ‐You should never regret choices you have made. Everything you experience, good and bad, helps shape you into the person you are today. I love you Daniel Joseph Handelman, and I always will. I hope that your life is filled with happiness, success, love, and meaning. Don’t ever lose sight of what is truly important in life. Love Always, Your Big Sister, Melissa
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Letter from a soon‐to‐be Divorcée: Advice on Finding Your Basheret By: Anonymous I want to share with you some advice about marriage and finding the one you are meant to be with. It is not a good idea to go out with someone that you do not plan on marrying. This will just complicate things for the future. When you find the guy/girl that you want to commit to, there must be several things to handle in advance. Look into that person very carefully. Make sure that you have someone talk to their friends, neighbors, rebbeim and anyone else who knows them. If there is the tiniest red flag, you might want to reconsider the marriage. Analyze how they treat their friends and especially their parents. The way that they treat their parents is a hint to the way they might treat you. If someone much older and wiser than you does not think you guys are a match, take it into consideration. Do not ignore them; they have much more experience, especially if they are happily married for 10+ years. Once you get engaged and your fiancé starts acting "too comfortable," you should also rethink the relationship, because they are going to show their true colors during the engagement period. (Some may not show their true selves until after marriage, but you should definitely have an idea.) If you start to have doubts about the marriage and the reasons are legitimate, for example, their behavior is unacceptable, don't continue the engagement without talking to someone you can trust. Don't continue the engagement because you are embarrassed to end it and certainly do not continue the marriage itself and suffer because you are embarrassed of outsiders’ reactions. Marriage is something so Kadosh and beautiful. One thing that you aren't taught by your Chossen/ Kallah teacher is that marriage is not at all easy! The first year is THE hardest! You are living with a person for the first time. It takes a lot of commitment, and sometimes even therapy, but don't give up on a marriage. The more you work on it, the better the marriage will become. But do not suffer through a marriage. If you are seriously suffering, then talk to a Rav and get his advice on what to do. Even get a second opinion… or even a third! Another major thing you are not taught in the Chossen and Kallah classes is how to fight. You need to let certain things go and choose your fights. Don't continue the fights into the next morning. Find a method that works for you like using code words to end the fight. They are not worth the pain it causes! Really, marriage is all about commitment and compromise. If you have both, you should have a wonderful marriage. But if you are being abused in any way (this includes physical, sexual, mental, emotional, verbal, neglect and control) do not allow it to continue! Get out of the marriage before it is too late, before a child comes into the picture. Do not wait‐ just get out. It takes most people years to realize they are in danger before they get out, and sometimes it is too late and they lose their life. If you are not sure if you are married to the right person and whether or not you should stay married ask yourself this question: “Would you allow your sibling, child, friend to marry such a person??”

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*Life goals I think that it is a great idea to start a bucket list while you’re still young enough to actually complete all the things on it, and then actually get to it because time flies and you only live once. When you’re old, what are the things you will wish you were still young enough to do? Whatever they are, do those things a LOT. What are all the things you would need to do in order for you to be on your deathbed, knowing that you had lived a fulfilling life? It can be big stuff like places you want to go and the career you want to pursue, but it can also be stuff like, “Spend a lot of time with mom,” or whoever, “find out more about what your dad’s life was like as a teenager,” “read X book,” or “run around screaming for no reason.” Careful not to over‐think this, though I’ve been thinking about this too much lately, and I almost wish I could stop…it’s scary to think too much about how short life is! *Don’t get married (or engaged) before two years of dating One year may sound like a long time, but it is not. I’ve obviously never been married, but I have been in a three‐year and a two‐year relationship. One year is just not enough to get good idea of what it would be like to spend your life with a person. Two years isn’t either, but it at least allows more time for the initial infatuation to wear off. I think that before a person gets married, they really need to go through the phase where they get super annoyed by the other person’s flaws first. I think that there should be a good month (give or take) where you are really annoyed about at least a thing or two, and you really contemplate some negative traits that could either become more damaging to your relationship over the years or could even get passed on to your kids. If you come out of that phase, it will probably make your relationship stronger. If you don’t…you may begin on a slow, downward spiral toward a breakup. I think it’s related to what my therapist said, when I had one a few years ago: “I tell couples they have to have had at least one huge fight before they get married.” The most important point is: one year is not enough! What’s the rush anyway? You have your whole life ahead of you. If you feel like you just have to get married soon, maybe you should rethink your motives, you know? Just spending time with the person should be enough. *If your daughter is of age…talk to her about birth control I haven’t gotten to really talk to you in a while, and I know you’re pretty religious nowadays, so I don’t know what your stance is on “sex before marriage.” But hear me out! Too many parents have an unfair double standard with regard to their kids: they’ll think it’s normal for their son to be sexual, but their daughter is somehow too naïve or too “pure” to be sexual, so if they were to have sex before marriage, it would be the result of coercion from some guy. I think that it is important to remember that most people, at a certain age, become sexual beings, regardless of gender…even though it can be an uncomfortable thought for a parent. Many girls who are sexually active would like to be safe from unwanted pregnancies, but can’t get the best protection because they need their parents’ help to get information about and access to birth control. Whether it’s something parents condone or not, most people will become sexually active sometime before they are married. Might as well help your daughter feel good about herself and stay safe and healthy. Just think about it! ‐Jenna Cooper
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“No regrets.” that is my number one rule in life. This is something that seems very cliché but it is something that is very important to me. Throughout my life, I’ve had many experiences, some better than others, but I’ve never regret one of them. I’ve learned that whatever has happened in the past, has had great influence on the person I’ve become, and has led me down what I see as my right path in life. I give this same piece of advice to you and to everyone else, because it is something that, although obvious to tell others, is very hard to come to terms with about yourself. Everyone goes through their own struggle. There is no such thing as “struggling more than someone” or “struggling less” because every person handles things differently. People tend to find themselves in incredibly dark places in life. They drown themselves in their past and in their regrets instead of using them as an advantage to move forward. It’s like getting trapped in a riptide. People try and try to swim away from it and escape it and that just pulls them further under, when all they have to do is swim next to it, and to accept it, to be set free. On a happier note, always smile and always try to make others smile because no matter how dark the situation, laughter will always bring you out of it. When you find yourself in a bad mood, that one smile can change your entire perspective. It won’t change your situation but at least it will change your mood, which will lead you to approach the problem in a better way. A smile can also spark a connection between the most diverse of people. You can walk down the street and give even the smallest smile to a stranger and that could change their entire day, maybe even their life. I believe whole‐heartedly that that is the best part. One thing you should remember though is that we should not help someone just for our own personal benefit. We should help others for the sole purpose of making them happy. The last topic I want to talk about is God. When it comes to God, it is very hard to believe He actually exists, at least for me. How do we know He is there if we can’t see Him? When a person wants to prove something true, he shows physical proof of it. But there is no physical proof of God. Yes, we see “miracles” everyday but how do you know it’s from God? It could just be a coincidence. It’s taken me a long time to realize that we don’t need physical proof to prove something is actually there. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has an analogy about a fly inside a jar with the top open. You watch the fly struggle and struggle to get out. He goes left, no success. He goes right, still no success. Finally, he gives up all hope and just lies down. But all this fly had to do in order to be free was to look up. We need to remember that if we are ever feeling down, we just need to look up. Sometimes you just have to have faith and know that God has a plan for you and is always watching over you and it will all eventually work out for the best. Right now, it’s easy to be cynical and not believe but we just have to ingrain it into our heads that God is constantly there for us and loves us. In the end, everything will fall into place. ‐Shifra Nelson P.S. Nothing good happens after 2 am
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Sruly Heller’s Advice Read, and listen. Be humble, but first, read, and listen. Knowledge will build and sustain you, but first you must grab it, by any means, utilizing any tool available. You must stand outside in the rain with your eyes to the sky and your mouth open, catching the water, and this stuff really is as plentiful as water, if you wanna have any chance. Now, you may have once done this as a kid, perhaps to save the cost of a soda, and realized that you really don’t get much water out of it, and that’s exactly the point. It comes slowly, not in rivers but in drops, but it adds up, it all adds up. From but a putrid drop humanity springs forth, and ponder what incredible things they have done and will do, starting with that little drop. So too here. But first, be open, be always open, for new information, new ideas, new perspectives, all these things that comprise what we see when we look, and what we think about what we have seen. First we must be open, and then, we must be realistic. We don’t know shit about fucking anything. This is where experience comes in, because even if you devour all the mediums of information and ideas around you, you still won’t know for a long time how to perceive it, and what to do with it. To that end, we have adults. I’m talking ac‐ tual adults, people with years and experience, who’ve shared our struggles, weathered ones we can barely comprehend, and made it to the other side. They may even have doctorates; those are occasionally useful. Be open to what they have to say, listen closely, gain all the knowledge they acquired from their own investigations, filtered through the dec‐ ades or so that they have on your young ass. Love. Love love love love love love love love love. Love your friends, love your family, love your‐ self. Forgive yourself. Forgive those around you. Your heart must be as open as your mind, for your heart will render all you learn and feel with meaning, and meaning is the currency of a happy life. Don’t be a fucking idiot. This is a general rule, as it applies to every possible situa‐ tion or idea that you can encounter. Learn and love, but be not lax in your own protection. Use your discretion, it’s the only detector that you have, and if you’ve learned and loved, you’ll have a goddamn good one. For me right now, this is what helps and informs me the most, and I hope it will be of use to you as well. Let’s recap. Read, read, read every‐ thing. Books, textbooks, magazines, shit you find on empty subway seats, etc. Just read. As always, I say things in a rather disjointed man‐ ner, so let me add that even before you read, you must be prepared to accept whatever you may learn, if you determine it to be the truth. Oh fuck, that reminds me. TRUTH. If meaning is the currency, than truth is the law. Break it, and you will find yourself incarcerated in a prison so intense that you will have barely have thought to have lived at all. As I was saying, be open to learning, be it new ideas or emotions or perspectives, be it fucking anything. If it comes, and it smells ok, accept it. Seek knowledge. Seek it like your life depends on it. It is the spiritual water that gives physical water the practical necessity that it is. Listen. Listen to everybody. Your friends, your peers, your siblings, kids younger than you, everybody. Listen extra closely to adults. Love everyone, especially yourself. The love you have for others will only be purer if you can confirm the taste of it your‐ self. Forgive everyone, and again, forgive yourself especially. Only if you forgive yourself can you learn anything from your mistakes and move on. Be careful, and don’t be stupid, we don’t want you getting hurt out there. Oh, and be kind, that’s important too. I probably missed something. Learn to not take it too hard when that happens. P.S. my girlfriend would be remiss if I didn’t add something along the lines of like, eat your vegetables and shit. So yeah, try not to eat all the Cheez‐Its at once. P.P.S. Life is too short for bad beer. P.P.P.S. MUSIC
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Dear D.J.‐ I love that you write songs to play on the ukulele, that you have a "want" to meet new people and are willing to try almost anything. To make friends you should ask friends to do stuff together and when you do that something you will find out what you have in common and it will make it a stronger relationship. Adults can make friends by being nice. Say “hi” to people you don’t know and to keep friends you do know. When you are a parent make sure your kids have a good education and they like their school. Do not spoil them. Go camping at Devil’s Lake. Do "one‐minute clean‐ups,” because it makes you think it's only one minute it's not that long, but you end up cleaning up a lot. Family hugs are awesome. Scratch your kids' backs. Challenge your kids to lead tefilot. Make sure your wife makes challah. Make sure at least one of you is good at cooking. Do‐ nate to good causes. Make a first and last day of school tradition. On first days, we put honey on an aleph‐bet book and lick it off so that learning should be sweet. On last days we go out to lunch with people. With Love and Happy 21st Birthday, Your favorite cousin – Ariana

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DJ, I love you because you dance with me a lot. You flip me over and play tag with me and I love listening to you play the ukulele. Adults should be people who help and have a lot of friends. To have friends, be really nice and if someone is hurt help them feel better. Parents should not annoy your kids. Do family hugs. When you wake up your kids put lotion on their feet and massage them. If one of your kids gets sick, do art projects with them. Happy Birthday, Love your cousin, Yael Handelman

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Advice from your Dad, Samuel B. Handelman (Sender Baruch ben Nesanel HaCohen) I have found myself to be a person of extremes. That form of behavior can apply towards good or bad behavior. Habits are easy to start and hard to break. As a young man, I found myself doing certain things in excess. And when I tried to reduce the frequency of this behavior, I found it virtually impossible to do so. So I was advised that I needed to tell myself that I was going to stop doing this behavior for the rest of my life. It was hard to imagine making such a declaration, but by making such a well‐defined declaration, I found it possible to follow through on this decision. Judaism has the concept of making a Neder (a vow), where a person makes a solemn declaration to do, or not to do a certain thing. And to Jews, our word is inviolable. Once spoken, it must be followed. A story is told of a man who was selling an item, and while he was praying (and could not speak) someone offered to buy this item at a certain price. He did not answer him, so the buyer thought he was unwilling to sell at that price, so he offered a higher price, and when again he received no response, he offered an even higher price. When the man was done praying, he said he would sell it to the buyer, but at the first price the buyer had offered him. He said that he had agreed to sell him the item‐ in his mind, when the buyer first offered to buy it. This is the honesty a Jew should aspire to. And if this is the ideal, of course honoring our spoken word is even more important. Of course we can have a Neder annulled, depending on the intentions and mindset of the person making the Neder, but this is not an ideal solution. When we make a decision to do (or not do) something‐ we should honor our resolution, and live up to our word. One can learn from this that telling the truth is a very important thing. We should never lie. In addition, we should even try not to mislead someone into thinking something that is not true, even if our words are literally true. You may remember when I bought my 2 year old car, and it only came with one key. I was given a new key, and was told I needed to go to the dealer and have them program the key to work with the car. Normally the dealer charges $60 to program a key. I was told to tell them that the key “does not work”, and not to tell them that it was a new key, and they would likely think it was the original key that stopped working, and fix it for free. But it felt wrong. I knew that I would not be lying, but it would cause the dealer to think that it was their responsibility and to fix it for free. I called my Rabbi, and asked him if I was allowed to do this, and he said the Torah teaches us that we must not even mislead someone else, even if our words are literally true. I have many other things that I would like to say to you, but this topic of honesty, and fulfilling our word, is one of the things I hold precious in my life. Of course, knowing that HaShem has commanded us to be honest, and is always watching what we do, is another reason to follow these guidelines. I am very proud of you and love you very much. Love, Dad

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Dearest DJ: You had asked to have advice from people who love you and who you love in return. Your letter impressed me with the excellent verbiage and writing ability. As does everything you have accomplished thus far in your so far short and dynamic life. May you continue to become WHAT you are interested in being in the lovely way you possess! There are so many important things to share with you, Regarding the relationship between a husband and wife: 1. When we first married, Grandpa said to me, “if what we say or do to each other is truly hurtful it is essential that we discuss the problem as calmly as possible, immediately, to come to a satisfactory conclusion and not let it stew." 2. Otherwise...CONVENIENT BLINDNESS to the other one's faults if they are not threatening to a healthy relationship. If, however, they are threatening, then OPEN YOUR EYES. SEE WHAT NEEDS DISCUSSION and then refer to Item #1. Regarding helping children face their world: Please ask Uncle JB, Your father, Uncle Billy, Aunt Sunny Aunt Malka to give you a copy of the article I sent them when we were in Florida regarding the 10 suggestions how to handle certain problems that children have with their world. I had said in the copy I sent to them that I wished I had had this advice when I was raising them. Had I had it, perhaps it would have helped give them the guidance I was not smart enough to give them when they needed it. Regarding being able to admit your mistakes to your children gracefully: None of us are perfect. We are all capable of making mistakes . . . saying something wrong, doing something hurtful, being incorrect, expecting behavior or actions that might be unfair to request . . . It is essential to admit being wrong, to ask forgiveness, to tell your children that even parents can be incorrect and willing to admit it. Followed by many hugs and kisses to ask them to accept your apology ... and tell them THEY should do the same now, when they are growing up, when THEY are in such a position and carry IT over to when THEY are parents. Regarding listening: Keep your mouth shut, your ears and your heart open, your attention UNDIVIDED, your hugs and kisses frequent, and REMEMBER what you are told BECAUSE you have been listening carefully. It is more important to encourage the other person to share THEIR thoughts than interrupt with your own, because if you are truly listening you will not be concentrating on what YOU have to say but will be concentrating fully on what THEY are saying. I LOVE YOU and am very proud to have you for my grandson! ‐ Grandma Leila
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& of

 

From the Desk of Joshua Micah Mawhirter
  

Make crazy mistakes and get in trouble. Now, don’t go killing anyone or stealing anything, but skip class once in while or try something you really don’t like eating. What the worst that can happen? And on that same note, by doing that you can get some really great stories. Become your own best friend.

 Keep something in your wallet that can make you smile. Mine just happens to be something I found on the floor of the dorms at Reishit around 3 a.m. one morning. I was having a really rough time sleeping, so I was going to walk around, I looked down and there was a small blue piece of paper that said keep smiling. On the back of the paper was a small Dvar Torah about smiling, and now it literally reminds me to smile.  

Make a friend your confidante. It is ok to not like people.

 Make a bucket list. I call mine the checklist, and as soon as I do something, I add the place and date it happened. Don’t forget to add some crazy goals on there. An example being on mine, is that I want to win a marathon. Now, will that happen? Probably not, but the worst thing would be that I completed a marathon. If I won, that would be swell, however I would much rather just run one.  

Have inside jokes with your family.

Learn people’s names, because nothing means more to a person after you meet them then for you to remember them. Don’t apologize to anyone for your taste in music or art. EVEN if they call you a hipster. Everyone has special needs.

 

 When reading your fortune cookie, don’t think that at that moment your life will change immediately. I personally don’t want my life to change in a restaurant; too cliché.           

Learn grammar and how to spell.

Develop a catchphrase. I’m still working on mine. It’s ok to get angry with people, place, and things. Get a bachelors’ degree in something you like, and then go to grad school so you can make money in that field. Call people that really need someone to talk to. Make to‐do lists and try to follow them. Eat your vegetables and then make your children eat them too! Pull pranks on your friends. Doodle a lot, because one day when you are super‐famous you can sell them as art. Take any opportunity life throws at you, even at the end of each day you are dead tired. Laugh so hard that milk shoots out your nose. I think that is all I have to say my dear friend, Love, JoshBad
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  Ok so this will be a bit of a stream of consciousness approach. First off, a healthy lifestyle is important to a long and happy life. In this I mean basic health and fitness done in an intelligent way. It will allow one to perform better in daily tasks and be happier due to psychological and physiological benefits. On a different subject, I believe that one should strive to avoid feelings of anger and frustration. While it is natural to feel some form of these things, it is at a certain point detrimental to performance in daily tasks or tasks that require intelligent thinking under pressure. For example if you are getting into a dispute with a family over something (anything significant will do) you may lose your cool and give in to emotions. Emotions are not logical and do not consider all the details on the table. Further, allowing yourself to give in to emotions may cause lots of negative feeling beyond this dispute that could shift you away from optimism and toward pessimism. I think it should go without saying that optimism is preferred over pessimism (so long as you maintain a realistic perspective on life). Another important thing is to be willing to admit when you are wrong. There are an uncountable number of issues or ideas I have strongly believed in and then heard something completely contradicting it. I will often try to discuss the viewpoints of these other ideas with people. In doing so I manage to either strengthen my argument and convictions to my preexisting notions or find flaws that I must explain or except defeat. When I say to accept when you are wrong, I do not mean to roll over. As a matter of fact I rarely admit defeat during a discussion or debate, instead I digest the facts provided and draw a logical conclusion based on what I have now found. All of this crosses over with what I said earlier about keeping your cool during disputes. In order to calculate and learn from any difficult situation, you must be able to get something from past conversations. Taking deep breaths is a commonly preached but rarely performed practice. Do not hesitate to try to calm down and take deep breaths to keep a leveled head. If you think you will only contribute poorly to a conversation with anger, then try to calm down, and if necessary, walk away. If you find that people are getting annoyed with something about you, especially people you consider good/ friends do not respond with an "I'm awesome and they are all stupid" attitude. What is in the past is in the past and can only be learned from at this point. Do not dwell on past events unless you plan to learn from your mistakes. Another important concept is learning to feign anger. There are situations, such as ones with obnoxious people or oblivious people that may not realize that what they are doing is annoying or bothersome. Thus far, one might think that if someone is being annoying in the seats in front of me at a sporting event that I will do nothing, but that would be incorrect. First approach them calmly a couple times, and then if they clearly heard me and did not listen I will show that I care by faking being angry. This will often make people wake up and realize they need to get in line. But beware, do not let the fake anger become real; it is a slippery slope. When discussing things, never raise your voice. Always keep a calm voice (with the exception of when feigning anger). When feigning anger, do not tell people you are mad and then that you were kidding. That makes you look like a real dick, in this case I am talking about when feigning anger goes too far and you have become the bad guy, when this happens, do not say, oh I was just kidding, admit that you were wrong and except the consequences. Always remember that you are human and that you are allowed to make mistakes and errors. You should strive to avoid errors, but once they happen they are in the past. This goes for everything, including a failure to follow advice such as that provided here. Please keep in mind that I am not experienced in death and that different tactics may be applied for such scenarios, but ultimately you should be working towards a leveled mind. I say this even with out experience since I believe that it is essential to humans functioning together. Try to be social, this does not mean to go out and party every night; I simply believe it is not healthy for anyone to limit their human contact (do not marry your computer).

‐Danny Robinson
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Dear Daniel, This is my first bit of advice: always forgive people for the really annoying things they did when they were younger (and I might be thinking about a certain 7 year old who got in the way in all sorts of ways at his uncle’s wedding). My next bit of advice, and really all you’ll ever need, is: hang out with your Uncle JB as much as you can. I do that, and it’s working really well for me. Beyond that, just follow your gut. You already have a really good sense for knowing when people around are off kilter, and not doing what they do or say. You are able to balance a religious life with the best of bizarre culture (you have to admit that guys eating deep fried bacon on YouTube is a bit bizarre) with cool activities like swing dancing and the ukulele. And you ask a lot of questions. That’s really good. My mom told me that “should” is a four‐letter word. (Hey! Don’t go back and count the letters! That’s disrespectful to my mom.) If you find yourself saying, “I should write that paper,” or “I should hang out with my parents instead of Uncle JB,” then re‐evaluate IMMEDIATELY!! Should you really? Who says you should? Does any part of you WANT to do it? Maybe you should just have chocolate. If you use something every day, it should be pleasing to the eye (like your toothbrush holder, or bedroom door knob. You look at that stuff multiple times a day). Find joy in little things, like roses blooming or the smell after it rains. Make joyful things happen, like corn on the cob on a summer day. If you can’t give money or a granola bar to every street person you see, at least look them in the eye and smile. When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, dance. (Ok, I stole that from Lee Ann Womack) Seriously, when given the choice between the expected and the last‐minute‐really‐cool‐experience, choose life (but don’t fail any classes in the pursuit of happiness) Here is all the advice and life’s questions taped up on my office walls. Make sure you follow it all. From left to right:


What if the Hokey‐Pokey is what it’s really all about?

 “No, Thursday’s out. How about never? Is never good for you?  Let yourself be drawn to how wonderful it would be if the quality you are trying to cultivate was present. –Rabbi Jeff Roth  Every journey brings blessings.  Don’t expect anyone to give you time to think. You will have to claim it for yourself. –Margaret Wheatley  Pressure is inevitable. Stress is optional. Panic sees the problem. Faith finds the solution.  There are two things it is forbidden to worry about: that which it is possible to fix, and that which it is impossible to fix. What is possible to fix – fix it, and why worry? What is impossible to fix – how will worrying help? – Rabbi Yehiel of Zlotchov  Don’t be so open minded your brains fall out.  Those things that can be done at any time are usually done at no time.  You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to make today worth remembering. –Professor Harold Hill in The Music Man  I have learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, but the most from my students. –Rav Hanina, Babylonian Talmud Most importantly, remember that I love you! Love, Aunt Max
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Dear Daniel, Thanks for the compliment. We never thought of us as being an influence on your life. But if we were in any small way we are grateful for the opportunity. I will keep it short and express some basic thoughts on helping you get through life in these very trying times. We love you for who you are, not what you are. A college degree will get you a job. Common sense will help you succeed in life. Be kind and compassionate towards others. Love your sister and support her no matter what. She’s the one you will share memories with. Parents do their best at guiding you in the direction they think you should go. It's you who will make the final decision. Be a good friend, treat them the way you would want them to treat you. Diversify and reach out to people from different backgrounds. They will enrich your life. Listen to others and learn from what they have to say. Family comes first. That has always been our priority. You'll have to decide what is yours. When you fall in love and marry, put her on a pedestal, always treat her with respect, make her your partner in all decisions, encourage her to have friends and be active outside the home. Life for the two of you will be good and love will endure. Love, Grandma Ann & Papa Al Cohen

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Hey DJ! Unfortunately I had a rather busy week and was unable to give this project the proper attention it deserves, meaning that I'm currently exhausted and not entirely able to put up with everyday life right now. This means that the response below is short, convoluted and probably a little too harsh. But I do believe it fulfills the request. I don't claim a right to giving advice. All I can present to you are the conclusions I come to based on my own experiences, and those seem to change a lot. (Except for when I make the same mistake twice; I usually come to the same conclusion after both instances.) I've tried writing some of this down, but it's not coming out right. None of it makes sense on paper, really. That may be because my core beliefs are no longer things I examine in such great detail anymore, now that I'm not in school; maybe I'm automatically following along what I decided five years ago was the right path for me, or maybe I'm just too scared to keep on thinking about everything in a large picture kind of way. Either way, my general advice at this point in my life is to identify what makes you happy, and use that to compensate for all the things that go wrong. That's what I try to do. In my case it may come down to spending time with good conversationalists or tracking down an Entenmann's crumb top donut somewhere in NYC, and whether or not it works, just remember that it can all change one day when you're looking the other way. Now you, Mr. Daniel J. Handelman, are a rather unique personality. You have uncommon passions and a strong desire to experience things, both things that I intensely admire. When you want to do something, you really go for it to the Nth degree and accomplish these crazy feats, just because you can. There are so many special aspects of your character and that's what draws people to you. If I may be so bold, that also comes with a price: you're a narcissist with a precarious sense of self‐esteem. While this dichotomy prevents you from becoming an egomaniacal hipster, it also stops you from enjoying these great things about yourself. Right now, the best advice I could give to you would be to try to step back so that you can see how awesome you are, the way everyone else does. ‐Alisa Ungar‐Sargon
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Dear DJ, Your request for advice initially left me floundering. We’ve already counseled each other so much these past two years, I can’t imagine what else to add. Also, the advice I’m accustomed to giving is purely situational; it even changes drastically in the span of a day (e.g. my advice on a certain summer gal). How could I give you such permanent universal advice when my situational advice can be so erratic? I had to resign myself to the fact that I can’t, that advice grows obsolete so quickly. But I realized that we can learn from this in of itself. Everything becomes outmoded, and new advice becomes necessary. The practical application of this is that change is paramount for our mental health. My most recent year in college exemplifies this advice. This past December I made a choice that has already affected my life so much. I remember my deliberations in whether I should come out or not. I wasn’t sure whether it was the right option, but at the time I was feeling such stagnation in my life, and I needed some change. I could either remain closeted, or I could enact a change even if I may come to regret it. And even if I would come to regret this decision, at least it helped alleviate the horrible feeling of stagnation. And so it’s appropriate that this advice is given to the first person who I came out to and helped enact that change. Opt for change. Even if you believe it might be harmful, it’s still much better than the status quo, and the stagnation that often accompanies it. Being well accustomed to my advice, you should know that at this point I generally give a long list of caveats and exceptions. However, I have just one: This advice is based purely on a singular good experience I’ve had, and may not be generalizable. Coming out may have been the best thing that ever happened to me, and it may be unfair for me to advise you to opt for any change, based on this experience. In the future there may be a time when I myself rescind this advice in response to a failed risk, as much as I’d like to believe that I would still gain from the risk by eliminating stagnation in my future self’s life. This advice is weakened by its roots; the change this advice glorifies can render it obsolete. I remember joking with you earlier this summer that the advice I should give you should very simply be: “I’m always right.” I find it ironic that I’m actually giving you the exact opposite advice, “I’m often wrong.” À bientôt, Arel Kirshstein

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Hey Daniel—

First off, cool idea. Second, I’d like to apologize in advance for any cheesiness and/or bad advice that I may give to you in the following page. Third, I also am sorry if at any point I come off as condescending, but that’s kind of the nature of the beast when you ask someone for advice. Fourth, I’m (hopefully) moving to New York at some point within the next year so we should hang out when (if) I get there. So, I don’t know if you recently saw but I just spent a little over a month in Kenya, which has led me to some at least semi‐interesting worldviews that may serve as valuable advice. I’ll begin with the most obvious one at first for me, which was a lesson I learned very quickly after arriving. Do not ever EVER take for granted running water. It is an absolute gift and kind of crazy when you think about how much it takes to get water clean. Now, I guess I’ll move on to the deeper stuff. My number one piece of advice to you in your life is to be accepting. Accept people for what they are and do not try to change them into something you want them to be. Live and let live, if you will. While I was in Africa, it was so hard to just do everyday things because everyone would just stare at me because I was white. Now, it’s not that extreme here, but it’s still a valuable lesson because even though people might not be literally gawking at something or another, it is still fairly common for someone to feel left out or unloved or discriminated against for any number of reasons (gender, race, religion, sexual preference, socio economic status). I’d just warn you to be cognizant of how you treat people, be aware of your biases and don’t let them determine how you treat an individual. Another example of that was when I was forced to go to church and people treated me like a hell bound heathen because I wasn’t a Christian, god‐fearing woman. (Advice within advice, please do not support evangelists. They are the source of so many problems throughout the world it’s not even funny). When other people try to tell you you’re wrong and change it, it’s a really horrible, lonely feeling. Ok, life lessons not from Africa… Everything in moderation. That’s like my motto in life, I’d say. I think too much of anything is usually bad (think: friendships, romantic relationships, religious extremism, doughnuts). And it’s not bad to try everything once (or twice), Know yourself. That’s another motto, I guess. There’s nothing worse than someone who can’t predict his or her self (even if they are unpredictable). Ok, that’s confusing. What I mean is, you should come to terms with who you are as a person. Don’t gloss over the little stuff, truly try to spend some time with yourself and figure yourself out. Know what you like and don’t like. Know what decisions you tend to make. Know what mistakes you’re likely to fall for and try to make yourself better because of it. In my opinion, you’ll never be able to improve yourself if you can’t get a good baseline reading. Well, that’s a page for you. I’m sorry I can’t be more sagacious and may sound a tad pretentious, but hey, I tried. I really wish you the best in life, you are one of the greatest, most interesting people I know and have truly had a huge impact on my life as well. Sincerely, Becca Gollman
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Dear Daniel, (aka DJ) When you asked me to contribute to this project I was happily surprised and flattered; it isn’t everyday that you get asked to give someone a piece of your mind. And although I have just SO many morsels of advice and tidbits of wisdom to pass along, I thought I would relay the few attributes that I regularly struggle with and strive to maintain. While I would love to be the noble friend who suggests that "someone always has it worse", I find that thoughts of starving people in third world countries and child labor in sweatshops hardly get me through a difficult time. The way I see it, why should all of us be suffering? It’s gonna do me little good to dwell on their misfortunes as well... (ahh! There’s the selflessness you admire in me). But in all seriousness (as you are rapidly regretting the decision to include me) when bad times get you down it is always important to get through it with self‐confidence and a smile. I know...I know... this seems like the type of message someone could have gotten from a Kodak commercial, but rest assured, this is easier said than done. In all fairness, if you really do feel confident or perhaps found some genuine humor in the situation, it wont be quite as difficult to laugh a little. The hard part comes when you cannot find anything to laugh about, when you are really down in the dumps. So this is the heart of the matter, the true essence to what I am trying to impart: No matter what, you need to always believe in yourself. I am a firm believer that family and friends are important, but I also know from experience that when someone else tells you that you are amazing, strong, kind, or smart, it won’t mean anything to you if you do not believe it as well. It doesn’t matter if you fake that confidence initially, because I promise it will eventually come. How about I give you an example to prove my point... hypothetically speaking, of course: In a room there are a bunch of boys sitting and hanging out, among this pack of coeds is one girl. She is (obviously) the focal point of their testosterone‐induced attention. In walks another girl, as she assesses the situation there seems to be two options: 1) quietly blend into the group and welcome immediate acceptance OR 2) walk into the room like you own the place and your emission of confidence will shift the attention. When you believe that you are awesome, the world will believe it along with you. DJ, I feel like I am in no position to give you advice and to be honest, there are so many things that I have learned from you that I feel a little silly trying, but sometimes we forget the foundations of what makes us who we are. Believing in yourself is first and foremost, because if you believe in yourself you are allowing the possibility to believe in others as well. I admire the way you learn from others. It is truly creative and inspiring. Always, Leora Cohen

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My Ethical Will: Eliezer Zvi Ben Shmuel Feldman [Professor Louis Feldman] (To be read by my children, Moshe, Sara, Leah, and their descendants, on my yohrzeit) I bequeath to my beloved children, grandchildren, and their descendants love, joy, and sweat: Love of Hashem, love of all the Jewish people (even those with whom I disagree violently), love of the entire land of Israel (and this means living in the land of Israel and Participating fully in its responsibilities). Joy of asking questions, having the chutzpah to ask stupid (that is, amazing) questions, and being humble enough to realize that the best that we can often hope for is to analyze the question without getting any answer and that naaseh comes before venishma; joy of studying and teaching and reaching out to others. Sweat, in the realization that for the achievement of excellence the sine qua non is hard work. There is no royal road to geometry or to any other worthwhile goal. I bequeath my favorite sayings (the authorship to be investigated): 1. Carpe diem (to remain untranslated): Eternity begins with now. 2. All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare. 3. Set a time (preferably one that is inconvenient) for the study of Torah each day. 4. Measure and count your words; if silence is befitting the wise, how much more so the foolish. 5. Hashem created time, and time is therefore sacred. Account for your use of it. Remember that even Moses was granted only a finite number of minutes on this earth—63,072,000 to be exact. 6. Thinking is more interesting than knowing. 7. We see things not as they are but as we are 8. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people and those who don’t. 9. For every complex problem there is an answer that is short, simple, and wrong. 10.A page of history is worth a volume of logic. 11.The easiest person to change is one’s self. 12.The most Precious gift that a parent can give a child is a knowledge of the whence wherewith more wisely to confront the whither. 13.The goal of Judaism is not so much happiness as greatness.
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Hey Daniel, I'm on a flight right now, about to land back in NYC, only to catch another flight to London. Such is my life right now. So I won't be able to write much. But here are few important thoughts on life that I have right now. Always be grateful for what you have: It's so easy to get upset over small things. Most commonly, little defeats or blows to the ego. When these types of things happen, let them go and focus on what you have in your life. We don't celebrate as often as we should all the things we have to be grateful for. Remember those who are most important to you: Those who are your closest friends and family, should come first when you make choices. In our society we have so much pressure to keep up with what is cool and fit in with the crowd. Our focus can drift away from the things that are most important. I know I tend to worry about the big world recognizing me, but if the whole world knew me from a distance and no one knew me in a close, personal way, I would feel alone. Sometimes this happens when I put my attention on the outer ring of my social network. I frequently find myself missing those friends who are closest and who know me the best. I should consider them more often when I make choices in life because in the end, no matter what I do, I want to do it with people I love. Never stop trying: Never give up on something, especially when your scared or when it seems difficult. Today most of us expect things to come to us with lighting speed, like information on the internet. But anything that truly matters, or that you will truly own and be proud of, takes time and work; a relationship, a skill like Tap dancing, a company. If you really want to achieve something you have to spend time with it and not quit. There is no substitute or fast forward for gaining experience. Explore new things: It requires you to step out of your comfort zone when exploring something new. But only by leaving your familiar home will you expand on your experience. I think while in this life we should all try to do and see as much as we can, so that we grow. As Professor Robert L. Reed told me this past weekend at the St. Louis Tap Festival, "To grow is to change". If we never step out of our comfort zone we will never grow. Share: I think this may be the most important. Of course it is necessary to better one's self, but for what purpose if that experience and knowledge is not passed on or shared with someone else. It would seem so vain and selfish to never give advice or help to others, even in monetary wealth. In the end we can't take anything with us. I believe it is important to give and share of ourselves with others to create a better community in which to live. In the dance world, we can lift everyone and build respect for each other and admiration if we all share our knowledge and passion. Knowing that I contributed to another's success or joy, knowing that I helped inspire or build a dance community, is the absolute meaning and purpose for my life. Dear Daniel, I hope some of these words help you. It's not exactly "Letters to a Young Poet", by Maria Rilke, (which I highly recommend you read) but it's similar in some sentiments and I wish for this page to encourage and inspire you. Much appreciation for your interest, ‐Evita Arce
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  Hey DJ, So, regarding advice: I am one of the last people in the world who should be offering advice. I have mucked up my own life in numerous ways (but never permanently!) by failing to heed the well‐meaning and intelligent suggestions of others. However, if you think you can manage to pull some worthwhile lessons from the wreckage of my previous experience, please do so. FIGHT AGAINST YOUR OWN SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT This has been hard for me. I grew up smart, in a family that had enough money to get by, and with a personality that helped me get away with a whole lot of shit. I suspect you have had a similar experience. This background set me up for years of difficulty ‐ you see, I left college and life got hard. And I couldn’t deal with it. Why not? Because I thought I deserved better than what was being handed to me. I was lazy. I was self‐interested. I felt ENTITLED to a better life. I was ready to wait for that life to not just come around, but to be delivered to me on a tray of silver, dipped in gold, and studded with diamonds. I was a jackass. Get used to not having what you want. Get used to people saying “no” to you – “no” for a job, “no” for a favor, “no” for a loan. It usually won’t be personal, so don’t take it that way, but it still might hurt, and it will definitely hurt worse if you think you DESERVE whatever it is you want. After you’ve worked, and sweat, and striven for something, then you might deserve it, but even then, accept the possibility that you might not get it. The world owes you very little; this country owes you only slightly more. Your employer only owes you whatever you agreed to work for as a wage, nothing more. The people you love owe you only as much as you’ve given to them (but pointing that out should be done rarely and only in extreme circumstances). For years I raged against a world because I thought it owed me. A white, educated man born to a middle‐class family in late‐20th century America thought the world owed him something. Snapping out of this has been hard work for me. I fight against my sense of entitlement everyday – sometimes I even succeed for a little while. If I could change my past in one way, I would have learned this lesson before I left college. Anyway – that was a little dark/broody. Sorry. I hope it’s entirely irrelevant to you. Best wishes to you on the rest of your semester. Kick some ass. Work hard when you should. Slack when you ought to. Have fun. ‐Patrick Slaven 62 

Reflection is a draining process—especially when asked to reflect on all twenty‐one years and mark any experiences that were the most impacting. I spent the fall semester of last year in India. There were two other guys from my school who went with me, and we enjoyed our overall experience. But amid the semester that seemed more like a vacation, one morning, I woke up and found my friend, Ross, convulsing on the bed. As I tried to calm him down, I noticed that foam began to ooze out of his mouth and that his eyes had not been fixating on anything. I quickly ran to the adjacent room where my other friend, Justin, stayed and he told me to stay with Ross while he got help. As he came back with the paramedics, I helped them carry Ross to the car that took him to the hospital. We found out that he had been stung by a mosquito and acquired viral encephalitis of the spine. If the paramedics had not come soon enough, he would have surely passed. The doctors put him into a drug‐induced coma for three days so they could operate on him. In the end, he survived but he had to go back to the U.S. to recover. While Ross was still in the hospital, I reflected on those ten minutes with him. I reflected how those ten minutes were my closest encounters with death. I reflected on how those ten minutes felt like ten hours, as I attempted mouth‐to‐mouth resuscitation, encouraged Ross to continue breathing, and did my best to keep him alive. I had no idea what to do, what was going on, and I constantly thought about what I was going to say to his parents if he were to pass. The only thing I knew how to do was wait there with him—I had to wait for him to stop convulsing, wait for Justin to come back with the paramedics, and wait for whatever else was to come. I had to wait because I had no other option. I’ve lived a very privileged life—you know this. My parents have supported both my brother and me endlessly; I’ve never been through any sort of financial hardship; I’ve traveled extensively; and I’ve been afforded a great education. I can’t really say that I’ve been through any particular hardship that has taught me an indispensable lesson. But until I experienced those ten minutes with Ross, I had always found myself waiting—waiting for the best time to start my daily practicing routine, waiting for the interview process to be over, waiting for the next semester to start, waiting for the next break, waiting for the next recital. In lieu of living, I had been waiting—every action never seemed full and my mind was always somewhere else. I can’t say I’m a changed person or that I’ve adopted better personality traits after those ten minutes. I’m still selfish, incredibly insecure about the future, and unhappy with my past’s mistakes and forgone opportunities. But even though I still catch myself thinking too much and waiting, I am more aware that I don’t have to do this. Life is so fragile and fleeting—I don’t think there is time to wait. You must live fully and in the present. I know that’s trite, but it really is true. When you spend time with friends during Shabbat, be there fully with your friends. When you talk to your mom on the phone, put your whole being into the conversation. When you play a piece, play it with all the intended nuances and become the interpretation. Become one with the moment and life’s insecurities and elusive traits dissipate. Quit waiting, especially in times when you don’t have to. I know that you’re trying to get me to write one of these things has been like pulling teeth, but I guess it’s because I simply find the process of reflection grueling. I hope what’s on the page suffices. You’ve been a great friend throughout all these years, Daniel, and I’m really lucky that we still talk despite the long distance between Indiana and New York. Relax your mind’s thoughts and treasure each moment more fully than before—you deserve it. I hope things are going well. ‐Phil Pascua
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Often times we hear people talk about their friends. I think today, many of us use the term loosely. Heck, I have over a   thousand friends on Facebook! The reality though is that we really only have a few “real” friends. Finding a “real” friend can be a long and hard process, but can be more valuable than you’ll ever know. I look back and think about all of the major life changing experiences in my earlier years and the one certainty, is that they all involve my friends in one way or another. While some of these experiences were good, many were bad. These bad experiences were the ones that taught me how important a “real” friendship is. Most importantly though, is that it taught me that the only thing more important than having “real” friends is being a “real” friend. When asked to describe what a “real” friend is, I always refer to a quote by a famous radio commentator, Walter Winchell. “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” This quote has made me completely rethink what being a friend is all about. I want to share some of what I learned with you over the years about friendship. Before you can accept someone to be your real friend, you need to accept yourself. All of us have made mistakes. All of us at some point have wished we were in someone else’s shoes. Forgive yourself for your past mistakes and forget about trying to be someone else. Be yourself, you’re one of a kind. After you can accept yourself for who you are, you need to accept others. Some people may wrong you, bug you, or have silly habits that make you want to pull your hair out by the handful. But they aren’t perfect, and guess what... NEITHER ARE YOU. I was talking to my 5 year old nephew one day and I asked him “what’s up?” He then proceeded to tell me about his entire week. I waited and listened to his 30 minute story and I asked him why he wanted to share so much with me, and he said “because you are my friend”. When he said that, I thought about how often we talk to our friends and ask them “what’s up?, but rarely wait to hear the answer. Next time you talk to your friend, don’t just hear what they have to say, LISTEN. We often fill our schedule with too much, to provide enough time for our friendships. I am very guilty of doing this. I put my friends too low on my priority list. If we think of friendship as a high priority, time won’t be an issue. A real friendship offers value to others. You should live a lifestyle of good values and morals and share them with others. I’m not sure who said this but... “You are the company you keep”. Surround yourself with people that have a positive influence in your life and you’ll see that only good things can come of it. Often times I have difficulty finding common interests with others. Having common interests allows me to quickly connect with others and build on my already existing relationship. To make it easier finding common interests I had to expand my interests. One way of doing this is to LISTEN, the other is to read. Take time learning something about your friends’ interests, and it will help you build on your friendships. While listening is important, it only works if you are interested in what they are saying. Be curious, be engaging, genuinely be enthusiastic when talking to people. Do this, and you’ll see that other will feel that you are a good listener and will love to be around you for a good chat. A hard lesson for me to learn about friendship was taking the initiative. Don’t wait for your friend to ask for help. The most important part of this, is knowing when your friend needs help. That’s why I can’t stress enough how important it is to LISTEN to your friend when they talk, not just hear what they say. One thing I can always count on my real friends to do is to be honest with me, Especially when it’s inconvenient for me to hear. A real friend should care about your well being and shouldn’t let you stumble down the wrong path. Keep in mind that your real friends have your best interests in mind. Lastly, I wanted to talk about loyalty and trust. My real friends and I have a very clear understanding. Loyalty and trust come first. If I called any of my real friends and told them “I need you to drive with me across the country tomorrow night no questions asked,” their only response would be “I call shotgun!”. This is what being a real friend is all about. I can’t tell you how many times my real friends have been there for me in difficult times. Your real friends will never compromise your success or happiness and will always be there for you when you need them, especially when you don’t ask them to be. Thank you, to my real friends: Zach, Noam, and Shuli. ‐Elisha Karen
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The Advice of Uncle JB’s Friends  • Don't be a fireman, policeman or lawyer.  Other than that, be anything you like. (Bill Shaver)  • Do what YOU want to do with your life, not what someone else tells you to do, and take  time off after college graduation before going to work if you can. (Ron Blumenthal)  • Learn patience.  If you are not tolerant, try to become more so of people who are different.   People who have patience with everything going on in their lives live a little longer.  Take Yoga.   (Barbara Blumenthal)  • Follow the advice of your elders to avoid troubles in your life. See 2 Chronicles Ch. 10  (Marques Rice)  • Make plans for your life but be flexible enough to incorporate the unexpected treasures.  (Ann Luban)  • Wear sunscreen.  (Marcia Nagorsky)  • Look people in the eye and smile when you meet them. (Evan Kleeberg)  • Know when to say, “I don’t know.” (Rabbi Matt Futterman)  •Pursue what you enjoyand you’ll find a way to make a living. (Steven Bernstein)  •Be proactive in building a positive life that will help you be B’Simcha and that brings a  Kiddush HaShem. (Malka Morris)  • Create a good and honest friendship with one that has your lifestyle. (Irving Luban at 95  years old)  • Flexibility is the most important quality.  (Dawn Segal)  • Don’t take anything personally, unless you deserve it. (Lynn Polen)  • Liquor before beer, never fear.  Beer before liquor, never sicker.  (Jeff Segal)  • If you never tell a lie you don’t have to remember what you say. (Irwin Segal)  • Now that you are 21 years old ‐ be smart and make good decisions but have fun. (Lavern  Scott‐Levy)   Take . . . Your . . .  Time. (Chrisopher Lamite)   God never gives you a dream without a means to achieve it. (Mary Jo Struz)  • Plug your cell‐phone in when you go to sleep every night.  (Anonymous) 

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