For Professionals of the Probate and Trust Industry

Category: General

From My Heart To Yours On Valentine’s Day – An Orthodox Jewish Perspective

It’s late and Valentine’s Day is almost over.

No, I did not forget you.  I wanted to wait and see if you would be the one to email a Happy Valentine’s greeting to me!

But… you did not, and I thank you for that because as an Orthodox Jew it’s a holiday that I don’t celebrate.

St. Valentine’s Day is rooted in Christian tradition – it originated as a Christian feast day honoring a martyr named Valentine.   It’s not a Jewish holiday nor is it a non-religious American holiday.

But if you are celebrating… I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope you got the flowers and chocolates and felt the love!

So how do we celebrate our love in Judaism?  It’s a daily practice.  Each morning when we awake and read the morning prayer, we are reminded to love.  The very first sentence states, “Hareini Mekabel Alai Miztvat Aseh Shel Veahavta Lereacha Kamocha”.

Translated to English this states:  “I hereby take upon myself the mitzvah love your fellowman as yourself”.

This is an important daily reminder to treat others the way you want to be treated.  Help and uplift others.  I’m reminded of this important good deed each morning, and it drives me to do the things that I do each and every day.

I wish you a life worth living that encompasses “Veahavta Lereacha Kamocha” – treat others as you want to be treated!

How Old Are You?

I know… you were expecting “JUST SOLD! JUST SOLD! LISTED! LISTED! LISTED!”…. me telling you how much money I’m generating!  I get these emails all the time from other agents, and I suspect you’re getting them too. 

But… no…. I’m interested in your age! 😊

What a rude question, you may be thinking!  How dare she ask me my age!?!

Well, not really.   There’s your physical age and your spiritual age.  I’m more interested in your spiritual age.  Have you been growing spiritually?

At birth, our hands are clenched in a fist, we are crying, we want to drink mama’s milk! And we want it now. We don’t care about mama being tired, and the fact that mama should be sleeping at night.  As babies, and in early childhood, we think only of “I”.  There is no, or very little, spiritual growth at this stage.

Fast forward to our peak physical age, when we die.  It is a hope that by this time we have also reached our peak spiritual age, and we die with our hands wide open.  It is a hope that we have learned that life is not about “I”, but about “we”, and we hope that the “we” has encompassed not only our spouse and our children, and their children, but also beyond that.

This ideal journey of spiritual growth is a process that begins with feeling the pain of others.   We feel that pain strongly enough that we take action and we do what we can to help.   The depth of pain that you feel translates to how much action you will take.  Will the feeling for others be so strong that it will make you cry?  The feeling for others, or empathy, is what allows us to reach our peak spiritual age.  It’s empathy that drives us to care and the desire to open our hands to help. 

“Ben Adam” means person in Hebrew (actually, verbatim it means the son of Adam, as in Adam and Eve).  “Gadol” means big in Hebrew.   “Adam Gadol” means a great person, and represents a person who is fully grown spiritually.

In reality the more “gadol” we become in our respective business worlds, the more others want to crush us.   Others are concerned about us being “gadol”, but they are thinking “gadol”, or big, in terms of monetary gain… how much business we have, which translates to how much money we are making.  It bothers them that the “ben adam” has, or may have, more than they do – how unfair!  The focus of the “gadol” should always be on spiritual growth.  Help those in our circles.  Because the real “adam gadol” is the one with his/her hands wide open.

The Truth Is…

There are many real estate agents out there. So why work with me?

I will never tell you I am the top agent in this or that national brokerage. At best, I can tell you the truth.  Nearly two decades ago, I founded and continue to run a boutique brokerage.  We are focused on probate and trust real estate.

I will never tell you I have 10 different designations from this or another association of realtors. Anyone can get these designations. $150 dollars or so, and a few hours sitting in a classroom or on zoom and listening to someone that will tell you many stories from which you will not learn much.

I will not tell you, “let me take care of you” and then pass you to one of my assistants to do all the work and communicate with you.

I will never tell you “I am the best”. It is up to you to find that out for yourself.

I will tell you this:

I probably handled more real estate than any other agent you know. Why should you care?  Experience matters.

I have sold real estate all over California.  Please don’t tell me that you will send me the next asset that comes your way in Beverly Hills since I am an expert in this area.  We both know the likelihood of that happening is very small, and I do have a family to feed just like you.

I probably have not seen it all, but that should not matter. Why? I have seen enough to know how to handle any situation no matter what comes my way.

I wrote the only book explaining the probate real estate process. I could tell you it is a great book, but I will not. Instead, I ask that you read the reviews on Amazon, ask me for a copy, and find out for yourself, or both.

I am a contributor to the CEB / Continuing Education of the Bar.  As such, I educate attorneys.  How many other agents do you know that do that?

I am sorry if you feel that I am talking too much about myself, but I have to share all of this with you, since selling probate and trust real estate is such a highly competitive environment.

And there is more.  As an observant Jew that follows our ancient traditions, I can tell you that a core value is not to lie in business (and of course, in general). No matter who you are, if you share this value with me, then I look forward to the opportunity to work with you.

I know that I could make much more money if I swayed from the truth; if I did something illegal in business here and there.  I do not, for example, give or accept kickbacks.  If you are into that, please find another agent to work with.  I would rather do less business during the day and sleep better at night.

And that is the truth.

The Practitioner’s Handbook for Probate Real Estate

I wrote this book for you! It is available on

Hope you enjoy!

This book includes step-by-step procedures showcasing the various facets of probate real estate sales, as well as diagrams that visualize these processes. It includes many suggestions and strategies to share with your real estate agent to maximize the return of each sale and mitigate your liability. The book reflects the author’s experiences in probate, residential and commercial real estate sales, brokerage management, and business process management.

Chapter 1: Defining Probate

Chapter 2: Selecting Your Real Estate Agent Amidst a Probate Petition

Chapter 3: Setting Expectations with Your Probate Agent

Chapter 4: Pre-Marketing Strategies for Probate Properties

Chapter 5: Cash for Keys Process and Agreement

Chapter 6: The Eviction Process

Chapter 7: Getting the Probate Property Ready for Market

Chapter 8: Valuing the Probate Property

Chapter 9: Real Estate Disclosures in a Probate Transaction

Chapter 10: Marketing the Probate Property

Chapter 11: Probate Specific Terms in Purchase Agreements

Chapter 12: Offer Management in a Probate Transaction

Chapter 13: Closing and Settlement in a Probate Transaction

Chapter 14: Simplified Probate Procedures

Chapter 15: Title Vesting: Impact on Probate and Step-Up in Basis

Chapter 16: Insurance and Tax Implications of a Probate Sale

Chapter 17: An In-Depth Look at the Probate Process

Happy Thanksgiving 2022

Thanksgiving Thoughts and Wishes for You and Yours!

You do not have to believe in G-d. You do not need to be a Jew. Here are the thoughts I want to share on this Thanksgiving with you.

The following is the first prayer observant Jews say each morning when they wake up, before getting out of bed: “I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me. Your faithfulness is great.”

I am grateful to have my soul restored each morning. I am grateful and thankful for yet another day that I awake and that is granted to me.

On this Thanksgiving week, and beyond, I wish for you not to forget gratitude… to appreciate each day and to use that time to do good deeds.

And if you happen to face obstacles in your life (and we all have experienced obstacles), there is this prayer that is repeated MULTIPLE times daily: “And for those who plot evil against me, hasten to annul their counsel and frustrate their design. Let them be as chaff before the wind.”

I am grateful for each and every person that was brought and will one day come into my life. I am also grateful for each person that was removed and will be removed from my life. I wish the same for you!

Wishing you strength during these not so simple yet beautiful times.

Orit Gadish

Why I Decided to Start This Blog

I feel grateful to have authored four well-received books, but felt that the medium was not sufficient as I constantly have more thoughts and ideas that I wish to share with others in our industry. And so, I decided to start this blog. I hope that you will enjoy my posts. I hope that they will trigger thoughts and conversations that will allow us all to take our amazing industry to the next level.

Please call or text me at 323-606-1919 if you have any questions or topics you would like for me to discuss in future posts, or if you would like to share any stories (with or without mentioning your name in the blog).

Please visit this blog regularly as I will be posting at least once a month.