Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Bible IS a Lie. A Fib.

Judaism came into being very differently than any other religion. Most other faiths started typically with one person having a vision, a dream, or an experience. It boils down to believing the one person and/or his very small group of followers. In addition to this, it was only many many years later, hundreds of years, that the movements picked up steam and as a result, the principles of that faith were recorded in many different versions.

It’s no wonder and it’s actually quite natural that many religions who claim to be of one stream, have such divergent opinions and understanding of the same faith, they all claim to follow. This explains why within certain belief systems there are so many groups, all claiming to be the authentic representation of the original founder(s).

Anyone somewhat familiar with history, is pretty aware of the bloody barbaric fights and the millions of people killed fighting within the same claimed faiths and belief system. To this very day, millions are being slaughtered of the same faith, but of different streams/branches of the same religion.

Judaism, as mentioned earlier started unlike any other faith and religion, and is supported with historical documents like none other.

The way of life, practices and faith, we call Judaism, has its roots in The Book, held dear by the people of, The Book, since it was presented to them 3327 years ago. The five books of Moses, written by Moses, and presented in 13 copies, to the entire people of Israel.

No matter when a copy of this manuscript was written, no matter where it is found, it is always the same. No wonder, to this very day, the Old Testament is the most popular sought after book and the most purchased in the world. Unlike other religions whose original books were written in a language that years later were not understood or able to be read by the masses, the Bible of Moses, is written and read, in a language understood today and spoken today as it was at the time the book was written.

The decisive and only book of rules that defines the practices of Judaism is, the Torah.

To be sure, there were always Jewish people who didn’t follow the rules, and the book itself tells us of such cases. However, from the time the book recorded G-ds rules for the world, never did anyone claim within the Jewish people that the book was not G-ds wisdom.

As a matter of fact, there was a small group of Jews over ONE THOUSAND years into the practice of the faith, who questioned the authenticity of the oral Law and claimed the only thing commanded for certain by G-d Himself, is written in The Book. Never, did the Jews question the authenticity of, The BOOK. From the time they received it, they affirmed its writings, as the book itself says, “Our own eyes have seen and not any strangers.” It was, millions of Jews who stood around Mt Sinai and received the Torah, from G-d Himself.

It is only in the last few hundred years, groups of people within the Jewish people, have perverted and corrupted the faith, taking the cue from other religions around them, and presented a falsehood to our people that anybody and everything is fair game. They claim, The Book was not presented by G-d Himself, and therefore the rules don’t have to be observed and the promises for reward are not true.

Although The Book says, “And G-d spoke to Moses….” And “I am Holy and I desire you to be Holy”, they will lie against the words of the book itself, and call The Book, a lie.

The Book is real, because in an unbroken chain of thousands of years, by millions of people, the exact same Book has been transmitted from generation to generation.

The Book is real, because in all those thousands of years, being committed to its principles have always worked and brought true deep happiness, fulfillment and meaning, to those who studied and pursued its eternal words of G-dly wisdom.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The world’s toughest prison. 2 ways out to freedom.

The worst part of prison is that you’re not free to be a master over your life. Your life is totally usurped and commandeered by outsiders, not looking out for your good. A crueler and eviler type of prison is when one has become comfortable and snug with living under these inhumane and unvirtuous circumstances.

Someone who is enjoying a good dream while his house is burning down, and doesn’t want to be woken up, is way worse than someone who is trying to escape the inferno. At least the one trying, has a chance to save him/herself.

The children of Jacob - the Israelites, were subjected as part of the process of bringing them to nationhood and a developed level of independence, to this huge prison and slavery, called the Egyptian exile. Not even one slave ever, escaped the confines and borders of this prison.

When a person is born before they reach maturity and adulthood they are subjected to what is called in mysticism, the animal soul. The animal soul animates and energizes the body and thinks and acts primarily for its selfish sake.

 Like an animal, what concerns children and immature individuals primarily, are their own selves. Self-preservation, self-enjoyment, ego and power for the self. Once established and accustomed to, these habits enslave and take over a person and control him/her.

When a person becomes old enough and realizes the tremendous virtue in thinking and living not only for oneself selfishly but as well for others, for  a greater purpose and meaning,  many times for many people who do think in these terms it becomes very difficult to escape the old habits and addictions.

How do I change my focus from me and I, to a world that can use my talent, my resources, my good will? How do I not give in any more to me, and use me for the sake of something bigger?

Besides the promise G-d gave Abraham that this exile would come to an end and they would come out of Egypt richer and wealthier, there were some specific acts the Bible tells us the Israelites who did escape this terrible existence, dedicated themselves to performing, which helped alleviate their sufferings and arouse G-ds attention to assist them out of this big prison.

“And their cries went up to G-d.”  “They cried out to G-d in their anguish.” “And G-d heard their cries.”

Speech has a tremendous power and it is one of the main identifying descriptions of a human being. It is the fruit that grows from the essence of one’s soul and when used right will connect a person the roots of their soul.

When a person prays to G-d in simplicity, connects with G-d with his mind, and in his heart and soul he expresses his longing yearnings and desires which only G-d can hear and fulfill, and this is done with excitement and enthusiasm, as we see the Israelites did in their times of need, G-d always comes through with an answer of liberation.

Prayer has a tremendous strength and ability to create the will in G-d to respond and comply with the requests of the prayers.

A second powerful tool the Israelites used, was faith. “In the merit of faith our ancestors were redeemed from Egypt.”

They realized the informidable strength they would need to change the status quo, and understood they could get it only from the faculty within our souls called, faith. Although built in our souls, faith requires constant nourishing. Reading and studying. Being exposed and around those who build and strengthen our faith and hope in a G-d, who does all for the good, and gives us the strength to address and deal with the present difficulties and challenges.

Faith in G-d, is the foundation that holds up all of our life, and the strength that brings us in joy to the greatest of freedoms and destinations.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Seeing More Accurately Depends on...

And I will take you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians (Ex.6:6)

It is far easier to physically take them out of exile, than it is to remove the inner psychological and emotional bonds of slavery, from within each one of them. (Rabbi Yaakov Shimshon of Shpitovka)

Social psychologists tell us, that what we see is many times not exactly what really is! That can and will affect us for the good or for the opposite. That’s because the objective physical imagery we see, is always tainted and filtered through our expectations and previous life experiences. So, it is possible two or more people will see one real life imagery, and three different accounts from the experience will emerge. Each one is being honest to their recollection, as they saw it.

One will see it bigger or smaller, farther or closer etc. One will be more accurate regarding the periphery items and one will be more accurate with the item being focused on, and all have the same intelligence and seeing ability.

While the Torah-Bible conserves its letters and words to the extreme, to the point that entire sets of rules are understood and extrapolated from just one word or letter there, or not there, in the Bible, the Zohar- book of mysticism tells us, in the Bible, the exodus from Egypt is mentioned fifty times!

Remembering, understanding and reaching our own personal freedom from inner slavery, is a cardinal principle in serving G-d and being spiritual and being blessed.

One of the main concentrations we are instructed to have when putting on the Tefillin every morning, (black prayer boxes) is that “we remember the miracles and wonders G-d has done for us, specifically the exodus from Egypt…which demonstrate His unity, power, and dominion, to do as he pleases in the higher and in the lower …  and by putting on Tefillin we are mindful of the Creator and restrict our pleasures”.

The Talmud discusses the great personal strength and power over our internal and external enemies one is connected with, when wearing and donning the Tefillin every day. The sages are quick to point out, the real power comes when the putting on of the Tefillin   includes the mindfulness of the above meditation, which explains why the Bible tells us to put the Tefillin exactly where it does.

We place the Tefillin “between our eyes” on top of our head just before the hairline, over the primate “thinking” brain. Why then does the Torah command us to place them as a reminder, “between our eyes” when they are actually placed over our brain?

G-d recognizes this very important truth. Perception is subjective and depends greatly on how we feed our mind.  If there is any chance to free ourselves from our natural inner inhibitions, the need for immediate gratification and lusts of the reptilian “Instinctive” brain, upon which we place the knot and straps of the Tefillin, we must elevate and lift ourselves from the bottom of the head to the power placed inside the top of our thinking heads.

These thoughts at the top of the head together with the special design of these black boxes on top of the brain, influence our interpretation of what we see. This leadership, influences and flows to the knot over the older “out of control” reptilian brain.

Moses was the leader who took and led the people out of bondage and personal slavery. Moses represents humility and wisdom. When we instill an awareness in ourselves, through the act and help of G-ds commandment of placing the Tefillin on our thinking cap, that we depend on G-ds good grace for everything, and it is He, who is ultimately in control of everything, and this goes “into” our head , our eyes will see more accurately and more spiritual.  Our interpretations of life become more connected, and we muster the strength to become in control of our natural self-destructive tendencies.

Fear, anxiety, emotional weaknesses melt away.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Women are inferior – second class humans!


If you ever heard the statement, that women are inferior to men, the weaker kind, you did not hear it from anyone who is truly familiar with the Jewish tradition.

The Bible begins with, “It is not good for man to be alone, let us make a helper at his side.” She isn’t there to be less, and he can’t do it all alone. The two are both there, to make things happen, one with the other.

The Talmud relates, once a potential candidate for leader was approached for the position. He responded, “let me take counsel with my wife” and was proud to say so.

“More (than men) understanding was given to the woman”, and the Talmud teaches and so it is quoted in the code of Jewish law, “a husband must respect and honor his wife even more than he does his own self.”

If a man and a woman present themselves to the treasurer of charity for help, the woman must be helped first and then the man.

Here is another big one. Who does the Bible consider more mature at an earlier age? The woman.

At the age of 12, a girl is considered mature enough to be counted as an adult, while the boy is still a child until the age of 13. Only at those respective ages are they counted in as part of the grown up community.

The difference in maturity and intellectual grasp is recognized for example in the fact that the vows of a girl take on a serious legal position and are officially valid one whole year before those of a boy! Until 13 years of age the boy is still, just babbling.

When G-d created the world and made the male and female species of birds, animals, flowers etc. they were all separate, detached, and distinct from each other. The only one exception in creation, was when G-d made the human being. “Male and female He created them.” G-d created the male / female like Siamese twins, connected as ONE.

Our sages explain, the reason for this anomaly is very deep and significant. The only purpose to pair males and females for all creations, would be for the sake of pro-creation. In the case of humans however in addition to the furtherance of the species, wholeness and perfection of each one of the genders is reached, in the companionship and oneness with each other. Even after they fulfilled their duty to have children, there is more to be gained, psychologically AND physiologically in remaining in a committed monogamous relationship.

It was only after this dual creation spent a little time together, that G-d separated them into two different people, each one to complement the other through the special gifts G-d endowed into each one individually and exclusively.

Maimonides explains, that a man is harder on the outside while a woman is softer. The man is compared to the heavens and the woman to the earth. The man is compared to the brain and the woman to the heart.

There is no doubt, men and women are different from each other physically and, in their internal intellectual and emotional mechanisms.

It is a man’s role to provide the rain, and the role of earth with its infinite potential and capabilities to develop what is planted inside of it. Although originally the water comes from the “earth” the clouds are what bring it in its proper measure, for the earth to develop. Our sages teach us to be very careful with how we treat our wives, “because it is in their merit that we receive (to begin with) our physical blessings.”

Life begins in the heart, but the brain supplies the rational thought, to direct the emotions in the heart, which experiences much more movement than the organ of the brain.

The Talmud says “a man without a wife is like a house without walls.”

A man needs the very special qualities of a woman for his own wholeness and completeness. A woman can and will only be happy and satisfied and reach self-fulfillment when she lives as a woman was designed to be.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Negative thoughts --Only for a second can't hurt, right?

We established last week, the most successful way to deal with unwanted or bad thoughts is not to fight them, but to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones.

When these positive thoughts have the strength and light of G-dliness in them and they are not merely positive affirmations etc., for example, thoughts and sayings that draw inspiration from the Bible then, they not only replace the bad with good, they will actually chase away and dissolve the dark thoughts, similar to light that without any struggle chases darkness away.

Once, a Chassid struggling with unwanted thoughts was sent to a Rabbi for guidance. When he came to this Rabbi’s house in the middle of the night and knocked, no one opened for him. In the morning, when he was allowed in, he noticed not only was the door bolted on the inside, it had an extra piece of wood to cover the small crack at the bottom of the door.

When he told his host why he was sent, the Rabbi asked him “Did you not notice when you arrived at a time when you were not welcome, no one let you in? In addition, didn’t you see how besides the door to stop any intruders there was an extra precaution in place to hold back even the creepy crawlers from coming in?"

Similarly, your mind has its own doors of entry. People will come and knock on the door, It is you who determines who and when you allow anyone in. It is up to you to bolt the door shut and place precautions even for the creepy crawlers.

Thoughts are like a garment through which the soul expresses itself. So, when a person is a happy soul, he will most likely choose to put on happy garments. When a person is not so happy, he will subconsciously choose unhappy thoughts and garments. The soul and the garments, confirm each other.

Since every soul is always enclothed in the garment of thought, it will be influenced by the positive or negative thoughts, and the thinking can ultimately change the character of the soul!

When a person is in a crazy mood and is naturally drawn to unhappy thoughts, how does he get control and stop the vicious cycle of going after those bad thoughts which then influence the soul, like garments that influence the person wearing them?

However, we need to be reminded, that while garments express the disposition of the soul, they are a completely separate entity. In truth, a person is not connected inherently to his thoughts. It is possible, to choose and decide to think something entirely different, than the temperament of the soul at that moment.

Part of the difficulty in overcoming negative thinking once and for all, is the bad inclination inside every person. This force is always trying to bring the person down in whatever way it is able to. One of the arguments this evil force inside us uses to get us to think in negative and self-inflicting ways, is by telling us, it’s only for a second, it can’t harm.

In that second, the bad thought will gain squatters rights forever. Since the soul is eternal, and thought is so close to the soul, a positive or negative thought will make its impression on the soul that will last a lifetime. The way people get lost in a forest, is with the first step of deviating from the proper path.

The purpose of this internal battle is to draw out the deepest positive strengths. When a person asserts himself over his house and doesn’t let anyone just trample all around, he creates the satisfaction of ownership and of having his space, to use as he chooses. He is empowered and truly becomes the owner and master of his place.