Many people want to be Jewish. It is challenging. But – the gain outweighs the pain. Truthfully a Gentile – need not become Jewish to obtain a place in heaven. By observing the 7 Noahide laws from the Torah they can receive a portion in heaven – albeit – not as great as a portion that a Jew who observes Torah receives.
At the time of Mashiah’ / Messiah the gentiles will ask G-d to give them a Mitzvah / commandment to show that they also can observe the mitzvahs as the Jews.
Gentiles / Non-Jews given a Mitzvah / Commandment
In a Toras Aish (Sukkot 5765 / Volume XII Number 3) a booklet with Thoughts From Across the Torah Spectrum, RABBI DOV KRAMER explains in an article called – Taking a Closer Look
The prayers recited during the recently concluded High Holidays include the desire/plea that “all of humanity (Jew and non-Jew alike) join together to fulfill Your will.” In the Haftorah of the first day of Succos (Zecharya 14:16), we read that this request will be realized during the Messianic period; “And it will be that all who are left from all of the nations, who had come against Jerusalem (to wage war against it), and they will come up every year to bow before the King, the G-d of Hosts, and to celebrate the festival of Succos.” Why is this holiday singled out as the one during which all the nations of the world will come to acknowledge G-d?
Most of the commentators explain that the war of Gog and Magog, the final war before Moshiach comes, will take place on Succos. Since it will be the wondrous miracles performed in this war that will cause all to recognize the One True G-d, it will be this same time every year that the nations return to pay homage to Him.
Rashi, however, has a different approach. The Talmud (Avodah Zarah 3a) describes a conversation between the gentile nations and G-d, where they ask if they can start from scratch (and thus be worthy of the same future as the Nation of Israel). Eventually, G-d gives them one “easy” commandment to fulfill, to live in a Succah. It is because of this “mitzvah,” given to the gentiles as their last opportunity to show that they deserved to be included in all of the Torah’s commandments, that (according to Rashi) the other nations come to Jerusalem every year to “bow before G-d.”
Here is a synopsis of the end of the conversation between G-d and the gentiles: The gentiles request a “do-over,” that they be offered the Torah again, so that they can (now) fulfill it. G-d responds that it’s really too late, as reward can only be given in the world to come to those that worked for it in this world. Nevertheless, “I have one easy commandment, namely Succah, go and fulfill it.” The Talmud asks how G-d can offer such a thing, when a verse explicitly implies that mitzvos cannot be performed in the world to come- to which it answers that G-d does not use “excuses” to prove His point, so wanted to give them an opportunity to show whether or not they really would keep the commandment(s) if given the chance.
Initially, each gentile goes and builds a Succah, but when G-d makes it extremely hot (and therefore uncomfortable in the Succah), they all leave it-kicking it on their way out. Even though one who is very uncomfortable is not obligated to stay in the Succah, by kicking it they showed that they never really wanted to fulfill it (see Maharal).
Becoming in Tune with Oneself / The Reason for Antisemitism – If You cannot Join them – Beat them.
One of the reasons why Hitler said he hated Jews in Mein Kampf – was because the Jews gave the world 2 things – A conscience. The Idea of Perfecting Oneself. He wanted to live as a barbarian – without a conscience. Thus the reasons he said that he committed his atrocities.
A Gentile or even a Jew against Torah Observant Jews who is in tune with their real feelings may want to examine from where these feelings emanate / come. They may ask – Is it that they have a desire to become Torah observant themselves – but their attachment to the materialism causes them to beat them (Jews) rather than to join them?
If this is the case it makes more sense to at least take a small mitzvah upon themselves and do something constructive with these feelings rather than using their feelings destructively.
Why Gentiles want to Become Jewish
But the main point here is – why do some non-Jews feel a compelling desire to convert to Judaism?
For some it is a Desire to connect with the Source of All life – the One who said “let there be light!” – Hash-m.
In Torah it explains that before G-d gave the Torah to the Jews at Mount Sinai – He proposed it to the other nations. Each asked – what is in the Torah. To a nation that had a tendency towards stealing – He said – “Do not Steal. is one of the commandments. The collective nation rejected accepting the Torah upon themselves. Until when the Torah was offered to the Jews – the Jews said “We will do it and We will hear it.” Meaning first we will accept the Torah. Then we will hear what is in it. Some Gentiles in certain nations – wanted to accept the Torah, but were excluded from the privilege of observing it because their nation rejected it. Some of these souls – came back to life and eventually became converts to Judaism.
There were also some individual Jews who did not wish to accept the Torah at mount Sinai. They eventually became – those against Torah or those that “converted” to another religion. (Conversion of a Jew to another religion is really impossible – a Jew will always remain a Jew in G-d’s eyes. Even though a Jew can go through the motions of “converting” to another religions – their soul will remain Jewish and they are responsible to follow Torah and they will be Judged as a Jew (according to their observance of Jewish Law / Shulchan Aruch) in the afterlife).
The Migrating Souls
However for some, another reason plays a part. During the course of history – many Jewish souls greatly diverted themselves from the path of the Torah or rebelled against it. G-d sometimes gives these souls an extra chance to redeem themselves from what their soul did in a past life. Their soul comes back in the body of a non-Jew because their soul desires to become attached again to the source of life – Hash-m.
In a previous Post in jerusalemlife.com – entitled Truth Seekers – Of Ministers & Missionaries that Made the Move to Judaism I wrote about two former-gentile ministers whose sincere search of truth led them to convert to Torah Judaism – Rabbi Yehuda Peretz and Gavriel Sanders.
Rabbi Yehuda Perez, originally Alfredo Diaz, came from Mexico. His father was interested in spirituality and tried all kinds of religions until he founded a church. His sect had great respect for Jews. His son, Rabbi Peretz, started on the track to become a Pastor. At one point he was reading the bible. He had questions regarding the discrepancies in the Bible. He tried comparing different versions of the Bible to find his answers. He didn’t find his answers. He found out that the versions differed markedly between one and the other and between the original Hebrew texts. He was not satisfied with the answers.
So he prayed to G-d to help him find the truth and the answers to his questions. Shortly after he met a Jewish person and was enthralled. He started asking his questions to the simple Jew and he answered them satisfactorily. Alfredo, was greatly impressed, and learned that the answers to his questions were found in what the Jewish man called the Oral Torah. He kept on asking questions that the man deferred by suggesting that Alfredo ask some of the orthodox Rabbis in Mexico.
Alfredo continued his search for truth until he finally converted to Judaism. He Moved to Israel and married a Jewish woman. He continued his Jewish studies and Became and ordained Rabbi. Now he is Rabbi Yehuda Perez.
Tapping in to Previous Lives – through the Autistic Savants
Rabbi Perez once went to an autistic person who has a soul that highly in contact with the heavens. (for those interested Books (Secrets of the Soul) and a site (dani18.com) that reveals their messages exist). His name I believe is Binyamin Golden – who is able to communicate through a process called Facilitated Communication (FC). FC Is done through computer chat communication with the autistic person.
He asked Binyamin – who was he in a previous life. Binyamin Told him –
Your soul was previously in a person who died in the Gas Chambers of the Holocaust. In your previous life you were also married with someone who had the same soul as your current wife.
His current wife was a Moroccan Jew.
Rabbi Perez then asked why was his current wife born Jewish – while he was born as a gentile?
Binyamin Told him –
At the last moments of your previous life you did not do Teshuva / Repent from abandoning the Torah. You thus were born as a non-Jew – because to compensate for your lack of Teshuva – in a past life you had to make an extra effort to become Jewish in this life. Your wife – did do Teshuva the last moment and thus she was reincarnated as a Jewish woman.
The world – in this state is supposed to last 6,000 years. We are in Year 5,778 from creation. Many souls are coming to the world to make a tikun / reparation for abandoning Torah in a previous life. At times a person has sinned so much – that the only way they can be purified and forgiven is if they die sanctifying the Name of Hashem / Kiddush Hash-m. Some of the people in the Holocaust died for that reason.
Thus many converts are coming to convert to Judaism – because these migrant souls are being reborn.
Who Are You?
The Ariz”l said that most people born today are from souls reincarnated from past lives.
Are you one of these reincarnated souls? I don’t know. Hypnosis (see – the book the Coming Revolution – by R. Zamir Cohen or an article on his site hidabroot.com – that talks about Hypnosis to a past life) or speaking with one of these autistic people (see dani18.com – apparently you can email them) through Facilitated Communication might be able to help you on that one. But really all you need is to be true to yourself- true to truth. true to finding truth and pray to Hash-m / G-d and Hash-m will help you find the Truth.
Following Torah – either the Shulhan Arukh for a Jew or the 7 Noahide Commandments for non-Jews are pretty simple once you get used to doing them. One just has to take that first step of making taking small steps towards learning them and observing.
Each week Jews read a Parasha / section from the Torah – the 5 books of Moses – in a Synagogue. Each Year they complete reading the whole Humash (5 books of Moses). Each Parasha has a name. Some are named according to their subject matter. Some are named after an Individual. The person who has their name as one of the Parashas must have a particular merit.
One Parasha’s Name is Yitro – named after a Midianite Priest. He served all forms of idol worship until he found Judaism. Then he rejected all of his former religions and converted to Torah Judaism.
Why name a section of torah for a former idol worshiper?
The question – why did Yitro – a former priest of Idol worship – merit one of the Parasha’s names to be called after him?
The Two Attitudes
One answer is is that there are two types of attitudes.
One is the attitude of convenience – one is the attitude of truth.
The attitude of convenience is to defend my particular lifestyle – because I enjoy it. It could be a neutral or even a horrible thing – but I defend it because it was brought up that way or it is convenient for me or to fit into the crowd.
The attitude of truth is to put all your effort into finding truth and following it regardless of how it affects your lifestyle.
Yitro had this attitude of truth. He rejected fame, riches and glory for truth. Apparently he was following the attitude of Abraham. He rejected the world’s ways- at a time when idol worship and child sacrifices were common practice. Thus the Torah gives a Parasha His name to condone this attitude of Truth.
The Truth Seekers
Jews who repented sincerely or gentiles who converted to follow Torah Judaism know the attitude. They lived in a world of shallowness and of chasing after fleeting shadows to find true depth and meaning in Judaism. They experienced a moment of truth and grabbed it by the reins.
The Convenience Seekers
Many people will reject Judaism because they are steeped into a lifestyle that they would have to change if they admitted the truth of Judaism. So it is easier to reject Judaism than to change my lifestyles. Scientists, missionaries, anti-semites, followers of other religions all fall prey to this attitude. In the end – when they arrive at the world of truth – heaven they will be shown where they erred.
Worse than their feeling that they were wrong – will be their feeling that they wasted their life chasing after shadows.
To these people I say one thing – “don’t worry there are kosher restaurants.”
Meaning – if you are afraid to accept Judaism – because you will have to give up your nightly restaurant hopping – “don’t worry you will be able to eat in kosher restaurants instead.” Which are many times better than their non-kosher counterpart. (Only Jews are obligated to eat Kosher according to Halakha / Torah Law. A gentile may eat non-kosher food as long as – if it was an animal – the animal was completely dead before it was chopped up. This is one of the Torah’s 7 Noahide laws called ever min haHay / the prohibition of eating a limb taken from a living animal.).
Answering to G-d
The Anti-Semites who waste life
Hitler hated the Jews because he wanted to act like a barbarian – without having a guilty conscience. Jews reminded him of G-d’s laws. He didn’t want to be reminded. Instead of correcting himself – he decided to commit genocide. He says this straight out it in Mein Kampf. He fell into the same trap – the attitude of convenience. Other anti-semites fall into this same attitude.
But they will have to answer to G-d one day of why did they spend their time hating Jews rather than helping the world.
Those who prevent life
Those who support same-gender marriage will have to answer why did they support this law that prevented millions of potential children from entering the world. The world could have been some much more beautiful if these people got married to the opposite gender and had children.
You can’t outsmart G-d
I found out a long time ago that you can’t outsmart G-d. He knows more. He thought everything out. He made a perfect world. Digressing from the laws that he gave us just hurts ourselves. But we think we are smarter.
I am happy that I found out I am not smarter than G-d many years ago.
Who says Judaism is the True Religion
What many will ask is why follow Torah Judaism (Judaism based upon adhering to Shulchan Arukh – the Code of Jewish Law by R. Yosef Karo).
Good question. There are about 80,000 religions out there – who says Torah Judaism is the True law of G-d?
The Four Questions
It’s rather easy. There are four questions that if answered logically – you will come to the conclusion that Judaism is the true religion of G-d.
Here they are:
- Is there a G-d?
- Did G-d give a law?
- What is that Law?
- Did G-d change His Mind?
Let’s play devil’s advocate and answer all questions against Torah Judaism. Then we’ll do the same answering according to logic.
The Answers that many a non-believer will give are :
- No. if there is a G-d.
- not Judaism.
all the above answers are illogical.
- Saying No – there is no G-d means that the world, all nature, humans, animals, planets, radio waves, fire, energy came about by random atoms flying around. Not logical. Order is not created by randomness. If one found a pencil in the sand – he will not say this pencil was formed by sand randomly flying around. One who would say that would be deemed mentally incompetent or irrational. Thus you must say that an Intelligent creator created the world. The randomness theory of creation is illogical and irrational.
- Saying No – G-d did not give a law – means that G-d who created the world does not care if one destroys it. A painter surely cares if one destroys his painting. Thus G-d must have given laws to prevent the destruction of the world or in the world.
- saying Torah Judaism is not the law of G-d means that another religion is the law of G-d. The Torah is the The only divinely given document whose giving was witnessed by millions of people. All other religions cannot claim this and do not claim this. If G-d is going to give a law He will give it to be witnessed millions not to just one person. Thus we must say that the law that was given in front of millions of people that heard G-d speaking must be the true law.
- saying G-d changed his mind means that G-d is fickle. G-d knows the past , present and future, knows where every single molecule is, was and will be from the beginning of time till its end. It doesn’t make logical sense to say that He will change His mind. Thus we must say that G-d never revoked the laws of the Torah.
The laws are still the same as when G-d gave them. “Orthodox” Jews follow them in their entirety. Nohaides or Benei Noach’s follow the 7 Noahide laws for non-Jews that are from the Torah.
Thus through logical deduction we find that G-d’s law by which he Judges the world is the Torah.
No Interfaith Discussions for Me – thanks
Thus I don’t go for inter faith discussions or partnerships. Not that I don’t respect people. I respect people. But I don’t respect ways of life if they are not the truth.
So why should I waste my time pretending that other religions are truth when logically they don’t fit the bill. (as shown above)
Suffering Caused by Haughtiness
Thus true ethics are the ethics of G-d. The Ethics of G-d are the ethics of the Torah. The Torah has answers to questions – what to do with crime, terrorism, stealing, building bridges, helping others, helping countries. But people think they know better than Torah. So people take the circuitous route and play G-d, or rely on trial and error or turn to so called “ethical experts” – like those who judged the Charlie Gard case and end up with disastrous results.
Your Options in Doing What’s Right
If what’s right is what G-d says. So go to someone who knows best the way G-d thinks – to a Reputable Talmid Hakham – a Torah Scholar and ask him what is the Torah opinion on any ethical issue with which you are concerned. (Usually you can ask an “orthodox” Jew who is a reputable Talmid Hakham.). Just like one who is concerned about nutrition goes to a reputable nutritionist; a person who wants to build a building – goes to a reputable architect, a person sincere in doing the will of G-d and wanting to know what is truly ethical in G-d’s eyes – goes to a reputable Talmid Hakham.
When people realize this and actually do this, it will be one of the first steps to bringing Mashiach / Messiah. This is the way G-d wanted – ethics are to be decided by the Torah. Spirituality, truth and Ethics was given to Jacob – now represented by the Torah scholars of the Jews.
A government needs to know what is ethical, a doctor has an ethical medical issue he or she must decide – contact a reputable Talmid Hakham / Torah scholar and you can be reassured that what you do will be the right thing in the eyes of G-d. Obviously – you must provide all the details for him to give you the right ethical decision of what the Torah holds on the matter / Daat Torah.
Better to rely on Torah. Better to rely on someone who knows true will of G-d. Someone who studies and follows Torah all day. They’ll be able to tell you what G-d wants from you, from your family, from your city and from your world.
It is interesting that that squiggly line that appears under misspelled words – For the word “negativity” no red squiggly line appeared – for the word “positivity” a red squiggly did appear. Perhaps it is an indication of the lack of positivity? Perhaps “positivism” is the real word?
Where does that negativity come from anyway?
Four words stop us in life
it creeps up in our material and spiritual aspirations.
I can’t become a great business man. I can’t become a doctor. I can’t expand my store sales. I can’t get a degree.
I can’t do do shabbat. I can’t keep kosher. I can’t say a blessing on food.
if only i will win lotto, i will be happy. if only i land that job, i’ll be happy.
if you want something – go and make your effort – pray to hash-m and if it is good for you G-d will give it to you.
once a woman saved a child’s life. she lifted a car that was on top of a young boy. she was interviewed by tv news. they asked – her “how does it feel like to be a hero!” she said – terrible. they asked – why? she said – after that incident she realized how much potential she had – and she didn’t use it all her life.
Change the “I can’t” to “I can.”
Change the “if only” to “it’s good”.
make small steps towards your goal.
say thanks to G-d for all that you have and for all that G-d did for you till now in that domain.
you’ll get farther that way in life.
Eating Meat Permitted by Torah
The Torah permits eating meat. Obviously it must be a kosher animal and slaughtered kosher – in a manner that does not cause pain to the animal. Crustaceans and shellfish are not-kosher – so anything that is kosher will not contain them.
According to Torah one cannot eat anything that comes from a non-kosher animal. Honey – however can be eaten even though it comes from bees – a non-kosher creature. Because bees only process the honey with their enzymes – they don’t produce it using ingredients from their bodies.
“Enzymes are protein molecules in cells which work as catalysts. Enzymes speed up chemical reactions in the body, but do not get used up in the process. Almost all biochemical reactions in living things need enzymes. With an enzyme, chemical reactions go much faster than they would without the enzyme.” – Definition
Thus the bee is not changing the nectar into honey – apparently it is just speeding up the process. It’s enzymes do not become part of the honey. Using this reasoning it should be kosher. Thus technically speaking, a vegan should be able to eat honey. But I am not trying to get vegans to eat honey. Just pointing out an interesting point.
Understanding Kosher Symbols
In any case to understand how kosher symbols can help we must understand the different statuses of food.
Kosher – anything allowed to be eaten by Jewish law.
Non-kosher – made with a non-kosher animal or its by-products. Milk and meat mixed together. Wine or grape juice that was not processed according to Jewish law. (thus to drink it one assures the wine or grape juice has a Kosher symbol).
Dairy – has milk inside. In Yiddish – Milchig.
Parve – has no milk or meat – could have eggs, honey or fish derivatives.
Meat – has meat inside. In Yiddish – Fleichig.
Kosher for Passover – contains no leavened wheat products or leavening – like yeast. Thus beer may be Kosher, but it not Kosher for Passover.
Nowadays there are many Kosher certification symbols – like the OU (thee Orthodox Union), OK, Star-K, Badatz Jerusalem, etc. One checks the food product to determine if it has a Kosher symbol on it.
A Vegetarian will eat anything that is dairy or parve (provided it has no fish by-products in the ingredients).
A Vegan will eat some-things that are parve (provided it has no eggs, honey or fish by-products). So a vegan who buys parve things will just have to check the ingredients for eggs, honey or fish by-products and will be able to consume them.
The Kosher symbols allow people to know what is in food. Let’s take the OU.
OU has various designations:
OU P – Kosher & Kosher for Passover
OU D – Kosher – Dairy
OU Parve – Kosher Parve
OU DE – although the OU no longer uses this designation – it means Dairy Equipment – the food was produced on equipment that also make dairy food.
Now the OU uses OU D for even things made on dairy equipment. So it is possible that food with this symbol may not contain dairy – but it was made on dairy equipment. Thus depending upon how strict a Vegan is, one might be able to eat OU D – if they check the ingredients and there is no dairy ingredients.
Lactose-intolerant people can also be helped with Kosher symbols – by seeing if a food product is parve. (But it is prudent to check the ingredients in any case)
I was wondering why people feel so comfortable there. Apparently, G-d is the father of all. There are three partners in the creation of a person – a Man, a Woman and G-d. The man provides the white – like bones. The Woman provides the red – the blood and flesh and G-d provides the soul. (Talmud : Niddah 31a)
Jerusalem is the place of the House of G-d – where the Holy Temple will be erected in the future.
Apparently – a parent whose child comes home wants the child to feel at home. That’s the way that G-d wants his children to feel at home. So he arranges that the time they spend in Jerusalem is agreeable.
Jerusalem is also the center of where souls originate – thus the soul longs to go to it’s place of birth.
There’s no place like home,
More precious than money.
Money can be replaced. Life cannot.
That is the Torah attitude. Not because it places a monetary value on life. But if you compare the two – it comes out to that.
We are to do all to save a life.
One must do as much as one can to preserve life of the innocent.
Unfortunately – this theme came into the limelight in which a hospital in England decided it would be too costly to preserve the life of an innocent infant – Charlie Gard. The value of those who are supposed to save lives – was at least in this instance – money comes before life. We would expect the opposite.
Apparently some staff in the hospital were against this – but the top brass was concerned about the dollars to be spent. The parents were willing to raise the money. But the top administration said it would require too much of an effort and gave them a notice that they would stop the life-support machines.
The parents – refusing to give up on their child – as is normal – went to the High Court of “Human Rights”. Wow. A “Human Rights” court that says money is more important than life. So much for their “ethics”.
Thank G-d I don’t subscribe to what these people’s “ethics”. My ethics come from G-d – from Torah – the only law in the world which millions of people witnessed its giving by G-d. If people subscribed to Torah law – perhaps Charlie Gard would be alive Today. Torah Judges in a Torah Court / Dayanim in a Beit Din – would rule – You have no right to quicken the death or remove life sustaining equipment from the baby boy. Case closed.
Unfortunately – what some people call ethics – is cruelty. What some people call cruelty is ethics. That is not the Torah way. Ethics is ethics and cruelty is cruelty.
Cruelty is forbidden on a personal level, at home and on a national level.
Kindness is the basic foundation of the Torah. You shall love your fellow like Yourself.
A true story:
Recently, In israel in Bene Brak – a hospital run with Torah observant Jews and according to Torah law was treating a patient’s baby who had Down’s Syndrome. The mother was overwhelmed by the expenses and the emotional, physical and psychological toll it was taking on her. She decided to abandon the baby in the hospital.
One of the nurses saw the baby abandoned in the corner of the room. She felt badly for the baby. She took it to the baby care center and decided she would care for it. She got the top administration approval.
Once a nurse found the baby’s foot stuck in the crib wall. The baby did not cry. It was neglected to the point that it did stopped crying even in pain. The staff decided to care for the baby. One brought colorful linen. Another toys. They put the baby in a special room. The baby started acting more like a normal baby.
At one point the expenses of the baby were not being covered by the insurance. The staff of the hospital took a pay cut from their salaries to fund the baby’s expenses. They raised the child until it was 4 years old. They held a birthday party, inviting even the mother.
The child was ready to be put up for adoption. They put the child up for adoption. A couple took the child to be their own.
Two hospitals. One secular. One based upon Torah values. The one based on Torah values saves the child.
Learn about your hospital before you decide to bring a family member there. What are their values. Many hospitals have a high level of cesarian sections. It involves less hassle and they receive more money from the insurance. It is one indicator of what value they place on money. Some will put pressure people to disconnect life support or coerce them to sign a non-recessitation approval. Consult a competent Orthodox Rabbi when these decisions need to be made.
You choose your hospital. You choose your values.
Choose Torah. Choose life.
Is their slant their message?
do your due diligence. are articles of news or of preaching its own message?
The Religious Papers. The Scientific Papers. The Liberal Papers.
Is its general theme: “Yes. I’m Right. Now I have the right to put others down or impose my views.”
The Mindset of Mediocrity – The “I’m Right. You’re Wrong” Attitude
Mediocrity is based upon a mindset. The mindset of “Basically, I’m Right and You are Wrong.” It’s living based upon criticizing what other people do wrong to you or others. People with this attitude stay the same and don’t progress as much as they can. For their focus is on others and don’t work on self-improvement.
Their lives are dependent on the actions of others. They base their lives on the people they dislike the most. Not on ways they can improve their own actions or do good for the world or at least themselves. This is the UN, this is the BDS, this is the story of many countries whose goal is to complain against the Jews or Israel.
Criticizing Attitude Leading to Stagnation
But can also be our own story on some small scale. Stagnation is one of the reason’s why lashon harah / evil speech – speaking badly of others – even if it is true – is forbidden in Torah. It stifles growth. Instead of focusing on self-improvement you focus on others lacking.
Let me blame others so I won’t see my deficiencies – in thought, deed or action.
Open Minded to Torah even if it may not fit my current views
Some people refuse Torah because – it doesn’t fit their lifestyle.
A friend who when he was returning to the path of Judaism – would check upon which of the 13 Principles of Judaism by the Rambam – he felt comfortable with until he accepted all of them. He grew to understand the principles of Judaism.
Difference Between Torah and Other Religions
Rejecting Torah because it is a “religion” is stereotyping. Torah is not remotely close to any other religion. Of the almost 80,000 religions in the world – all are man-made. The Torah was handed down by G-d to millions of witnesses. That’s a far cry from one man transmitting a message and G-d himself transmitting His own message to millions of people.
Rejecting Torah – due to personal habits that go against it – is like rejecting a free New car because you don’t use the air-conditioner. Or rejecting going to gym because you have to work a bit. If you want to get in shape you have to work at it.
Global or Local Attitude of Mediocrity?
One should ask – does my “focus on other’s actions” attitude encompass my being or is it relegated to certain times, people or places?
True Path to Freedom – Torah
It could be a global mindset or one used for a by an individual in a particular aspect of life. In any case it should be treated by opening one’s mind and vistas to Torah. A person who thinks the thoughts of G-d / Hash-m is free. (Provided they act upon them as well.)
The intelligent will determine what G-d wants and follow His will. Why? Because more than even you yourself, G-d knows and wants what is better for you.
The Search for Truth
The attitude of “I’m Right. Now I have the right to put others down.” is not the way of Torah. That it an attitude that leads to stagnation and decadence.
Torah will say – receive the message – now see what is truthfully wrong in this situation and see what you can learn to correct yourself. The Torah will say search for Truth – not for giving yourself a pat on the back or to allow yourself righteous indignation – but to find out what is really right in G-d’s eyes. And then correcting yourself. Regardless of what is your point of view.
The Torah says every day is a new opportunity to improve and become a new and better person. Rejuvenation daily.
Some will hold on to “religion” because it is their religion or their lifestyle. Drop the attitude of “being stuck to one point of view” and follow truth. Follow G-d’s will. Sometimes what you think G-d wants is not what He actually wants. Some will think making pogroms or killing innocent people is right – for that is what their religion says. Is that want G-d really wants – innocent people – His children to be hurt? Follow truth – not “religion”.
The Torah says hurting innocent people is forbidden. Killing is forbidden. (In the Seven Noahide Laws – for Gentiles and in the 613 commandments for Jews) Sorry, a Pogrom is Just plain Wrong.
The Great Torah of the generation will be able to tell you what G-d really wants. Why? Because Torah is the only document that G-d gave before millions of witnesses. Thus it is obviously His will.
In business – the quality experts say don’t blame. Fix the Problem. Don’t say that it is Steve’s fault for the bad paint job on this car. Fix the process – don’t push the blame. Fix yourself. Don’t push the blame.
Don’t criticize, condemn or complain is a Jewish concept. Those who adopt it will be able reach higher levels of success than those who don’t.
To Be Continued…
Developing The Winning Mindset – Part 2 – Listening to G-d’s Messages for Self-Improvement
Developing The Winning Mindset – Part 3 – What Aristotle Taught Alexander to Be Able to Conquer the World –
What are ethics?
What does the word mean?
Ethics – moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity.
OK. Many people can have ethics – but are all ethics equally moral? All are ethics equally valid? Are all ethics moral?
What is True Morality?
The question that we address to day – is what is true morality?
Morality based upon Societal Mores
Is morality based upon the ideals of the society?
No. Look at Nazi Germany – their ethics were to destroy any thing that was a threat to the Nazi race or that gives the world a conscience. Were they moral? Absolutely not. Barbarians in nice clothing.
Hitler’s goal was to make a civilization of barbarians.
Morality Based Upon the Heart
Can morality be based solely upon the heart? No. Some people feel badly for criminals, they condone their violence and those same criminals are motivated to commit more crimes.
Is that moral. No. Criminals should be punished. Innocent people should live in peace.
Morality Based Upon intelligence
Can morality be found through think tanks. Apparently not – unless all the members of the think tank have the morality of the Torah. Otherwise they will have some kind of bias – that will lead them to base their morality upon their values in life.
When Scientists Err
Take Stephan Hawking – with all the intelligence – he couldn’t figure out a simple principle – that G-d exists.
Ask a person if they are walking on a beach and they found a pencil – where did this pencil come from? If they say someone probably dropped it – you’d consider them to be reasonable or rational in that thought. If they said – it was probably the sand that blew together and formed a pencil – you would think they are irrational or mentally deficient.
If it is impossible for a perfect pencil to be made with random pieces of sand – it is even “more impossible” for a child, a cell, or billions of similar looking creatures to be created by random sand blowing together. Sorry. Mr. Hawkings – you failed on this one in terms of rationality and morality.
The Rationality of the Existence of G-d
It makes more rational sense for G-d to exist than – to be a world without G-d. It is illogical to think a world will exist without G-d.
People don’t want to believe because they would rather feel that they are free to do what they want. If you put G-d in the picture – you feel you have to behave – because G-d is watching.
The Good of Believing in G-d
Believing in G-d is good in itself. A study was done – where a wallet of money was left out in the open. They surveyed the person who found and returned the wallet. They asked – why did you return the wallet? Most who returned the wallet answered – because I knew G-d was watching.
The Jews Remind people of the Existence of G-d
As presented above – knowing that G-d exists is a good thing for society. [Obviously if they have true values of G-d as well – ie, they follow the 7 Noahide laws from the Torah – which include: Do not steal, do not murder, Do not commit adultery or improper relations – like incest, bestiality, homosexuality. and adultery. Not to do idol worship, not to blaspheme and not to eat a limb from a living animal.
A document that condones wonton violence – against people is not the will of G-d. Those 7 laws are the will of G-d. So condoning violence – thinking it is really G-d’s will is neither G-d’s will nor is it moral – thus it is immoral.
When the Jews observe the Shabbat – according to Jewish law – it reminds the world that G-d created the world in 6 days and rested on the seventh. People strengthen their belief in G-d – because we observe Torah.
So what is the true guide of morality in the world?
Basically True Ethics are Torah Ethics.
Because the Torah is the only document given by G-d to mankind before millions of witnesses.
Any man made document is just that – man made. Man needs to improve on what he created. G-d does not. He created things in their state of perfection. G-d is perfect. Man is not perfect.
G-d’s Ethics are Perfect – Man is not Perfect
This is evident by a boy being born with a foreskin. G-d made it such so that the boy will learn the lesson – that though G-d made him almost perfect – a person is to work on themselves to reach towards perfection.
There are over 80,000 religions in the world. Why should a person believe in Jewish ethics? Here are 2 simple reasons.
- The Torah is the only divine law. It is the only law that was given by G-d before millions of witnesses. G-d does not change His mind about the law – that is irrational to think of a perfect Being – knowing the past present and future to change His mind about the law.
- Many religions that say they do represent the word of G-d – have committed or are still committing atrocities. Religions – that killed millions of people in the name of G-d. Is that what G-d wants – I think not.
Many other reasons exist – but those are two for now.
So what is the honest person to do?
Torah is for Jews and Gentiles to Follow. Jews follow 10 commandments & the Jewish Law – Shulchan Aruch. Gentiles follow the 7 Noahide laws based upon the Torah.
That’s true morality. Everything else is off the mark.
Take three recent examples:
- a court in England – rules that a child in a hospital should be terminated because it is too expensive. Doesn’t seem moral to me. The Torah says it is forbidden to kill.
- People complaining that it is not right to have metal detectors to prevent violence. Seems very moral to me to protect your own life. The Torah says protect your own life.
- The US supreme court rules for the permissibility of same gender marriage. It doesn’t seem moral that good people should not have offspring. The world is to be populated. The Torah says same gender relations are forbidden and the world is to be populated.
Torah vs. Societies Values
Compare the values of society to the values of Torah – and through asking a competent Orthodox Rabbi to explain you’ll usually understand the viewpoint of Torah. You just need to be open-minded enough to ask.
Though the Torah was given to the Jews – not all Jews are versed in Torah. Usually the comportment of Jews match the ideals of the Torah. When there is an aberration – consult a Torah authority to find what the Torah really says.
The Torah is the law of G-d. What better path is there than to live a life pleasing to G-d and man.
In Modeh Ani – Upon awakening, one says:
I am grateful before You, Living & Eternal King, that You returned my soul to me with grace. Great is Your faithfulness. / faith [in me.]
Then I wash my hands ritually.
Two things I do in the morning that help me deal with the day ahead.
Saying thanks to G-d that I am alive keeps me positive to know that life is a gift to be treasured every day. But Modeh Ani / I thank You G-d… also has an interpretation that great is G-d’s faith in me.
I can be happy that G-d believes I can overcome any challenge the day imparts.
3 reasons to be thankful.
1. You are alive
2. G-d / Hash-m is faithful to you to only do good for you
3. G-d has faith in you.
[Then I say the morning blessings further enunciating the things for which to be thankful.]
Washing the Anger Away
Washing the hands / Netilat Yadayim also removes evil spirits that rest on the hands when a person sleeps. I don’t know about others – but in the morning I feel my hands have some kind of impurity on them. I wash them with a washing cup – pouring enough water to cover the right hand and then the left and repeat this 3 more times. This removes impurity from the hand. And I believe helps give me a better attitude.
[then I say the washing the hands blessing}
Being ready at every moment to fulfill your purpose
Connected to the fact that G-d believes in You is that you have a very specific purpose to fulfill in the world. Only you can achieve it. So you are to be ready at every moment to fulfill that purpose.
Let’s say you have a van. G-d gave it to you to not only serve your family – but to help others. You love to drive people to their destination.
Let’s say a family member is coming in with family – to your area. they call you the night before to tell you they are arriving. They have a hotel next to your house. You have extra time – once you take care of your family – you can cheerfully go and pick them up. The idea is that you have a purpose from the moment you awake. Be ready at every moment. If your purpose that day is to help this family – then do it cheerfully. Even if they call you later than you expected.
Being angry in the morning will make you lose many opportunities for kindness. “I am too grumpy to pick them up in the morning.” Ok. So be less grumpy.
You think – I am too grumpy to say “good morning” to the doorman.
I am too grumpy to respond that person’s “good morning” in the elevator.
OK. Become less grumpy. It’s in your own hands.
Remember G-d believes in You – that you can perform any Mitzvah that comes before you, that you can overcome any challenge, that you can achieve your purpose in life, that you can be a good person – so why not believe in Yourself.
Believe [in yourself] and achieve.