With Whom are you Really Angry? Why Hate & Anger are Different

Hating those who Do not agree with You

The other day I was on a Clip-art site. Someone posted a piece of art that was against same-gender marriage. Some of the other artists jumped on this person – calling him a hater, a “racist” and other hateful terms. I thought of analyzing the comment conversation. This person basically posted the opinion of the Torah. Same-gender marriage or relations are forbidden for Jews and Gentiles. Because I don’t agree with a person – I don’t have to hate him or call him a hater.

Respect the Person – but not the Opinion

Because a person has another opinion than you – the Torah says you must respect the person but not his point of view. I am against many things that people do. But I do try to respect them as people. Perhaps one day they also will come to understand that The Torah was given for man to perfect himself or herself. The Torah was given to have better personal relations.

Jews hate the sin – not the Sinner

Jews don’t hate the people who do commit these acts. In reality we feel badly for them.

Figuring Out the Reason for G-d’s Position

An intelligent person will think “If this law about Homosexuality (or any other Torah law) is in the Torah that was written by G-d – so there must be some Justifications against it.” You just have to figure it out – if you don’t understand.

Taking the Underdog’s position vs. Understanding G-d’s position

People usually take the – feel bad for the underdog approach. That is good. G-d also takes the side of the underdog. But First the intelligent way to pursue is to take the opinion of G-d as stated by the Torah. And if I don’t understand – or don’t agree – my opinion should defer to G-d’s opinion – for He knows more than me.

Putting Words in G-d’s Mouth

Some do the opposite. They to force words into G-d’s mouth – see the conservative, reform and other movements. G-d gave the Torah. It is forbidden to drive on Shabbat. The other movements said “No. It is better that people be able to drive to synagogue.”

G-d Knows Best

That law spelled the destruction of these movements. People who drove on Shabbat – drove right passed the synagogue into the shopping center. Or drove to another synagogue abandoning their local synagogue.  Many of their congregations fell into disuse – because they changed the law of G-d. n the Torah itself it says – do not add or subtract from the laws.

Why Some Hate

Some hate Jews because they think they can’t live up to G-d’s Torah laws. So they hate – to justify their unwillingness to submit to G-d’s will. The Jews take the blows for their unwillingness to follow Torah. But we will be rewarded for it. In any case a person should understand why they hate a person and try to make peace with themselves – by understanding the other person.

Not hating Others

A Jew should not hate another Jew. The only time that it is warranted to hate another Jew is if they sin to anger G-d. Most people are not in that category. The reason why most people in the world do not follow Torah is ignorance. Most Jews today are in the category of Tinok Shenishba / a child that was taken captive at a young age – so they are not fully responsible for their lack of observance.

Learn Torah to Progress

Personally, I think if Jews did start learning Torah – they would start to observe at least some aspect of it. A very important point is – that if certain aspects of Torah are too challenging for a person to adhere to at this moment –  a person should not reject Torah on that basis. They should be mature enough to say – that aspect is above my ability for now but i will strive in other aspects that are easier until I can.

Wrong Attitude Towards Torah

Unfortunately, many years ago – people said – let’s attract more people to Torah by changing the Torah’s laws. That is mistake number 1. Why? Because Torah was given by G-d before millions of witnesses. So its divinity is difficult to challenge. No other religions claims that their “bible” was given by G-d to millions of people. Only Judaism.

So to disagree or want to change the laws of G-d is counter productive. G-d thought out his law more than anyone who tried to find reasons to disregard Torah.

Concrete Examples

A Jew is to follow 613 commandments of the Torah. A Gentile is to follow 7 major categories of laws called the Noahide Laws / Sheva Mitvzot Benei Noach.

In the Torah Killing is prohibited. Why because G-d said so. In Nazi Germany they made laws to allow killings of Jews. If laws aren’t based upon the word of G-d as stated in the Torah – killing can be justified – like many religions did so in the past to further their cause – like in the inquisition, the crusades, the intifada, etc. Their laws are not based upon Torah – so they justify Killing innocent people.

The Torah says hate the sin not the sinner. Hate the philosophy – if it is against Torah. But not the people. If G-d says something you do not understand in the Torah – ask a reputable Torah scholar to explain. They will. Hating a person for an opinion is contrary to Torah – unless they are spiteful against G-d. Try to Understand the Position of G-d and live a more peaceful and lucrative life.

Many people who were the haters – what did they accomplish? Hatred. Anyone can do that. Making a better world through Torah is really our Job. Jews have the 613 commandments & Gentiles the Torah’s Noahide laws. That is the real starting point for a better world.

A Crown Has Fallen – Rabbi Aharon Monsonego, zt”l

A man is known for what he accomplished in this world. If he is beloved here, he is beloved in heaven. We come for a short while to accomplish our purpose and return to the eternal world. We hope we will accomplish that for what we were sent here. We learn from the great sages. They serve as an example to teach us the proper way to act in life and with people. Our Torah learning is not complete without the Torah sages. A person cannot become a Torah sage unless he has served other Torah sages.

Rabbi Aharon Monsonego, Former Chief Rabbi of Morocco, passed away yesterday, at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center. In recent years the rabbi lived in Jerusalem after suffering a severe stroke. He lived his final years in Israel due to his age and health. His family lived in the Bayit Vagan neighborhood of Jerusalem and the ultra-Orthodox city of Modi’in Illit. He was 90.

Rabbi Aharon, was one of the founders of Otzar HaTorah in Morocco. He stared a series of Torah day schools for the population in Morocco. He raised funds and organized the schools in many cities. He helped start many Yeshivot. He raised money to publish Jewish sefarim / books. He was the head of a synagogue in Casablanca, Morocco.

His wisdom was sought by the common man and great Rabbis – like Rav Ovadia Yosef, former chief Rabbi of Israel. They were in continuous contact regarding certain cases dealing with the laws of agunot and mamzerim held in the Jewish court of law / Beit Din. He was held in esteem by Rabbi Shalom Mesas, for chief Rabbi of Jerusalem and other great sages. Rabbi Amar, former Chief Rabbi of Israel, was his student. In addition, the king of Morocco valued the rabbi, seeking advice from him. He was invited to official events at the royal palace in Rabat, the capital of the city.

Rabbi Aharon Left his home as a young teenager, to study in Aix-Les-Bains, France in the Yeshiva of Rabbi Haikin, a former Talmid / Student of the Chofetz Chaim. He was there after World War II and the Holocaust where many Dislodged Rabbis made a stop in Aix-Les-Bains to travel back home. He interacted with many great sages, like Rabbi Mordechai Pergamansky and others.

He did Mesirut Nefesh / Soul-giving efforts to further Torah education in Morocco and the world. He won a Prize from L.A. Pincus fund for Jewish Education in the Diaspora. He would talk to parents of children in secular schools to explain the importance of placing their children in Torah schools.

He had a Lev Tov – a good heart. Many times his wife would prepare food for Shabbat. He would give it away to families in need. He would give away his Kosher meals to other Jewish people, who forgot to order, in air plane flights.

He had Ahavat Yisrael / Love of Jewish People. Once in Morocco Moshe (Paul) Reichman, the Real Estate Magnate, as a youth came there to escape the horrors of World War II. A youth, Rabbi Monsonago, welcomed him to his home, gave him his bed and shared the small food he had with him – some bread and a can of sardines.

Rabbi Aharon was welcomed by the Satmar Rebbi, Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum.

At the time of the death of his father, Baba Sidi (Former Chief Rabbi of Morocco – Rabbi Yedidia Monsonego) when Rabbi Aharon Monsonego was sick and had gallbladder surgery, he dreamed of Rav Chaikin and Rav Yoel of Satmar (who had already passed away) who were heading towards the melah (old City) of Fez, Morocco. They told him to come with them and Rabbi Aharon replied, ‘I have to join you later’. Today 26 av is the yartzeit of Rabbi Yoel of Satmar …

He had a way of speaking from the heart that enabled listeners to feel the words entering into their hearts. (Some of his audio lectures are available in French at the Dvar Torah site)

Rav Aharon was the crown of the Moroccan community. He helped to start communities in Morocco, and worldwide.  His presence will surely be missed.

Getting Rid of Whatsapp for a Bank Fee – When Persistence Pays Off

It was a late Friday afternoon – close to the start of Shabbat. After it starts – for about 25 hours – I don’t use a phone or engage electricity.

Earlier that day, I made an Amazon purchase. I put it on the wrong debit card.

If Amazon debits the card I get an overdraft fee. I had to make a deposit and quick to avoid the fee. One Small Concern. I had no check to deposit.

What now?

Relegate myself to another $35 overdraft fee? No way. I’m not giving up so easily.

I ask a parent for a check. Sorry, they brought no checks. I asked other family members – no check. Time is ticking. Shabbat is approaching.

How about checking the mailbox.

Wow. I find a check sent in the other other day.

Now to deposit the check – that’s no problem I just borrow a phone with the bank app. I borrow phone. Sorry the camera is working intermittently and now it decides not to work. Last resort – reload the bank app that i uninstalled on my own phone. But there is no space. Which app should I choose to lose?

Whatsapp takes a lot of space. How about I get rid of it. I do it. I load the bank app and deposit the check.

The way you want to go – G-d will help you.

We just have to choose the right path and be persistent. G-D WILL HELP.

Enough Already. Stop Blaming G-d or Anyone Else for that Matter.

It is a beautiful day. You are on the beach at sunrise. Alone. The cool breeze wafts by your face.

The perfect day.

You remember the good times as a youth. You glance back. And feel thankful you are alive.

Whose doing? G-d.

He created the sun. The earth. You. The sand. The sky. Air.

What G-d Really Does for You

Nice children – G-d.

A decent job – G-d.

Nice friends – G-d.

A nice home – G-d

Everything good that you have -G-d.

Breaking potential

I know a person. A nice person. A good person deep down. He has two points that broke his potential in life

1. Seeking pity and

2. Blaming others.

He could have been an aeronautical engineer. But his self pity kept him blaming others instead of going forward.

Don’t Criticize, Condemn or Complain

Each one of us – may have this aspect of blaming others in some small way.

When we blame – we feel less culpable – but on the other hand we lose our potential.

Instead of improving our situation, we sulk, blame and do nothing about improving our lot.

Some blame g-d. Some blame others. Some blame both. Some blame Jews. Some blame parents.

G-d gives Challenges to help us Improve

G-d puts us in a situation to help us overcome challenges.

To help us become the best we can be.

Some blame G-d for the holocaust and divorce themselves from the responsibility of following Torah. Others blame him for childhood difficulties.

What about looking at all the good Hash-m / G-d gives on a constant basis?

A blamer should ask – am i blaming because it is really the other’s fault and there is nothing i can do about it or is it just a convenient excuse to shirk my responsibility to excel.

The mediocrity of blaming

Many blame the Jews. What comes out of it?

Mediocrity, hatred and waste of time. But the propagators of the hate gain by keeping the haters occupied while they run away with the cash or shift the blame of problems they are responsible for on someone else. They found a scape goat and people to follow their propaganda.

The haters and the hate propagators don’t achieve. They played a trick on themselves. The hatred caused them to destroy rather to build. The first one that they destroyed was themselves.

One Problem of Lashon HaRa / Derogatory Speech

Don’t fall for it when a friend tells you a negative story of a fellow Jew.

You become a hater. You lose your potential. Perhaps you could have done a good business deal with that person. Perhaps you could have learned from him.

This is the trick of the Yetzer Hara / the Evil Inclination. Get a person to speak lashon hara / derogatory speech and three people fall. The person who says it. The person who heard it and the person the derogatory information is about.

Have pity on your potential and purpose in life.

Build. Don’t blame.

Shelf Your Hatred – Better Use Your Time Productively

This past Sunday was Tisha B’Av.

The Day when both Beit Hamikdash / Holy Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed.

The first was destroyed by the Babylonians. The Second by the Romans.

Hatred – the Great Time Waster

Many people hated the Jews.

the Babylonians. The Romans. The Greeks. The Ancient Egyptians. The Nazis.

Where are they Now? I don’t know. But we never see them anymore.

The Jews are Here.

Putin recently met with the chief Rabbi of Israel – Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef. He asked a chief rabbi that question – “Why did many great civilizations perish and the Jews remained?”

Putin answered himself – “I’ll tell you. You remained because of the merit of Rabbis and the Torah that you follow.”

Jews have the Torah.

Mark Twain asked the same question in his famous Harpers Row Essay on the Jews:

“What is the secret of the eternity of the Jews?”

He left it unanswered in his essay. But Putin Was right. He got the Answer.

This answers the question – but what can we learn from it?

Survival Based upon Torah

One very important point is that on a worldwide level, national level, family level, and individual level – survival is based upon Torah.

Let’s explain. “And you shall delve in it [the Torah] day and night.” (Yehoshua / Joshua 1:8). One explanation says that if it were not for Torah – G-d wouldn’t have created the world. The world exists because of the constant Torah learning of the Jews. If they were to stop – G-d forbid – one moment – the world would return to Toho Vavohu – chaos.

The Nation’s survival depends upon Torah. When the Jews transgressed the Torah – by commiting the three cardinal sins – idolatry, bloodshed and immorality – in the first temple time – that caused the destruction of the first Temple. In the second temple – it was gratuitous hatred that caused its destruction.

A family’s survival depends upon a Torah education. Assimilation among Jews that never had a Jewish education is rampant. 70% of them intermarry – breaking their chain of descendancy of Judaism from their family. They lose their Jewish legacy.

On a personal level – without Torah – a person gets involved with many vanities and many a time – loses their life in the pursuit of materialism and loses their sight from their goal and purpose in life – to do good for the world. Even if they achieve goodness – it is likely they could have ahieved more – had they learned and observed Torah. I learned most of the above thorugh experience, thought and study of history and statistics.

Lesson Two – Hatred is a Waste of Time

For one thing – a person who hates the Jews – will learn that hatred amounts to nothing more than a waste of time. It is true they will be able to vent their emotions of hate, but what will the gain in the end? Nothing. Did they become a better person for their hate? Did they improve the world? No. Hatred does in a sense serve the Jews – because it cause the Jews to be more united. But the hater will be punished.

There is a story of Nero, the Ceasar.

The Roman authorities then sent Nero Caesar against the Jews. When he came to Jerusalem, he wished to test his fate. He wanted to battle against Jerusalem. He Shot to the east – the Arrow turned and flew into Jerusalem. He Shot to the west – the Arrow turned and flew into Jerusalem. He Shot behind him – the Arrow turned and flew into Jerusalem. He shot an arrow in all four directions and they all fell towards Jerusalem – it flew into the Jerusalem. He saw that the person that would battle Jerusalem would have success. G-d for some reason wanted its downfall.

Nero then conducted another test: He said to a child: Tell me the verse that you learned today. He said to him as follows: “And I will lay My vengeance upon Edom by the hand of My people Israel” (Ezekiel 25:14). Nero said: The Holy One, Blessed be He, wishes to destroy His Temple, and He wishes to wipe his hands with that man, i.e., with me. The Romans are associated with Edom, the descendants of Esau. If I continue on this mission, I will eventually be punished for having served as God’s agent to bring about the destruction. So he fled and became a convert, and ultimately Rabbi Meir descended from him.
Talmud: Gittin 56a

A Child thrashes and moves when changing their diaper. But a simple solution is to give them a toy to play with while you change them. Many use this method. The Nazis used it occupy the Germans – give them something elso to think about so they won’t think about the economy.

Too bad for them. Look at Spain – they drove away the Jews and persecuted them- it lost economically and its status as a world power.

But that is not the main point – haters will hate – because they want to hate.

Learning to Love

Jews can learn not to hate their brothers – if they recognize that the evil inclination is also using the same tactic. The evil inclination inside every person – tells us to focus on hating our fellow. So we hate and waste our time. We waste our potential. We waste our lives hating instead of having loving, productive relations with the people we once loved but now we hate.

What causes hate – because we listen to our emotions. We silence our reasoning and give the reigns of our body, thoughts and words to our angry heart.

G-d wants us to love our fellow Jew. The foundation of the Torah is to “Love Your fellow like yourself.” Like the story of Hillel and the gentile who came to him to convert. He wanted to learn the entire Torah “standing on one
foot.” Hillel said the whole Torah is “What ever is hateful to you, do not do to others.” Rabbi Akiva said – “Love Your fellow like yourself.”

If that is the FOUNDATION of the entire Torah – apparently we should make greater efforts to promote love and peace – not discention and hatred. We shoulf speak words of kindness – not Lashon HaRah.

Let us let go of our hatred for the greater good of following Hash-m’s will.

Jewish Meditation – Getting Closer to Spirituality

What is Spirituality ?

People Seek Spirituality.

To follow a path – one should know where it leads.

To follow spirituality – one must first understand what it means.

So first a person seeking spirituality – should define that term – spirituality.

Spirituality – the means to achieve a close relationship with G-d.

What can bring me closer to G-d?

Now one must determine the means that will bring him or her closest to G-d.

Although many ways of life are tempting – and enticing to the eyes – it does not necessarily mean that that way of life is true.

There are many charlatans in the religion business – using the greatest marketing techniques.

To determine what G-d expects a person to do to become close to Him there are two required steps. Step One is Prayer – one can just ask Him. Meaning pray to Hash-m / G-d that he will help you find the right path in life that he expects of you. Step Two is to think out logically – what is the True Religion of G-d. For in G-d’s religion is the directions and means of how to get close to Him.

What path do I follow to become closer to G-d?

If one wants to pursue a relationship with G-d  – how does one go about it?

What makes sense in selecting a religion to follow?

To follow a religion, cult or worship that looks spiritual or one that G-d himself actually sanctioned and explained that that is the way to become close to him?

Obviously if G-d came down to a person and said – Religion A is the Religion that I approve of and will also help you become close to Me – that person would know which religion to follow – because they heard it from G-d Himself.

But today G-d doesn’t reveal himself to people face to face as He did with Moses. So what is the next best thing? To select a religion that G-d approved of in front of Millions of people.

What is the Religion that Brings a Person Close to G-d?

People are interesting.

People are into their ideas & ways of life.

The question is how did they get there?

That is the question most people don’t ask.

Most people follow a religion because they were brought up that way.

The Religion Switcher

Many follow what feels good to them – which leads to an interesting phenomenon – the religion switcher.

I say this because I met people that have told me – last year I was religion A and this year I follow religion B. But I am thinking of joining religion C.

Use Your Heart or Your Mind?

The reason why most people follow a religion or don’t is not because they thought out logically what makes most sense – they follow because they think it “feels” right.

In a world of only feelings – without truth – determining the true path in life is impossible – because A feels that religion A is right, while Mr. B feels that B is right. While Mr. C feels that Atheism is right.

In French they say it “Des goûts et des couleurs, on ne discute pas.” Meaning – Tastes & Colors cannot be Discussed. Because I like sweet. Someone else – salty.

A person who follows a religion or does not (like an atheist or an agnostic) who does so because that is what they feel is right is like a person who chooses chocolate over vanilla ice cream.

I like pistachio.

So what is the solution?

In order to come to the True religion it must be reached by logic. G-d must have made a way for a person to determine what is the true way of G-d – that must be able to be determined through logic – not feelings.

Because in the next world a person is judged. G-d cannot judge a person unless He actually told people what is right and wrong. If not everybody will say – when judged – “Sorry G-d – I didn’t know that that that I did was wrong. No one ever told me.”

Apparently, every normal person in the world can determine the true Law of G-d.

How?

It’s pretty simple.

Four Questions to True Religion

Answer just four questions logically – to come to the true religion.

1. Is there a G-d?
2. Did G-d give a Law?
3. What is that Law?
4. Did G-d Change his Mind about his Law?

Quickly here are the answers –

1. Yes – it is not logical to say that the world, nature, growth, living creatures, thinking came from random atoms flying around – logically one must say there is an Intelligent Being that created all this. One wouldn’t say that a computer program wrote itself by switching on and off a computer. Thus it makes no sense to say that the world was created by random atoms.

2. Yes – A person doesn’t want their masterpiece to be destroyed. G-d does not want his world to be destroyed – so obviously G-d gave laws to protect His world.

3. The Torah – it is the only divinely given document whose giving was witnessed by Millions of people. No other religion claims this about their “bible”. It had to be given in public – otherwise everyone can claim – that they never heard of the divine revelation of G-d’s law – the Torah.

4. No – it is not logical that the Supremely Intelligent Being Changes His mind.

The Conclusion : TORAH is G-d’s Law

Conclusion G-d’s True Law is the Torah. A person need not be Jewish to follow G-d’s Torah. G-d gave laws for

for all people of the Earth.

A person choosing a Religion based upon feelings is like a man marrying a woman and afterward thinking if he made the right choice. He should have thought about it first- before tying the knot.

I have friends into Meditation. They are Orthodox Jews but use meditation techniques. I heard one story of a person that took an oath of silence for many months of meditation. When he reached the height of his meditation – the words that came out his mouth were the words of his Bar Mitzvah Parasha or Shema Yisrael.

Making Time For Yourself – Jewish Meditation


https://www.hidabroot.com/search?q=meditation

The Rational Approach to Judaism – see SimpleToRemember.com
https://www.simpletoremember.com/authors/a/rabbi-akiva-tatz/
https://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/jewish-spirituality/

Books on Jewish Meditation


https://www.amazon.com/Inner-Space-Introduction-Kabbalah-Meditation/dp/0940118564/

Jewish vs. Buddhist Meditation – a former Guru – Gutman Locks – that used to meditate on 85th street and central park in the 60s.



http://www.thereisone.com/videos.htm

http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2009/05/stressbuster-3minute-ancient-hebrew-meditation.html

The Ultimate Relationship Builder – Judaism

Turning back Clocks on Relationship Killers – Phone, TV & Video

Turn Back the Clocks. It was a simpler era. You come home it is almost dark. A hearty “good evening my dear.” Dinner is waiting for you on the Table. Some fresh baked potatoes. Fresh baked bread from the oven.

Dinner finished – you have time to relax with family before bedtime.

You pull out the checker board and challenge a family member to a game. He wins. Perhaps another?

Checkers is a healthy game. It involves thinking, action and interaction.

A person was able to feel and enjoy the presence of the other family member. I get to know their reactions, thoughts and emotions. I appreciate the person. The person feels appreciated.

Technology Servitude

Fast forward to the 21st Century. I come home grab a quick bite. Then attach myself to tech world. Even if the family sits in front of the TV for a completely innocuous show, it reminds me of Big Brother holding the reigns of peoples minds.

I am your screen. I control your thoughts and emotions. I control your opinion. Thus I control your actions.

I am not for videos or TV. They take a person’s freedom away. I follow the crowd to do what’s popular and cool. I let go of my true self to mix in the melting pot of nothingness.

People want real personal relationships. Not a relationship with a screen.

The new drug of the century – technology.

Where can we find relationship builders?

Judaism & Relationship Builders.

Most Torah Laws are relationship builders.

Shabbat

No TV or technology gadgets allowed. No driving. No shopping – just focus on your family / freind relationships, your participation in community and spiritual relationship with G-d.

Spend time with family at Shabbat table. The family says divrei Torah / words of Torah that serves as wholesome discussion at the table.

The family participates in shul / Synagogue together.

The family learns Torah together or attends a Torah lecture.

Kids play board games or simple outdoor games.

Yes the Torah preceded the No Cell-Phone Restaurant meet – where cell phones are placed in the middle of the Table. The first to pick up the cell phone has to pick up the tab.

Getting Married –

Getting married is a Mitzvah in the Torah. It encourages young marriage. Another relationship builder.

Having children is another Mitzvah. Another relationship builder. and developing relationships with the children and the common parents.

Traditional marriage allows a person to have common children – impossible with same gender marriages.

Communal Prayer

A Jewish man prays with a quorum of ten men for three prayer services daily.

People interact together on a personal level.

There they nurture their communication and relationship with Hash-m / G-d. They learn Torah, also an interactive activity.

Torah Study

One Studies Torah either in a lecture or a small group or with a study partner / Hevruta or by oneself.

In each there is personal interaction with others.

In each one learns to better oneself enhancing further personal relations.

Keeping Kosher

One aspect of keeping kosher is to eating animals with negative character traits. Non-Kosher Animals usually have negative character traits or are in certain ways appalling.  A person who consumes certain animals adopts a form of its character traits.

We avoid slaughtering Kosher animals – that we do eat – in an inhumane way.

Going to a Torah Day School

In a Torah Day school children are taught to do acts of kindness, to honor parents, to be respectful to elders, to treat everyone with respect and much more – subjects not taught in public school. While other religions teach hate – we teach love.

Acts of Kindness

Doing acts of kindness are also a Mitzvah, like Helping the poor with money or food,  visiting the sick, lending money and comforting the mourners, etc.

Not hurting People

It is prohibited to speak words that cause pain to another individual. It is forbidden from the Torah to embarrass a person. A Jew controls his temper – he should not get angry.

No Evil Speech

Lashon HaRah is a group of many laws prohibiting speaking badly of fellow Jews – even if the speech is 100% true.

Not Hurting Animals

The Commandment in Torah to not hurt animals is called “Tzaar Balaie Haim” / Pain of Living Creatures. It is prohibited in the Torah for one cruel with animals engenders in himself or herself these character traits of cruelty. What he did to an animal – he might consider doing to others. In Naza Germany one of the training of cruelty in Nazis was to bring up a cat in their home and then to kill the cat with their bare hands.

Saying Kaddish – Connecting with Departed Souls

The soul of the departed goes to a spiritual world. It can no longer be elevated by doing Mitzvot. It is stuck in the place that it earned by doing mitzvot while it was alive. Two things that can elevate the soul is saying the Kaddish prayer for the soul and doing Mitzvot from the Torah for the sake of the soul – like giving charity to a Torah institution li’ilouy nishmat – for the elevation of the soul. The Torah allows one to kindness and even keep a relationship with the departed through the ways mentioned above.

Saying Blessings

Each time I eat, I thank G-d before and after. By Saying the food Blessings – Eating is elevated to enhancing one’s relationship with the creator, rather than being merely a physical act to sustain one’s body. One elevates the food to a spiritual level.

One reason for the saying of food blessings is to unlock a soul that was found in the food. Thus we also do kindness with souls of the past.

Many Blessings exist – Morning Blessings, Blessings on Aromas, Blessing on Mitzvot and After Blessings, blessings for good health. These blessings help not only establish a connection with G-d but also help a person be grateful, be appreciative and appreciate life more.

A small section of laws of Judaism – all related to improving ones relation with family, friends, community and Hash-m / G-d.

Saying Sorry – Making Peace Whether You Are Right or Wrong

I’m Sorry

Two words. But often so difficult to say. I want to be right. If I am right why should I say sorry.

I think “I apologize” might be a bit easier to say. Why? Apparently, the word “apologize” is less comprehensible by others – so it feels as if I’m not admitting my guilt as much.

Whatever you like “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” – they are words we should practice to make peace between our fellows.

G-d wants Peace

Just like parents want peace between siblings, G-d wants peace between our brothers – our fellow Jews.

Ok. Inside I have no desire to make peace with this person that insulted me or took money from me or embarrassed me.  It is his fault not mine.

Asking Others to Explain Wrongdoing

The Torah says – if someone wronged you – so go up to them and in a private conversation – say “Dan, I was really hurt by your firing me, can you justify your actions – I want to be on good terms.” Talk it out. At times you only play the movie of the negative action in your head, but perhaps he or she did what you would have done if you were in their shoes.

Or remember that everything comes from G-d / Hash-m. If someone fired you, this person was just the messenger. G-d really decided that that person was to lose their job for a positive purpose. Now in your new position and see if it was worthwhile being fired – you found a better job, didn’t you? And even if you didn’t one day you will be able to see the good in that difficulty.

Taking Load off Your Heart

I read somewhere that a person was angry with another person because he embarrassed him when he was Bar Mitzvah’ed. His hatred spread to hating all people similar to the one who embarrassed him. He lived his life with a grudge in his heart because he generalized his hatred. He lived with hatred, instead of peace. I’m sure if he would have went up to the person who embarrassed him, that person would have apologized or at least explained his actions. Better to live with peace than hatred.

Good Blood

Hatred is not good for the soul or the health. Gratuitous hatred may cause a person stress or, G-d forbid, even illness. In French when someone has hatred – we call it “Se faire de Mauvais Sang” – literally “to make bad blood.” The English term is also used. Having Hatred causes bad blood. Make peace and have good blood.

All said and good. But I don’t feel like making peace.

The Emotions that Impede Peace

OK. I don’t feel like searching for a new Job, but I have to feed my family. G-d wants me to have peace with my fellow, so I have to be bold and overcome my reticence and do it. Just get over with it.

A person should apologize to someone they had a tiff with in any cast e. (This is providing that the person is angry because of a tiff. If a person hated because you exist – like many anti-semites – you cannot make peace with them because there is no solution to removing their hatred.)

Saying Sorry in Any Case

If you had a tiff with someone and you are right it is much easier to say I’m sorry. My sorry is because I want to make peace. There is always a reason to apologize even if you were right, because you may have said some hurting words. If I was wrong, I should say sorry because I did something wrong.

What you might think is nothing major to you, may be major to someone else. Someone I heard was upset because their friend did not send them a birthday card. I sometimes forget my birthday. But others think it is important that you think of them.

Live a healthier life. Live a peaceful life. Remove Hatred from your heart.

The Eye of the Earth – a Better Attitude in Life

In Parashat / the Torah Reading of Balak (Bamidbar / Numbers 22:2 – 25:8), Balak, the King of the nation of Moav – afraid of the Jews for he saw what they did to the Amorites – commissions a Gentile Prophet Bilaam to Curse the Nation. Balak describes the Jews as having covered the Eye of the Earth (22:5).

One commentator, Rabbi Elimelech Bidderman, explains the concept of covering the eye of the world. He says that the Jews have a different perspective than the world view. The general view of the world is that everything happens by chance or as a result of cause and effect. A man loses money – he was not careful to update his store merchandise. A woman loses a job – she was too talkative at work. These might be the symptoms – but the ultimate reason why things happen is because Hash-m / G-d wants them to happen.

G-d does everything for the good. If one takes that as an attitude – his depression can disappear. Maybe the man lost his money because G-d saw he was spending too much time working and not spending time with the family or learning Torah and He wanted him to find a more lucrative enterprise in which he would work less making more money allowing him to spend more time with the family.

Perhaps the woman lost the Job, so that she could be hired by another firm that is closer to her home or that would give her more responsibilities.

A man without the attitude that G-d does everything and everything He does is for the good – might take up drinking, or become a tyrant at home, or become depressed. With the attitude that G-d does everything good – the man will get up on his feet and look for another business. He will pray to Hash-m to help him find him the right way in life and for making a living and take action.

The woman – who lost her job might start having negative feelings towards her boss or towards her former co-workers that did not “stick-up for her”. She remains bitter towards the old staff. Even when she gets a new job she remains bitter towards them. But looking at the big picture G-d helped her to lose one job and find a much better position. So what’s the reason for the grudge? It wasn’t the co-workers it was G-d – doing it for her Good. The co-workers might have tried to help her – but she only sees the negative.

In Judaism we have laws of Lashon HaRa / Derogatory speech. We should not speak badly of a fellow Jew – without direct constructive purpose. Many a time a person speaks badly about others because they failed to see the hand of G-d. They fail to see the good in the “bad” that happened to them. Looking at the long term picture one can see the good that happened – so why blame others for your suffering. It is possible that much good came out from the difficult situation that one was in and overcame.

Look at the good that came as a result of a negative looking situation, and you won’t have to blame others. We’ll live life with a positive attitude – rather than with a grudge in our hearts.

The Solution to All Problems – On the Same Page with G-d

Last week, our Torah Reading – Hukat – held many varying subjects.

It started with the Purification using the ashes of the Red Heifer.

Miriam, the Prophetess dies. In her merit, the Jews were provided with healthy drink, through a well of water, that followed them through the desert. Her death caused the well to stop flowing. The Jews complain. G-d tells Moshe to speak with a rock to get water. Instead he hits the rock, and is punished by not being allowed to enter the land of Israel.

The Jews complain about the living conditions in desert. Snakes start to bite them. G-d tells Moshe to make a great copper serpent and to place it on a pole and those that would see it would live.

What is the connection?

Being on the Same page as G-d

Apparently, one lesson it’s teaching us is to be on the same page as G-d.

Give G-d Some Slack

One reason for the Red Heifer / Para Aduma was that it served as an atonement for the Sin of the Golden Calf. In the incident of The Golden calf – the Jews miscalculated when Moses was to return. When he was late according to their standards – the Erev Rav / mixed multitude of people who traveled with the Jews – decided to make a Golden Calf. If the Jews were on the same page with G-d this wouldn’t have happened. If the Jews would have given G-d “some slack”, or had a bit of faith – they would have said – “OK, Moses is late, but G-d knows better than us, let’s have some patience.”

We Don’t always have to Understand

This is why the Para Aduma is an atonement. The Para Aduma is a Mitzvah we don’t understand. The Jews thought they had to understand everything. Since they didn’t understand why Moses was late, they rebelled by making a Golden calf. G-d gave them a commandment that taught them, you don’t always have to understand.

Always assure that the foundations make Sense

Yes the fundamentals of a religion, one should understand. If the foundation makes no sense so reject it. If the foundation is solid, but certain laws you can’t understand, that’s acceptable.

When Moses speaks with the rock, he should have said in his mind “G-d knows why I should speak to the rock. No need to hit the rock.”

What does G-d want from us? To believe that He knows best. That’s being on the same page.

G-d of Convenience or G-d of Justice?

I recently read a blog of a person asking others to find a good religion for her. She said something like some religions are cruel, some kill, etc. She then mentioned Judaism – she said – she can’t accept it because it is against same gender marriage, etc. Ok. That’s what she wants a religion of convenience. Not a religion of what’s right in G-d’s eyes, but a religion that is right in her eyes.

But she is a bit like the child that is angry at her parents because they will not let her eat candy for dinner. I agree that one should reject a religion that does cruelty to others. And I even understand that she is against a religion that is against her moral standards. But before judging the standards of G-d, understand them.

I only defend Judaism. I defend no other religion. Only because Torah Judaism is the only religion, based upon a divinely given document that millions of witnesses heard G-d speak out – the Torah. That was only time in History when G-d spoke with an entire nation – a national revelation (as opposed to a revelation to one or several individuals) – when G-d gave the Jews the Torah at mount Sinai about 3,300 years ago.

On the Same page as Parents and Spouses

G-d gave us the Mitzvah of Honoring Parents. That is because he knows that parents are more experienced than children. They know what’s good for us. A spouse sometimes micromanages they co-spouse. Or they contradict them in front of the chldren. Best for parents to get best results from the children is to be on the same page. We decide to turn right or left before we get to the intersection not in the intersection.

Trust in G-d Reduces Problems

Being on the same page as G-d helps us avoid many misunderstandings and troubles along the way. All the commandments that G-d in his Torah gives are for the good of man. Thus being on the same page as G-d – who really knows what’s best for us – will help us avoid many pitfalls and problems in life. For a Jew that is the Taryag / 613 mitzvot / Commandments. For a Gentile it is the 7 Noahide laws – both from the Torah.