Social Media Advice for the Marriage Minded

Social Media Advice for the Marriage Minded

Just like with a simple face to face conversation, you find out good things and where a person’s head is – so is true by social media. Two aspects to consider are your own usage in the eyes of others and the usage of a prospective mate in your eyes.

Relying on Photos – a Caveat

Today it is easy to get information on people. Some people hear of a prospect match and reject dates because of a photo. That may not be prudent because meeting a person gives a much more accurate idea of the person. Also the picture you see may not be a good picture of that person.

Some peruse pictures – searching for a match. It much is more lucrative to call Rabbis to seek someone that has similar hashkafot / Torah outlook and values, good middot / character traits, and aspirations – than to waste time perusing photos. You marry a personality not a picture.

Are You a FB Person

Whether the person uses Facebook or not already gives an indication about the person. Non usage may indicate their refraining from technology to avoid temptation or being involved in things more productive or in more productive relations with actual people – rather than with a computer screen.

It might be better to avoid social media – like it says in Pirkei Avot (1:17):

The Value of Silence & Action

17. Shimo’n, his son, says: All my life I grew among the [Torah] sages & I found nothing better for the body than silence. And that learning is not the priority rather it is the [putting it to] action [that is the priority] & whoever who is excessive in words brings [upon themselves] transgression.

It’s not for nothing that people take the fifth in court.

Be careful what you post.
Usage of social media reveals people’s views and personality.  A person’s home page pictures reveals their interests. I know people who lost Job and shidduch / potential matches opportunities because of what they posted on the social media.  Over-usage of social media also tells about a person.  People might think – doesn’t this person have better things to do than posting constantly their political views, selfies, etc. Be careful what you post. It might come back against the person.

Some have to give their opinions on every news item. If that’s you,  then it might be time to do a self evaluation of your attitude and your posts – and work on improving both. Perhaps in expressing your opinions, people are forming a non-flattering opinion about you. If one has a very critical attitude – people might shy away from introducing you to others. People shy away from critical people. If one’s hashkafot – Torah outlook – are controversial – that also may also be a turn off for prospective mates with a good hashkafa.

Relevance of information.
The time of the post might also help you to decide how relevant is info. For instance if you see a post from a person’s teenage years – it may or may not reveal what their interests are today.

Make a small effort to start the momentum to find a marriage mate.  Each call becomes easier.

When Hashem sees us making a concerted and consistent effort – obviously accompanied by prayer – He sends his blessing.

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Follow this page for Previous Getting Married Advice Posts – Fast Track to Jewish Marriage

A Coffee for Your Wedding Dress? Making Peace with Friends & Family

Rabbi Dr. Jack Cohen‘s “Fast Track to Getting Married” lecture last night was well attended in the MJO synagogue in Forest Hills. He gave much practical advice on going from single to married status.

A story he told illustrates good middot / character traits and teaches about making peace.

A woman was marrying off her daughter. She wanted the best wedding dress. She went to a seamstress – who happened to be a widow. When the dress was finished – it was not exactly to her liking.

She complained “This is not what we expected!” She refused to pay her. She walked out and said “Let’s go to a high end store instead.” The daughter felt terrible for the poor seamstress.

On the day of the wedding – The bride was in the new gown she ordered. She was surrounded by the makeup artist, her relatives and her mother. When her mother turned around – the people were aghast when a cup of coffee next to the bride accidentally splashed onto the wedding dress.

She couldn’t go down the isle with that wedding dress. They decided to call the seamstress to finally take the original wedding dress. About an hour later they were ready to start the wedding with the new dress.

The bride’s mother was furious that someone was so clumsy to knock over the cup. He sister was the one closest to the cup. She said – “You couldn’t be more careful?! How can you do such a thing on one of the most important days of our life?!”

She was so upset she decided to stop talking to her sister. One day passed. One week passed. One Month passed. One Year. 10 years. 20 years. The mother was adamant to not speak with her sister.

Finally – it was the time of the daughter’s daughter’s wedding. The Mother of the bride said to her mother. Can I reveal a secret to you on the day of my daughter’s wedding? The mother said of course. Do you remember the incident with the coffee spilling on the wedding dress? She said yes. She said “Do you know that it wasn’t your sister who spilled the coffee on my dress?” She said “Then who was it?” She responded “It was me. I did it. But when my aunt saw it she took the blame. She didn’t want you to be angry at me – so she told me “be quiet – don’t say a word. I’ll take the blame.” Your sister didn’t allow me to reveal this secret till today. So you assumed that it was your sister all these years that spilled the coffee – but really it was me.

Terribly uncomfortable – she didn’t know what to do. She had anger, hatred and bad blood for sister for over 20 years – for something she did not commit.

Many times we fill in the blanks to blame others. We sometimes get pleasure in getting angry. We want to find the scapegoat. We want to get angry. We jump into hatred for something that could be a misunderstanding.

Make Peace

We lose time. Friendship. What could be a very positive relationship. We lose love and replace it with bad blood because of a misunderstanding. Do you think it’s worth it? All this because we don’t feel like picking up the phone and saying 5 words “I’m Sorry. Let’s Make Peace.”

Is it worth it? I think not.

Why You Should Stop Watching News – How to Become More Productive and Focus on Priorities

I was in the Hamptons in a Summer house. A friend of the family with whom I was staying pointed out to me a small critique about a certain group of Jewish people. He mentioned that they did not watch the news. He backed up his critique with “You need to know what’s going on in the world!”

Do You Need to Know What is Going on in the World?

I know that some of these Jewish people he was talking about do watch – some don’t – but I decided to answer him according to his conception or misconception.

The Most Powerful word to find Truth – Why?

The appropriate response to someone who is saying a statement that you may not agree with is “Why?”

So I asked “Why do you need to know what is going on in the world?”

It was a long time ago – but I suppose He said something like “What if there is a hurricane? You have to take your precautions.”

I answered – “If there is a hurricane coming I would hear about it by word of mouth. I don’t have to spend hours and hours a week or day listening to news – because perhaps there is a hurricane coming.”

Then he said “You have to be able to discuss things.” I replied “I can give my opinion – if the other person fills me in on the issue. I don’t need to watch it or know all the details of the news to hold an intelligent conversation.

Why do you do Anything? What is Your Gain?

But the real point is to ask “why?” on any activity. Not to be a wise guy – but to see if that activity will help you in life or not. Will it make you more productive? Will it make you a better person? Will it help you to have better values? Regarding following the news the answer to the above questions is no.

News is Depressing

So why do people watch it? It is interesting. But on the other side it is also depressing and causes a person more anxiety.

The News Preachers

I find it improper for people to preach what they hear on the news. For instance – you are drinking a soda. A news watcher says to you – “You know what soda does to you? You shouldn’t drink too much sugar.” So you take a diet soda instead. “Hey did you hear what they said on the news about artificial sweeteners?” So you drink water. Then you are about to eat some eggs and meat. “Your other friend says – do you know how they treat these animals. How can you eat them. You know what they do to the chickens that make these eggs?” By that time you lost your appetite. Yes I need my dinner to be ruined because someone heard some news. A person can become an ascetic or paranoid from what they hear from the news.

A person is afraid of crime. A person is afraid of illness. A person gets a negative and weary view of the world by watching too much news.

The Companies Interest

Many time a company will tell you some obscure statistic to sell their product. The Artificial sweetener companies trash sugar – to sell more sweeteners. The Cholesterol medication sellers trash eggs to sell more medication. The Sugar companies trash artificial sweeteners – to sell more sugar. So your news is many a time based upon companies desire to increase their revenues. I believe that most accepted foods in moderate quantities will not be harmful.

Appealing to the Lowest Common Denominator

News has an interest in violence and immorality. The more immorality they show – the grater ratings. The Greater ratings – the more they can  charge for a commercial. Their agenda is to get ratings. They have no regard for proper Torah values. Whatever sells goes. I ask myself – how anyone who wants to raise a wholesome family – can have a TV in the house – with all the disrespect, immorality and obscenities they show. But that’s not the subject today.

Today’s Propaganda – Fake News and News Outlets with an Agenda

Many years ago – news was pretty non-biased. They reported facts – not the point of view of the news station or newspaper. Nowadays – each news outlet has an agenda. I want to make you liberal. I want to make you conservative. I want you to become a vegetarian. I want you to buy my medicine. If you think of it – news is supported by advertising – so it makes sense to say stories that support advertisers – regardless of whether it is good for people or not.

If the news is true – it may be skewed to make you join the ranks of the news outlet’s agenda. If it is not true – that’s even worse. That’s not news – that’s called propaganda.

Removing News as a Distraction

Do I keep up on the news? Some days a few minutes. Sometimes I read a Jewish Family and News Magazine. I saw that news was a distraction. I have many things to accomplish that are more important than reading news. So I imposed upon myself to accomplish these tasks before I can read of news. I am not reading news these days because I didn’t yet accomplish my tasks. When I do perhaps I will scan the headines for stories of interest.

The Point – Don’t Waste Time on the Secondary

All of the above is to give you a non-biased view of news. I have nothing to gain from you watching or not. But you have much to gain by limiting your time in hearing or reading news.

You can become a more productive person. Instead of using your time for news – you can use it to do something productive in the world.

I feel vegetarians and vegans are sincere – they are concerned about animals. Other’s are sincere in their quest for defending their political position. But – a great problem exists.

In Torah – we believe in something called a Yetzer HaTov  & a Yetzer HaRa’. In English – the Good inclination and the Evil Inclination. You remember the cartoons with a little devil and little angel floating over one shoulder of the cartoon character. That is a Torah concept.

The Yetzer HaRa does not want you to be productive in life. It wants you to waste time, to distract you, to make you involved in activities that are no gain to you or society or something against Torah. The Yetzer HaRah makes you procrastinate – it doesn’t want you to accomplish. It’s a Mitzvah to work, to be a productive member of society and to build the world – also for Gentiles. So to prevent you from doing the mitzvah of world – it makes you procrastinate. It can also get you involved in activities are very good or beneficial for society – but they are the secondaries in life – not the priorities.

What are the priorities in Life? Being married. Having Children. Learning Torah. Doing Mitzvot. Observing Torah. But even among doing Mitzvot there is an order of priorities.

I know many good people. They Do mitzvot. They are involved in many side projects as well – defending the world from cruelty to animals, defending the world from conservatism, defending the world from liberalism. Unfortunately, many are side-tracked. I judge them not – but instead of being involved in fighting Trump, or Obama – they should concentrate their efforts in finding the right mate and establishing a family.

They should spend at least as much time -searching for a mate to get married – as they do defending animal rights. After 120 years – when a person reaches the next world  – G-d will not ask you – did you fight against communism, did you fight for animal rights, did you only eat vegetables. He will ask you did you get married and establish a family?

Establishing a family – That is one example. He will also ask you if you established the family on Torah values.

It’s easy to get sidetracked. The idea for accomplishing in business, in life and in Torah is not to be sidetracked.

 

Save Your Marriage – 4 things to Do to Save or Improve any Marriage

You have to give credit where credit is due. Thus I must confess that the suggestions to improve any marriage are from a book called “Garden of Peace” by Rabbi Shalom Arusch. He writes one version for Men and one version for women. Each version is geared to teaching what the other spouse needs.

But some advice [that I must also try to apply more often myself] is what I learned over the years from learning Torah.

So yes – if you apply these rules you can save thousands of dollars [of marriage counselling fees]- and possibly your marriage.

First For Men:
To have a successful marriage – understand that your wife wants your appreciation. So the main things that you can do to make her happy are – Say thank you for what she does many times a day. Give gifts to show your appreciation.

Secondly don’t criticize condemn or complain. A woman is called a help mate – know that she can help you become a better person. She is focused on that issue – so what you think is nagging and screaming is an opportunity for you to become better. “Why do you leave your books lying around?!” You can either think – oh no she is criticizing me again or wow this is an opportunity to become better and to be more concerned for my living environment and the others around me. She is attuned to your emotional and spiritual growth.

Don’t treat your wife as your psychologist or therapist. Don’t downgrade yourself in her eyes. She might get the impression that you deserve this lack of respect that you told her that you received from the boss.

Go to Shaharit / Morning prayer services at an orthodox synagogue everyday before you go to work.  A woman who sees her husband lying in bed when she is awake may get a negative impression of her husband. Don’t talk too much with her – that might also lower her esteem for you.

Many men will find fault with the woman. It becomes a shouting match. A big no no! Because you can’t win an argument with a woman. She will either be insulted and you gain nothing. Or she will get you back one day.

A woman wants things to be taken care of. she wants to feel that the husband is responsible and taking care of things. Thus if she asks to do something around the houlse make sure it gets done. If you have to hire someone – fine but get it done.

The idea of a marriage in Torah is to bring up a wholesome family that respects one another, other people and G-d. This is done through following Torah. If a woman can help you be a better person – you should be thankful – not resentful.

For Women
A man wants respect. He needs to feel that you are on the same team – not trying to break or outdo him or use him as your cleaning lady. Obviously he must help around the house – but the things he does should be respectful. Talk with respect – not with anger and condescending remarks or threats.

Mutual respect is what the Torah wants from both from you. Your acting with respect to your husband will prompt him to act with more respect to you.

Part of the idea of marriage in Torah is to have a positive relation where one completes the other. One helps the other. Together they raise children that are beautiful people in the eyes of man and G-d. Thus The wife should encourage her husband to learn Torah. She should also enroll her children in a Torah day schoool . This is how she assures that the next generation will be respectful and serve G-d. He example will also serve as a lesson to children to act with respect.

The Torah is the greatest guide for self-improvement. It teaches a person to act with respect and kindness. Thus encouraging the husband and bringning kids to Orthodox Torah day schools – will engender a more peaceful and loving home. For that – her husband will become greater and appreciate her more for that.

Fast Track to Getting Married – 6 Points to Help You

The Salvation of Hash-m is in a Blink of an Eye. (Mei HaShiloach, Vol. II, Genesis, Miketz 1*) Meaning every moment can be a moment of salvation. Believe it will be good and it will be good. Believe it is good and you change your attitude.

Make an Intelligent Concerted Effort

How can a person get out of their rut? Decide to get out of your rut! How does a person find the right person? Make a concerted effort to get married. In Torah it says “The Finding of a proper marriage mate is challenging like the splitting of the sea of reeds.” Here are some points to make it easier.

Be Positive

That’s the First step – be positive. Have a positive attitude. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain. People like to  complain. I want to tell you my problems. You have a problem?- see a qualified orthodox Jewish psychologist – but your date should not be your shrink.

Think of it. You go on a date and of the first things they tell you is “I have this problem and this concern.” The other person is thinking – I have my own problems why do need to add others.  Be positive. People like positive people.

Even once married – a man should  not divulge his being degraded or insulted. The woman might end up believing that the spouse is deserving of that criticism and end up looking down on the husband. A woman wants to look up to a husband and needs to respect him. She seeks appreciation and respect of her needs.

If a guy comes off as being unusual, too casual, too into himself, too introverted or extroverted – it might be a turn-off. A person should also be cognizant  of how they speak and how they appear. If you’re too into your business, too into politics, into food – that might turn people away. The Rambam says it best – “The middle path is complete.”

Step 2 – Pray to Hashem for yourself and for others to get married. Pray for others and G-d will answer you for what you need.

Step 3 – Know it’s a mitzvah to get married. Some people push off getting married. They say I’m busy today. Just like one can’t push off putting on their Tefillin or lighting Shabbat candles – so the same a applies here. It is a Mitzvah – al tachmitzena / don’t let it become “leavened”. Take the attitude that I have to put my effort in getting married today.

4 – Spend 5 minutes a day making calls to find the right person. You could contact friends with similar values. Orthodox Rabbis of communities. Match-makers. I prefer contacting Rabbis, because they can tell you if someone in their community may be compatible.

5 – Call rabbis of communities and prepare to send resumes. Let’s say one is a Hungarian Jew and wants to marry a Hungarian Jew – get a list of all the orthodox Jewish Hungarian congregations and call the rabbis to ask them for leads. If you are looking for a Yeshiva boy or a seminary girl – call up the yeshivas or Torah seminaries. Ask rabbis or contacts if Perhaps someone in their congregation might be right for you. Ask when you can call them back to follow up. Prepare to send him a “Dating Resume”. After speaking with him – send him a resume.

6 – Due Diligence – Find out as much as you can about them before you go out  – Call references, rabbis and friends. Ask references for references.  Ask pointed questions. Do they have anger, emotional or psychological issues? What is there general mood. How would you rate them in terms of Torah learning on a scale of 1 to 10? Do they have a kind heart. Do they have good character traits? In each ask –  can you provide an example?

Once you do find a prospective mate that fits your comfort zone – reach out to an intermediary – like a community rabbi – that can serve as the “go between” between you and the person. I prefer this intermediary to be a Rabbi or a person with daat Torah / the Torah perspective because they can judge what is proper reasons for continuing or stopping.

Rabbis recommend that 2 dates is the minimum – if there is not something seriously wrong with the person or the first date. At times a person is nervous on a first date – so it might not be completely accurate to judge them with only one date.

The idea of a date is to talk and get to know the person. No physical contact till after marriage. Physical contact clouds the mind of a person and makes it much more difficult for a person to make a non-biased decision. The decision who you marry should be more of a rational decision  than an emotional one.

The first two dates are to find out the other person’s hashkafa / philosophy in life. If a person is talking excessively about the stock market, shopping, Torah, business, making money – you know where their mind is. also you can see if the conversation goes smoothly or not. Do you feel comfortable together. You also want to find out their values – do they want to have kids? Are they interested in learning Torah? Are they willing to grow. There are many questions – but you basically want to find out if this person will be a person that you feel comfortable raising your children in the good & just path of the Torah.

 

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*אבל בעוד שאין האדם מבורר באלו השני לאווין, אם יקבל אז השפעת ישועה חלילה יתפשט בזה וישכח
חלילה שהשי”ת הושיע לו, אבל אחר שבירר עצמו יוכל לקבל ישועת השי”ת כהרף עין.

 

When Values Backfire or Will Your Children Give You Grandchildren?

In Math class the top student was always first to answer the teacher’s math problems. No one could come close to his quickness in answering the questions. One friend asked him – “How did you become so smart – that you know the answers so quickly?” He replied “Simple – every day I come early to Math Class. I know the teacher will ask questions from the Math Textbook. I look up the answers in our teacher’s Teacher’s edition textbook and I repeat them in class.”

How to win Debates

I usually win ethical and philosophical debates.

Not necessarily because of my debating skills – but because I know which side of the argument to choose. I usually choose the Torah views. Thus I win the argument because I know that the Torah views are the views of G-d. He “thought out” the arguments already – I just have to provide reasons why G-d holds this way. I am like the student that looks up the answer in the Teacher’s Edition textbook.

The Torah is Hash-m’s / G-d’s guidebook. Eventually by choosing Torah views – if you think them out enough you will find out that these are most proper long-term values.

Torah – the Source of Tolerance

The Torah is the source of Tolerance in the world. Recently in last week’s parasha / Torah reading we learn that an evil gentile prophet – Bilaam is hired by King Balak to curse [sonai] Israel. He rides on a donkey. The Donkey veers off the path, crushes his foot into a wall and then stops at a narrow passageway.

Bilaam hits the donkey and the donkey starts to talk.

The ass said to Balaam, “Look, I am the ass that you have been riding all along until this day! Have I been in the habit of doing thus to you?” And he answered, “No.” [Bamidbar / Numbers 22:30]

After the conversation – where Bilaam couldn’t respond to his donkey – G-d sends an Angel to kill it. Why? So that people will not mock Bilaam saying “Look there is the donkey that Bilaam could not answer.” The obvious question is why? He was wicked – don’t we have the right to disrespect him?

The answer – no matter how wicked a person may be – we must act respectfully. That is called Tolerance.

This teaches regardless of how wicked a person is, we must act as we would respect another human being. In the end a person was created in the image of G-d. Pharaoh bathed in the blood of Jewish children, yet Moshe / Moses acted with the utmost respect towards him – as he would a normal king.

Respecting the honor of a person does not mean we must accept his or her values. This does not mean that we have to condone his actions. This does not mean that we have to accept his or her values.

In the case of a thief caught steeling old ladies purses – we must act with respect towards the thief but nevertheless bring them to justice. To condone the act of thievery would be called decadence.

It is popular today to adopt the values of other people because you don’t want to be racist. But this is the exact definition of decadence.

The Difference between Tolerance and  Decadence

Decadence is moral or cultural decline as characterized by excessive indulgence in pleasure or luxury. (as defined by google). The key word is decline.

Tolerance is the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

What society describes as tolerance – for example, as in the case of same gender marriage – is actually decadence. The society passes off decadence as tolerance. It is doing a very good job because many people fall into the trap. Tolerance is not decadence and vice versa.

What’s Wrong with Accepting the Lifestyle of Immorality

The parents who say they accept same gender marriage – end up at times with children who pursue a same gender relationship. Because of this – their children do not have children. Their values with which they raised their children turn against them. They end up with no grandchildren because their children pursued the values – ie, same gender marriage – that the parents condoned.

Thus one must choose their values wisely. One who raises children with Torah values – their children realize the importance to get married, raise a family, help society, live peacefully, do good to others, raise children and live a wholesome life. They pursue a life of positive relations with G-d, Family, Society, Friends and themselves.

Are You Alright Pal – Thinking About the Next Guy

I’m in my car driving back at night with my window open and stop at a red light. A man parked with his blinkers, outside the car shouts out “Are You Alright Pal?” I think he’s talking to me. I wave to say yes I’m OK. But then I notice a man sitting on the curb. He shout’s back “I’m Ok. I’m just stuck!” I didn’t know what he meant by stuck. I saw the other guy taking care of him. The light turned green and I zoomed away.

I reminisced about another incident that occurred that day. I saw an old African American woman, walking on the street with her grocery carriage. She was leaned over it and stopped for a short while. I was in my car. I stared to see if she was OK. She seemed alright. But who knows, perhaps I should have stopped to see if she was alright.

Today, we have many opportunities to help others. The question I ask is “are we doing enough to help others?” Thinking and helping out our fellow is the basis of the Torah – VeAhavta LeReacha Kamokha – “Love Your Fellow as Yourself.”

You can see the Bigness of a person, by the amount and quality of help they provide for people in need. And vice versa. Are we helping only when convenient or when not? Are we helping when people reach out to us or do we reach out to others to help?

The closer the person is to us the more responsibility we have to help and do kindness. Are we doing enough to help others?

Make that phone call to see how others are doing. Answer your old friend’s phone calls. Observe your surroundings to see what others need and do what you can to help. Little by little – you become bigger and a giver. In turn – you get more meaning and become a happier person. But don’t neglect the one closest to you – Yourself.

Accepting G-d Into Your Life – Making Your Life Easier

Good G-d – the similarity of beliefs

Most people believe in a guiding force in the world – which we would call G-d. They pray to Him for guidance and goodness. He gets them through the day, getting them over problems – big and small, helping them over obstacles – short & tall. He is their source of belief that all that occurs is for the good. He is the source of strength to the tired physically and emotionally. With Him they feel they can break through barriers. And even if they fail they know it is for a good reason – because G-d / Hash-m is guiding the world with good.

A positive first step.

Religion – The differences of beliefs

Believing in a good G-d is where similarity between people ends. Some  believe in organized religion – some do not. Their concepts of G-d differ – some see G-d as a powerful King – others as a kind father. Some believe in Torah – others not.

Everyone can arrive at G-d’s Truth through logic

Logically every normal person can arrive at G-d’s truth – that He exists, what he wants – what He doesn’t want, what is good and what is bad. If that were not the case no one could be judged for when a person reaches the next world they would be able to say – no one told me it was forbidden to steal. Apparently you can figure out what is right and wrong. Any average person can.

There is one true Law

Logically there is only one true law that was given by G-d.

Why? Because if that was not so – there would be no right and wrong in the world. Let’s take a simple example. Judaism says it is forbidden to kill innocent people. Other religions say it is good to kill infidels. Look at the history of religions – The church killed millions in the name of their religion. Others religions killed in the name of their religion. According to Torah it is forbidden to kill. According to other religions it is permitted.

You could say – a person will be judged according to the religion that they follow. But that is illogical – because G-d is not going to punish one person who stole because he belonged to one religion and not punish another person who stole because he belonged to another religion.

Thus you must say that there is a standard law that applies in the world.

Judaism says that the Torah is the True Law of G-d because it is the only divine law that was heard from the mouth of G-d by millions of witnesses. All other belief systems may include G-d or exclude him – like communism and socialism.

When Judaism’s Values Shaped the World’s Values.

Before Torah was given to the Jewish people the world’s values degenerated to allowing – child sacrifices, murder, idolatry, polytheism, incest, Judaism, slavery, bestiality, harassment, slave labor, homosexuality, and more.

The Torah taught the concept of Monotheism. There is only one G-d / Hash-m that guides the world with goodness. It taught about the rights and responsibilities of humankind. It taught the concept of tolerance. It taught the rights of laborers. It taught property rights. It taught the rights of women. It taught respect of women’s privacy and laws against harassment and improper speech.

The Torah Civilized the world. Yet the world has a long way to go. Either the world will learn – from intelligence and Torah true ethics. Or the world will come into a state of turmoil that will threaten a large part of the earth’s population.

True Civilization Starts with the 7 Noahide Laws for all mankind.

Where Today’s Values & Judaism Differs

The question that each person should pose themselves is – if the Society’s values say one thing and G-d’s values – as found in the Torah (Written & Oral) – say another what should I follow?

Most people are followers. The see what is popular in society and follow suit. The IPhone – popular – I have to have it. So it is easy to follow society.

The challenges occur when G-d’s word is different than society’s values. Let’s take a current example.

Understanding the Superiority of Torah Values

Let’s take the case of same gender marriage. Many in society have embraced this value as a positive thing. The Torah – considers homosexuality as an abomination. (Vayikra  / Leviticus 18:22 & Vayikra  / Leviticus 20:13)

What’s society’s reason for accepting – same gender marriage? Though society says it is because of tolerance – the real reason is decadence. As will be seen.

Difference Between Tolerance and Decadence – Why Judaism Has it Right

Tolerance is accepting and respecting a person regardless of their moral status. That is tolerance – meaning – if a person is a thief – you act respectfully towards that person – even though he or she engages in theft.

Decadence or debauchery is accepting a value regardless of how immoral it is. Society has accepted a long held prohibited value and made it acceptable and permitted. That is debauchery.

Let’s say society accepts theft as a permitted value – that is decadence.

OK.

Let’s examine the Torah position. The Torah says give respect to all individuals – regardless of their morality. That is true tolerance.

Regarding Same gender marriage and homosexuality – it is an abomination.

The Negative Consequences of Immorality – The Microcosm & Macrocosm

Let’s look at some of the consequences for society of these practices. In a macrocosm, These practices engender a tremendous drop in population growth. As is obvious –  Men cannot have children without women and vice versa. In the microcosm, the same gender unions will forever be deprived of sharing a the beautiful cries of a common baby. As long as they remain in such a union.

They will relinquish having a normal father and mother family life.

The people who support or condone it may end up with children with the same values and their “tolerant” values may cause them to bereft of the great pleasure of having grandchildren.

One of the reason’s Rome fell was the lack of population growth due to the lack of morality of the country. They ended up relying upon mercenary soldiers – whose loyalty and expenses – greatly taxed the country and lead to their downfall.

Same Gender Marriage was chosen to illustrate that Jewish Torah Values are better than societal values for Society and the Individual in the long run. But the examples abound.

Repentance / Teshuva

In Torah – anyone can do teshuva / Repent. Condemnation of the acts of Homosexuality does not preclude a person from becoming a Baal Teshuva – a person who sincerely  repents and becomes a Torah observant Jew. Any person can do teshuva for any sin and ultimately be forgiven. The first step though is recognizing one’s sins. (See Starting Over – Wiping the Slate Clean in Judaism)

Making One’s Life Easier with Torah

The Torah gives man an opportunity to live life to the fullest and accomplish the most from life. The average person wants to get married – raise a family and leave a legacy. The Torah guides a person to fulfill that dream in the best way possible.

How to More Easily Establish a Family

Today, people date for fun. What happens? Many end up in a dating relationship for lets say a decade and break up. They remain without children – 10 years older and have a more difficult time finding a Marriage mate in their 30s than in their 20s. The Torah says – put dating for fun on the side and put your efforts into dating for marriage.

When one looks to get married – their requirements for a mate differ than when they date for fun. Qualifications include a responsible individual, that will be loyal to family and raise the family according to Torah values.

How to More Easily Maintain a Family

The Torah expects us to put children into an Orthodox Torah Day School. The children learn respect of parents, respect for Rabbis, Love of Torah, Love of Fellow Jews, Honesty, Loyalty, respect for others, respect for G-d and all good values.

Though a Torah Day School costs money – This investment is the best investment on can make in their lives – because it helps you to have happy, balanced, children that will enjoy a feeling of fulfillment and purpose in life.

How to Better Appreciate Life

There are two steps to eating an apple:

Eat an apple. Throw away core.

The Torah makes it into 4 steps:

Say a blessing on the apple [to thank G-d and appreciate it]. Eat the apple. Throw Away core. Say after-blessing. [Making you a thankful, appreciative individual].

In the long-term you become a better person – just by eating an apple. Your mundane act of eating elevates you, the food and gives you purpose & meaning just by eating and saying a blessing. In Judaism – An apple a day keeps ungratefulness & lack of meaning away. [see Free Food Blessing Card]

How to More Easily Deal With Challenges

A Torah Family has the Torah as a guide – so it is not an anything goes situation. Husband and wife are expected to act in a respectful manner and maximize their opportunities to bond and grow – through Shabbat meals and learning Torah.

The Torah – like in Pirkei Avot – teaches us how it expects us to act to live a more balanced life and to overcome challenges and to prevent uncomfortable situations from occurring to begin with.

Rock-Eating Worm Discovered. Is it Creature Used to Cut the Temple Stones?

King David was of Ruddy complexion. In Torah this indicates a person that likes dealing with blood. Some implement their interest in becoming a butcher, or a Mohel (who circumcises children) or a Doctor or a Warrior.

King David was a Warrior. He killed Goliath and fought many wars. Though very righteous – G-d told him that he would not be the one to construct the house of G-d / Hash-m on earth – because he had spilled much blood. Thus it was His son – Shlomo  / King Solomon – the wisest man on earth who was given the charge of building the Beit HaMikdash / the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Since the House of G-d was to represent peace in the world – no metal was allowed to be used to hew (cut) the stones of the Temple. Metal is used for tools of war – and cannot be used to make this house of peace.

King Solomon had to find a way to cut stones without metal. He knew that there was a certain worm called the Shamir that was able to  cut through stone. (The story of how he obtained it is interesting in itself.)

Finally he sent his general to obtain the worm – and thus he was able to cut stones without metal.

Just recently – in a far away Philippine jungle river – researchers found a worm that eats rocks. This worm is called Lithoredo Abatanica. I literally burrows through stone.

Yet exciting and similar as it might sound, apparently it is not the Shamir. Comparing  the Shamir and the Lithoredo Abatanica, the details given in the Mishnah, Gemara & Midrash do not correspond completely. The most obvious differences include:

1) The Shamir is described as a unique supernatural organism created at twilight / bein hashmashot of the Friday of creation, and kept hidden, not an ordinary natural species of worm that eats rock instead of wood.

2) The Talmud indicates that the Shamir worm pierced and cut the stone by means of radiation that emanated from it and not in any other way. The Shamir didn’t just eat thru crumbly rock, it was said to have split solid metals & gemstones with its’ mere gaze/presence.

3) Our Sages tell us in Tractate Sota that the size of the The Shamir was as small as barley, and this worm is much larger.

4) The Mishnah at the end of Sotah says that after the second Beit Hamikdash was destroyed, the Shamir was no longer.

See the article here.

Regardless, it still gives us a sign to remmember the Temple times and further our hopes in the coming of Mashiach in our time. Amen.

Being Thankful for All Your Lives

It’s good to be good. Do good. Get Good. Don’t do it to receive good – but even if you do – that’s still good.

Be thankful. Be thankful for your life.

Your life. What is your life?

  1. The fact that you are alive. Be thankful to Hash-m that you are living today. Every morning we wake up and the first thing we say is Modeh ani / I am thankful …. It is said to thank G-d that we were able to wake up to another day. It In Judaism we have a special blessing for certain events – like when you get a new suit, or for a new fruit that you taste he first time in the year or when we arrive at a new Jewish Holiday. It is called Shehehiyanu – That you made us live. It goes – “Barukh Atah ….. Shehehiyanu VeKiyemanu vehigiaynu lezeman hazeh” / “Blessed are you Hash-m … that you made us live, and you established us and you made us arrive to this time.”
  2. Your Family Life
  3. Your Work Life
  4. Your Spiritual Life
  5. Your Social Life
  6. Your Recreational Life
  7. Your Educational Life

All these are organized for you personally by G-d to help you get the best out of life. If you think about it – without Divine intervention, it is virtually impossible to meet a fitting mate. for there are millions of potential mates for each person. G-d organizes that you are at the right place at the right time to allow you to meet your mate. He organized that you find the right job. That you find the right business deals. That you are at the right place at the right time.

When we say thanks we become more appreciative. This is one of the reasons for the blessings on foods and all the blessings we have to make in Judaism – to be more appreciative to G-d and more appreciative of life.

For the good times and challenging – we thank Hash-m – because all He does is for one’s good.