Who Loves You Kid? Who in the World Loves You the Most.

Ever Ask “Who in the World Loves Me the Most?”

Your parents? Your children? Your Spouse?

Child Love

I was a fellowship student in an American University. As one of my responsibilities  to grade assignments- I had to read student’s essays answering the question “Who is your Greatest Hero?” Interesting answers. Who was cited most as a ‘Hero’? Batman? A movie Star? A Musician? A president? No. The Student’s Parents.

People recognize who did the most for them in their lives. I would expect young college students to be a bit more vain. But they recognized the great effort and sacrifices their parents made for them. That’s why Honoring Parents is an easily understandable commandment. We show gratitude to those that did the most for us.

Parental Love

I heard that parents love children more than children love parents.

Understandable. It says In Pirkei Avot / Ethics of the Fathers “According to the Pain is the Reward.” The more pain one puts into a person or project – the more rewarding it is when they bear fruits. The more love they have for the person. Thus it is understandable why parents love children more than vice versa. Parents will stay up at night to tend to a child. Ask a child today to clean their room and get an answer is “Maybe later.”

Love of Spouses

So is it parents who love you the most? Is it your spouse that tells you they love you? Not really. Many a time love between spouses is “Love that’s dependent upon a matter.” It tells us what true love is in Pirkei Avot. – “Love that is not dependent upon a matter.”

I love the person – not because what they can bring me or give me. I love them because I recognize their intrinsic value as a person.

The reason for the great divorce rate today is because – what people call love is infatuation. The infatuation fades, the marriage ends.

Fish Love

Love that is dependent upon a matter is best illustrated by someone who says they love fish. Ask them – if you love fish – why do you catch it, then skin it, then fry it and eat it. You don’t love fish – love eating fish. You love what the fish gives you, not what you can give to the fish. Loving is giving – not taking. “Love” of many couples today is taking – fish love.

What is Love?

Apparently the one who gives you the most (in your best spiritual, psychological, emotional and material interest) loves you the most. Who gives you the most? G-d.

There are three partners in the creation of a person. The mother, the father and G-d. The Mother gives the blood, the father the bones and G-d gives the soul.

G-d gives a person a soul, life, air to breath, food, clothing, money, a home, health, transportation, vacations, family, friends, a world, nature, and makes every single cell in one’s body function and grow continuously. I can go on, but better to keep it short.

If we recognized the tremendous kindness that G-d / Hash-m provides for us at every single moment – we would be a different person. Like we say in the prayer Nishmat on Shabbat – “If our mouths were as wide as the sea … we would not be able to thank you for all the kindness you do.” G-d gives you all – independently of what we “give” to Him – He loves us because of our value as a person. He loves us because we are his children. Without expectation of a “favor” in return.

Love of God

G-d loves you more than your parents love you.

Yes, your Father in heaven loves you more than your father or mother on earth.

A parent sometimes gets fed up with a child who goes off the proper path. G-d always has hope for His child. He doesn’t give up on you. He loves you even when you think He forgot you.

Have problems? Turn to Hash-m. He’ll help. Regardless of what you did in the past. He’s always there with open arms. And when you have time try to become better. How? Try starting over – by wiping the slate clean.

It says that even a parent can forget a child – but G-d will never forget you.

Know you are loved.

Selective Forgetting – Overcoming Difficulties of Your Past

I had a nice childhood. I remember spending summers in Silver Spring, Maryland with my cousins. We went to a camp called Candy Cane City. It was fun.

I was a kid in the mid-70’s. People sported fros and big owl glasses, bell-bottoms and those gaudy suits and ties. I remember taking my cousin’s bike – going on a bike adventure by myself in the streets of Washington, DC. My cousin and I would take long Shabbat walks and for some reason we would end up in a public parking lot – where we could see a nice view of the area. I remember the Evil Knievel Toy Motorcycle and those Cars that you’d pull the belt that would spin the car-wheel and letting it jump over my makeshift ramps – watching them fly.

But like all – I also had my share of difficulties. I can’t say that my challenges were as great as other people’s but I did have times of Joy and times of suffering.

I don’t know if my fun childhood – made it more difficult to cope with my more difficult teenage years. I had great teen years – but I was introduced to this concept I knew little of – called suffering.

Positive Suffering

In a sense suffering is painful. But it is also can be seen in the positive. It cleanses the imperfections in one’s comportment and one’s blemishes in their soul. I became more introspective. My suffering made me I realize that hurting others to make the class laugh was wrong. I learned of other comportments to change & character traits and deeds I had to improve. I resolved to become a better person. Anybody can start over and wipe the slate clean.

Looking back, I took the life lessons – to do good and not hurt others – but I left the pain behind.

Some people take the pain with them and forget the lessons.

Others take both.

Suffering & Closeness to G-d

Suffering makes it easier to become closer to Hash-m. We cry out sincerely to Him when in the depths. When everything is going well – have money, children, nice apartment and car – unfortunately many forget G-d. And then to those he loves – he may send a wakeup call. Some want pain to help motivate themselves to become Closer to G-d and to do Mitzvot. King David wanted suffering to help him feel closer to G-d. A high level – not for everyone.

Looking at the Past and Future – Kosher

Rabbi Yosef Sitruk, z”l – former French Chief Rabbi – said that The signs of a Kosher animal represent two ways of looking at the world. Two kosher signs for an animal is that it chews its cud and has split hooves. Chewing Cud – represents bringing back past. Jews from middle-eastern countries – Sephardim – usually would say how the past were the “good old days” and bring them up again and again. He used the term Yahsra – loosely translated as “what a difference between then and now – accompanied by a melancholy feeling of the glorious past that is gone.”

He said that the split hooves – represent an attitude of always trying to innovate and go ahead. He compared that attitude to the Jews from occidental countries – the Ashkenazim – that rely more on innovations in teaching, psychology, technology, etc.

So chewing old memories could be good. Provided you remember the good. But dwelling on past pain can be counterproductive if it stifles you or stops you from being productive or it causes you depression. Let it go.

Let it go.

You have to move on in life.

Reasons why G-d Sends Suffering

G-d sometimes sends difficulties for a person to overcome and become a stronger better individual. He sends difficulties so a person will become closer to Him. Like a parent who withholds allowance from a child who’s living away from home – in order that the child call his parents sometimes.

G-d only does Good – finding the reason for your Suffering

If G-d does only good – how can I understand my suffering? Apparently if you think hard enough or think of past difficulties – you can find a lesson to learn. Perhaps something you gained, something you improved. A worse situation that you avoided by encountering difficulty. Be creative. Perhaps you became more spiritual, closer to G-d? Thousand of reasons. Choose one that fits you best.

Choose Your Memories

You choose which memories to bring to the forefront. It could be you enjoying life or you in pain. You choose. You choose what to think about. You choose what to dwell upon.

When I just got married an uncle of my wife said – remember this period of the first year – where everything is special. Put it in a bottle. When you encounter difficulties – open the bottle and draw from it.

In Pirkei Avot / Ethics of the Fathers two Mishnayot talk about a person forgetting – one about forgetting sin and one about forgetting his Torah learning. It says:

Torah Study & Toil to Forget Sin
Rabban Gamliel son of Rabbi son of Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi says: – “Great is the study of Torah with Derekh Eretz [lit. “the way of the world” either – with livelihood or with proper conduct] – for with the toil in both [temptation to] sin is forgotten. And all Torah that is without Derekh Eretz – in the end it will be nullified & causes sin. And whoever toils with the community, let them toil with them for the sake of Heaven – for the merit of their fathers helps them – & their righteousness will stand forever. And you [who toil with the community] I will consider it as if you yourself achieved it. (Avot 2:2)

Forgetting Torah

Rabbi Dostai, son of Rabbi Yannai in the name of Rabbi Meir, says: Whoever forgets one thing from his [Torah] learning – Scripture, considers as if he is liable for his life. As it says: “Rather guard yourself & guard your soul very well lest you forget the things that your eyes saw.” (Devarim/ Deut. 4:9) One might think that this even applies if his studies were too difficult. The Torah [thus] teaches “Lest you remove it from your hearts” (ibid) – behold he is not liable for his life until it [the learning] settles within him & then he removes it from his heart. [intentionally] (Avot 3:8)

Putting the Subject matter of the Mishna’s aside – we learn two things about forgetting – One – that one can forget sin by being involved in Torah, community and work. Forgetting pain can also be forgotten such. Occupy yourself with the positive. With Mitzvot. Note the that both mentioned  – Torah Study and Working are Mitzvot / Commandments from Torah. Learning Torah is a Mitzvah (Jews learn Torah, Gentiles Learn about Noahide Laws). Working is a Mitzvah – the Mitzvah of Settling the world. By occupying yourself with both you forget your sins – but you also forget your pain.

Temporary vs. Long Term Relief from Suffering 

Apparently these are the best things a person can use to forget. Once a person said he got over depression by watching comedies. I tried. It didn’t work.

A Cause of Suffering

Apparently – one source of depression comes from the soul. You are really your soul. It is possible that depression is linked to the fact that a person is not producing Mitzvot. Thus the soul is depressed.

When I was depressed, I used to do the same. Watch comedies. For me – it was like “Chinese Food” – you eat it, but right after you are hungry. I would watch to pass time but right after I still felt depressed.

Learning Enlightens the Soul

Learning Torah enlightens the soul. So the soul’s sadness is lifted. It is a Mitzvah to serve Hashem with happiness – so sadness is also a domain of the Yetzer HaRah / the evil inclination. He does not want you to be happy. His job is to keep you down so that you don’t produce Mitzvot, do kindness. He provides for you a negative attitude that makes you unproductive of Mitzvot. That is his job. Your job is to bear away from His suggestions. To choose not to become depressed. To speak it out with friends or family to resolve your difficulties – so you can become productive in achieving your potential for doing good.

Happiness – through torah – may not come overnight – it takes time of consistent work – little strides. Step by step. Slow and steady wins the race.

Choose Happiness

You choose – to be happy. You choose to seek help to get out of depression. Your only Job is to say “G-d please help me to get out of this difficult situation of …..(fill in the blank)” Make an effort to get out of it. And choose the help once it comes.

You choose to banish that thought of “I am a nothing” and replace it with “I am a special person. No one in the world is like me.” (see the “You are special card”). Think “I have great potential.” Think “People love me!” Think “G-d loves me.” instead of all those other negative thoughts racing through your mind.

Be strict – and don’t let bad thoughts come in. If they do say “Stop!” You’re not always in control of the thoughts that enter your mind – but you choose to dwell upon them. So stop the bad thoughts and replace them will positive thoughts.

Choose to Be Helped

A person must choose to be helped. There is a Joke.

Once a person was received a flood warning text. He said “G-d will help me.” He stayed in his home. The flood waters reached his street. The police came – “Do you want a ride away from the danger zone.” He replied – “G-d will help me.” The flood waters got higher. Then – a boat passed by – they asked “Do you want a ride away from the danger zone.” He replied – “G-d will help me.” The waters went higher. A helicopter came – “Do you want a ride away from the danger zone.” He replied – “G-d will help me.”

Ultimately – he drowned. He came before G-d and asked – “G-d why didn’t you save me?” G-d replied “I sent you a car, a boat and a helicopter – what more did you want?”

We choose to seek help. We choose what to dwell upon. We choose our attitude. We choose to pray to Hash-m for help. We choose to be helped when help arrives.

The Second mishna teaches us about intentional and unintentional forgetting. How does one intentionally forget. Apparently one can choose to forget. When the subject matter comes up in their mind – they push it aside with other thoughts – intentionally. This intentional forgetting can be used for the good – forgetting sad events in your life.

Forgetting – a Gift from G-d

It says that forgetting is a gift from G-d. If one would remember so perfectly – that the memories of difficulties would be clear in his mind – his or her life would be much more difficult to bear. After one year a person forgets partially the passing of a dear one. After seven years a person – feels as if the person wasn’t here. Another kindness of Hash-m to help you better cope and get on in life.

 What you think is what you are. Think negative – you’ll be negative. Think positive – you’ll be positive. It’s in your hands to choose.

Think Kindness

Even better is to think of doing kindness with others. You become a kinder person. A Jew who thinks of doing a Mitzvah with others – gets that mitzvah. You think you want to feed every single worthy person in the world, you will be attributed that Mitzvah. You think you want to teach Torah to everyone – you get that Mitzvah. You think to do a Mitzvah and was unable to do it – you get that Mitzvah.

Reasons Not to Think of Doing Bad to Others

A motivation to not think about doing badly to others – is that some people – when they think of doing evil to others – even though they do not do it in the end – the evil they wanted to do are attributed to them as if they actually did it.

We say in the Hagadah of Pesach – “An Aramean (Lavan – the father of Rachel & Leah – who were married to Yaakov / Jacob) destroyed my Father (Yaakov) and we went down to Egypt.” Lavan did not kill Yaakov. He thought seriously about doing it. But he didn’t kill him. But it was attributed to him that he did kill Yaakov – meaning it will be on his record – when he gets to heaven that he actually killed.

Forget the Bad – Forget the Hate – Forget the Grudges

In Torah – we do not hold a grudge. If someone did bad to you – confront them and tell to explain their bad comportment. Let them ask forgiveness or you ask and the story is over.

Ask yourself – this grudge that you’ve been holding against a brother, parent, child – worth it? Did you gain anything from it all these years. Holding a grudge can fall into the category of sinat hinam – gratuitous hatred – also a transgression of veAhavta Le’reacha – you shall love your fellow Jew.

Putting all that aside – was the bad blood worth it all these years?

Forgive – forget – get over it. Obviously, you don’t have to put yourself into a situation in which they would take advantage of you again or bring them to a Beit Din / Jewish court of law to settle the financial affairs – but one is not related to the other. If you are too shy to approach your family member or friend and you want to make peace – You can ask a competent Orthodox rabbi to be an intermediary to approach the person.

Speak No Evil

The secret to happiness is to choose what you think about. It’s possible this is one of the reasons of the many laws against speaking Lashon HaRa’ – Evil Speech – speaking badly of others regardless of it being true or not. You speak badly – you think negatively. You cause others to think negatively. We are to control our thoughts, speech and actions. Speech and actions start from thought. If you nip the problem in the bud – you resolve many difficulties. Don’t think negatively – you won’t speak negatively and you won’t do the negative.

Also this will Pass

A manic-depressive asked King Solomon for a cure to his concern. At times he was ecstatic. At times he was depressed. He gave him a ring that said – “Also this will pass.” He was cured. When he was sad – he thought – “also this will pass” and he would cheer up. When he was ecstatic – he would think – “also this will pass” –  and he would calm down.

Your happiness is dependent upon you thoughts.

Think positive!

Torah Word – What to Ask for in Prayer

The Parasha / Weekly Torah Reading – Behar – talks about Shmittah – letting the land rest from laboring the field every seven years.

If one does this G-d will give blessing in the sixth year that it will produce enough for 3 years. One for the sixth year, one for the seventh and one for the first year of the new Shmittah cycle. It says:

“if you follow my ordinances … You will dwell securely in your land . And I will give you fruit to your satiety. And If you will say “what shall we eat in the seventh year – for we will not plant and not harvest?”  I [Hash-m] will command My blessing that in the Sixth Year – it will provide [enough] produce  for three years.” (Vayikra / Leviticus 25:18-21)

 

*Question:* – It seems that a person that has a doubt as to relying on G-d by letting his land rest on the seventh year (because he asked “What shall we eat…”) G-d will give this blessing of “produce for three years”. Shouldn’t the blessing be given to people who have faith / Emunah in G-d that he will provide?

*Answer:*    There are two kinds of blessing – in quantity or in quality. A person who has doubts – G-d will give the blessing of quantity – so they can actually see with their eyes the blessing. The quantity of three years of produce.

To those that have faith – G-d will give the blessing of quality.  Their fruit will be so nutritious that one fruit will provide enough nutrition as 3 fruits.”

When asking blessing from Hash-m  – ask for quantity and quality.

Money that will be used for spiritual growth and helping Klal Yisrael & the world – not for Taxes or Medical expenses.

A soulmate that will have good midot / character traits, desire for growth, values and hashkafa / Torah outlook that will make me & Hash-m happy.

Children that will follow Torah and be righteous…

A path in life that will help me to find true spirituality, growth & truth & that will be pleasing to you Hash-m / G-d …

To get accepted into a school that will help me to achieve my potential in life …

Be specific and detailed – but not too detailed to give G-d “leeway” to give you good. Don’t pray to marry a particular person.  G-d knows best if a particular person is good for you to marry. Pray to Marry a person who will have the qualities that you desire – if it is good for you.

May our good prayers be answered* – Amen.

=

*Hash-m is the Name of G-d to whom we direct our prayers.

10 steps to Greatness by Rav Avigdor Miller z’’l

Rabbi Avigdor Miller was the “Rebbe” to Jews of All Backgrounds, giving Shiurim / Lectures – Teaching Dozens of Torah Classes a week. He appealed to the Scholar, the Yeshiva Student and the Common Man. His ideas were very straight and clear. He gave us 10 steps to greatness and 10 Steps for a Happy Marriage (Perhaps I’ll Include in a later post).

The idea to achieve greatness is to Emulate G-d. Connecting to G-d allows you to achieve anything you want. Obviously you have to put in the effort as well and pray.

Do the following once a day. (if this is too much, maybe do one/day)

These are Rabbi Avigdor Miller’s, obm – 10 Steps to Greatness.

1. Spend 30 seconds thinking of Olam Haba / the World to Come

2. Say once “I love you Hashem”

3. Do one act of chesed / kindness nobody know about

4. Be like Hashem who lifts the humble, say something to

encourage someone.


5. Spend 1 minute about what happened yesterday (cheshbon hanefesh / accounting of deeds).


6. Your actions should be l’shem shamayim / for sake of heaven (say once during meals)


7. Look into someone’s face and think – I’m seeing a tzelem Elokim / Image of of G-d


8. Just like Hashem’s face shines on us, give someone a big smile.


9. When saying [blessing of] “malbish arumim” (who clothes the naked in morning blessings., think about the great gift of garments. 1) they separate us from animals 2) where they come from 3) benefits of


10. When reciting the words, “If I forget you, Yerushalayim…,” sit on floor and think of Churban /  loss of Yerushalayim (privately, 1 second). Spend 30 seconds thinking of Olam Haba

He recommended doing the above exercises for thirty days. “If you feel exhausted, take a break and come back slowly. To become great, you have to be extreme.”

Rabbi Simcha Zissel zt’l, the Alter of Kelm taught:

“The education of a person (in middos) needs to be in simple things. Small things, to come through them to the greatest heights. It appears that this principle was not known to the philosophers…(who searched for a ‘sudden enlightenment’)

Through small acts, one can reach the greatest heights…this is why the great men of history chose to become shepherds. They wanted to practice acts of compassion even for animals. Through small acts, they were able to reach the greatest heights. (Chochma U’Mussar pg.9)

Courtesy of Daf Yomi Review

Here is a more elucidated list from tape # 706 of R. Avigdor Miller

Reprinted from Aish Hatorah Website.
GOOD MORNING!  When I first started learning in yeshiva in 1973 at the age of 23 there were very few books available for a Jew from a secular background who wanted to learn about his Torah background. One of the most prolific authors dealing with Jewish history, questions of science and Torah, personal growth — amongst other topics — was Rabbi Avigdor Miller, of blessed memory. His books had a profound impact on my life. He wrote: Rejoice O Youth!, Torah Nation, Behold a People, Sing, You Righteous, Awake My Glory, Praise My Soul, amongst others (available at your local Jewish bookstore, at JudaicaEnterprises.com or by calling toll-free to 877-758-3242). There are over 2000 recorded lectures available that he gave over the years!

Recently, I came across Rabbi Miller’s TEN STEPS TO GREATNESS which I thought you might find of benefit. Rabbi Miller was a Torah giant, wise in Torah and secular knowledge.

STEP ONE: Spend at least 30 seconds each day thinking about the WORLD TO COME – Olam Haba – and that we are in this world only as a preparation for the World to Come. This is the purpose of life.

STEP TWO: Spend a few seconds each day in a private place and say to the Almighty / Hash-m, “I love you God / Hash-m.” You will be fulfilling a positive commandment from the Torah. This will kindle a fire in your heart and will have a powerful effect on your character. Your exteriority bestirs your interiority. The Almighty is listening. He loves you much more than you love Him.

STEP THREE: Every day do one act of kindness that no one knows about, in secrecy. Have intention beforehand that you are doing this in order to fulfill your program to greatness.

The practice of doing acts of kindliness – Gemilut Hasadim – is one of the three most important functions in the world.

Examples: If you are the first one in the Beit HaMidrash (Place of Torah Study) put the books in the proper order and place. If your wife is not in the kitchen, clean a few dishes or straighten up for her without her knowing. If you should see something potentially dangerous on the sidewalk, clear it off to the side so no one will get hurt.

STEP FOUR: Encourage someone every day. “The Almighty / Hash-m encourages the humble.” Have in mind you are doing it because of the program. Anonymous letters of kindness can do a great deal of good to encourage people.

STEP FIVE: Spend one minute a day thinking about what happened yesterday. “Let us search out our ways and investigate.” Everyone should have his mind on what he is doing – by reviewing yesterday’s actions daily.

STEP SIX: Make all your actions for the purpose of Heaven. Say it once a day.

Example: “I am doing this in order to be more aware of the Almighty.”

STEP SEVEN: Be aware of the principle — “Man was created in the image of God.” Every human face is a reflection of the Almighty / Hash-m. Your face is like a screen and your soul like a projector which projects on your face the glory of the human soul which has in it the greatness of the Almighty / Hash-m. Once a day pick a face and think “I am seeing the image of God.” You will begin to understand the endless nobility of a face.

STEP EIGHT: Once a day give a person a full smile. Just as the Almighty / Hash-m shines on us, we should smile on others. Smile because the Almighty / Hash-m wants you to, even though you really don’t want to.

When you smile have intentions that you are doing it for the purpose of coming closer to the Almighty / Hash-m through the Ten Steps To Greatness.

STEP NINE: “The Almighty / Hash-m clothes the naked.” Clothing is a testament to the nobility of man. Man is unique — has free will, has a soul, made in the image of the Almighty / Hash-m . Even Angels are beneath man in greatness. To demonstrate the superiority of mankind, we must be clothed. Spend 30 seconds in the morning thinking about our garments: what a gift they are from the Almighty / Hash-m .

STEP TEN: Spend time each day thinking about the olden Jerusalem during the time of the Temple. Every day sit on the floor (before going to sleep), spend one second on the floor and mourn for the destruction of Jerusalem. Think “If I should forget you Jerusalem, let my right arm forget how to function” (Psalms 137:5).

King Shlomo / King Solomon “The wise man seizes the opportunity to do mitzvot” (King Solomon). The lazy person says — someday I’ll do it. If you start this program, after 30 days you will be tired. So, wait six months until you start again. Do another 30 days then wait five months and so on. After a while you might do it all the time. If you do it even one day you are extraordinary!

Connecting to G-d or Don’t Give Me that Kosher Style. I want the Real Thing!

Jews are connected.

Connected to the One above.

I know it first hand. I meet Jews in the street with all the paraphernalia – nose rings, tattoos, leather jackets. They seem tough on the outside. Scratch a little below the surface accessories and you find a warm heart connected to Judaism.

The struggling Jewish comedians. The doctor who tells me she started saying blessings on food. The Palestinian college student with a Jewish mother. A vegetarian suffering from a tough divorce. And also that non-Jewish woman steeped in materialism, grappling with conversion to Judaism.

Each has one thing in common. They are connected.

Complete Torah Observance? Not there yet.

Connected – yes. Connected in their own way. Connected by coming to the synagogue. Trying to be good to others. By putting on that big white kippah when they enter the shul. The women that cover their hair with a scarf when they come to ask for a blessing from the big Rabbi.  The secular Jews who give donations to hospitals because of their concern for others.

The Torah confirms this saying that each Jew has a spark from the Divine that keeps the Jewish person connected to Hash-m – no matter how far they feel.

G-d Loves People

G-d loves these people. They try. They support Israel or don’t. They eat kosher or kosher style – because they think it’s really Kosher. They don’t know the extent of how much G-d loves them. But those little actions mean much. I heard even that G-d loves you – a person who follows or tries earnestly to follow His laws – more than any person can love you in the world. Even one’s parents. I believe it.

Even the people who get on the defensive when they see you wearing a black kippah. And take out their frustrations out on you. I know one reason why they get defensive – because deep down they also want to be connected as much as you to the Great Power above. Apparently they envy someone they feel has a greater connection.

I love them too.

Don’t want to be be Politically Correct

I try not to be politically correct in life. I’d much rather tell it like it is. I’d rather people hear the truth than to stretch truth to make others happy. Obviously I try to be tactful. So please don’t think I’m doing the politically correct jargon.

The Lost – finding the Right Path & Getting Connected

In a sense I feel for all people. I feel that many are lost – sincerely searching for a path that will bring them to Utopia on earth. I can’t say I found Utopia – because Utopia will never exist. The true Utopia is living a life in which any situation you encounter – stressful or not – you’ll be able to deal with it in the most positive way possible. That’s real Utopia. I  did find a real path that helps me to feel I am accomplishing purpose. Yes, I do stray and sway – unfortunately – but I try keep anchored to Torah.

Yes – synagogue. Yes – Shabbat. Yes – Kosher. Yes – Daily Torah Study & Prayer. Yes – trying to not talk badly about others. Yes – Part of a Torah Community.

The more I try to be connected, the more I feel I need to be connected.

the Path to Spirituality & Self- Fulfillment – Torah Commandments

They say that a Jew is full of Mitzvot / Commandments [they do] as a pomegranate. Why a pomegranate? We as Jews have 613 commandments. (a Gentile has 7 Major categories of commandments – the Noahide Laws – that come to 30 detailed commandments). A Pomegranate has 613 seeds in it. Each Jew is connected in doing a special Mitzvah. Some try to do all. Some pick and choose. The real idea behind a Mitzvah is becoming connected to G-d. True spirituality.

Many people search cults and exotic religions – trying to find spirituality and meaning. But I say – “What more do you want? – when G-d came down and told us – to over 3 million people who witnessed – that this – the Torah – is what He wants.

This is the guide to become close to Him. Spirituality in my eyes is being close and connected to G-d. He already told us. So my job now to become connected is to try to do what I can to follow. Someone asked the Hazon Ish – a great Rabbi who lived in Benei Brak – what is the pathway to spirituality? He said follow Halacha / Jewish law.

I mentioned before that one’s real self is not the body. It is the soul. Please the soul and you will live a happier life. The problem why happiness is elusive is that – people pick and choose Mitzvot. “This is good enough for me.” “This mitzvah doesn’t fit my lifestyle.” So I will pick to follow my own made up religion – of what I think is good and what I think is wrong.

G-d really made it easy for us – He already told us what is right and wrong. That’s not our realm. Our realm is determining whether – the situation we encounter it is right to do A or B – based upon what Torah says. We can’t rewrite the Torah. No one can. Because I know my intelligence is nothing in comparison to G-d’s, I’ll relegate determining what is right and wrong to G-d. I’ll just decide if my intended reaction to a situation fits the Will of G-d as described by the Torah. This makes my life much easier.

Even this week pray – given all our Torah knowledge – that Hashem gives us the wisdom to do His will in each situation.

G-d’s View vs My Personal Interest – Choosing the Greater Good for the World.

I realized – after the fact – What it really comes down to is choosing to let G-d guide your life through Torah is choosing a greater good for you and for all society. I am very limited in my vision and the consequences of my actions. G-d takes all into account. The good for me, the good for society, the good for your family.

My scope is much more limited. I am biased. It’s putting my personal interest aside for G-d – for the greater good of the world. Though – I may not understand G-d’s ways or sometimes even certain of His laws – I follow. Once I know that G-d gave a nation of millions of people a law – where millions of people witnessed the giving of this divine document – I can feel confident following that law. I can feel confident I am doing a greater good for the world by following Torah.

A higher level is doing things leshem shamayim – for the sake of G-d. We have a special relationship with Hashem – for thousands of years He has been helping us with a kind hand. We thus do good for His sake.

We become a greater individual. We become bigger. I look at the interest of others rather than just my own. I follow what G-d wants rather than what I think is right. Usually they coincide. Sometimes they don’t. But in a case of my opinion – and the opinion of the Torah is diffferent – I defer to Torah – for G-d’s wisdom is greater than mine.

Remove Doubt – Remove Suffering

Living a Life of doubt is painful. If I don’t know what is right or wrong, I am always in doubt. Torah takes that doubt away. I just see what Torah says or ask a competent “Orthodox” rabbi what it says about a particular issue.

Years ago someone asked “what should be done with a person on life support”? I didn’t know the answer. I asked a Posek (a Rabbi qualified enough to make Halachic / Jewish law decisions) on “pulling the plug from life support.” I explained the case – He said it was forbidden. I told the family.

They followed and were happy with their decision. They did not live a life of regret asking “Did I do the right thing?” They knew they did the right thing for they based their decision upon Torah.

My Life of Picking and Choosing

I was in the situation of picking and choosing what is convenient for me.The “This doesn’t fit my lifestyle” attitude – until I chose to get off this “double citizenship” – of on one hand following Torah when it’s convenient and not when it is not. It took time. As they say “slowly but surely wins the race.” But once I did commit to follow Torah based upon what it said to do rather than what I thought is convenient – I changed myself and changed my life for the better.

I didn’t choose what I should do and not. I knew I had to do all – my choice was relegated to choosing what I was ready to take upon myself. At one time I took complete eating Kosher inside and out of the house. Then I took complete Shabbat observance. Then I took wearing a Kippah. Then I took Daily Torah study. Each one has their own path to Judaism. I’m still trying to grow. But at least I have a path. Some don’t know the path exists.

Achieving Your Purpose in Life

That same path in Judaism – that brings spiritual satisfaction – brings one to achieving their personal potential and purpose in life. Apparently they are related.

The Real Thing

I don’t want that Kosher style lifestyle. I want the real thing.

I won’t lie. It takes effort. It takes sweat. Going against the grain. Breaking the mold that society builds for you. Moving Forward day by day. Overcoming the challenges – but you know in the end you have a Hand that carries you. A good G-d that watches over you.

Anyone – regardless of their level of righteousness – can have emunah / trust in Hash-m’s / G-d’s providence and He will help them. G-d will even help the thief who prays to Him to be successful in his endeavor to steal from a house. Anyone can repent and start over.

But strong connection takes work. Work at it. Be ready to go the whole 9 yards. And you’ll never be or feel alone. You’ll always be directly connected to the One above.

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai – Why We Celebrate

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai was a Tanna. A Tanna was a Rabbi Mentioned in a Mishna – which explains the laws of the Torah. The Mishna & the Gemara – the explanation of the Mishna – Together is called the Talmud.

When G-d gave the Torah to the Jews – he gave the written Torah (the 5 Books of Moses) and Oral Torah. The Oral Torah explains the Written Torah.

When it was being forgotten, Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi decided to commit the Oral Torah to writing – this is called the Talmud.

Any Tanna – Mishna Rabbi or Amora – Rabbi from Gemara – was so great that they were able to bring the Dead back to life. Rabbi Shimon was a Tanna – Student of the Great Rabbi Akiva.

Lag Ba’Omer – the 33rd Day of the Counting of the Omer – is the Hillula / Yartzeit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai – when He died.

He ordered that people celebrate the day of his death. Usually, death is synonymous with crying and sadness. So why do we celebrate lag Ba’Omer?

Rabbi Shimon ran away from the Romans. He hid in a cave in Meron for 12 years with his son – R. Elazar. During these 12 years – they ate carobs for food and drank water. They were involved in Torah study day and night.

He reached such a high level of holiness – that he was able to reveal great secrets from the Torah. He reached His potential in life. We rejoice his reaching of potential.

There is a question – why do people cry when someone dies?

Apparently – one cries because he will miss the other person. But it is also possible that the remaining relative realizes that the person didn’t reach their potential in life and that’s what causes him or her sadness.

Rabbi Shimon – did not waste his potential. He reached his potential and purpose in life.

The Vegetarian Dilemma – Being Kind with Child’s Body & Soul

Ask your local Vegetarian or Vegan – why don’t you eat meat?

Many will answer, “I am against cruelty done to animals.”

That’s good.

Torah Against Animal Cruelty

The Torah is the first code with laws against cruelty to animals. “Tzaar Baalei Haim” – forbids causing animals to suffer. Ritual slaughter – Shechita – assures the animal feels little or no pain during the slaughtering process.  “Ever Min HaH’ai” – One of the Seven Noahide Laws for all humanity – prohibits eating a limb taken from a living animal. An animal must be dead – before chopping it up. For non-Jews death means the animal must have stopped moving. For Jews – that means that Shechita had to have been done.

Animals “Kosher” for Non-Jews

Judaism allows the eating of Kosher animals for Jews if it was properly slaughtered according to Jewish law. Torah allows gentiles to eat animals as long as the animal was dead before is was chopped up.

Vegetarian – the Ideal State of Man?

In the time of Adam – the first man – people were not allowed to eat animals. After the Flood of Noah, people were allowed to eat animals. Apparently being a vegetarian is the ideal state of man.

There is a statement in Talmud – meat should only be eaten by Torah Scholars – not an ignoramus. (Peachim 49b)

Animal Souls – the Gilgul & Dibuk

Why? One reason given is that they know how to do the ritual slaughter properly. Another is apparently – in an animal there is a soul. Every Animal has a low level soul. There are five levels of the soul – Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, H’aya & Yeh’ida. Animals have the lowest level – the Nefesh. Humans have the Ruach – apparently that allows people to talk. There is the Neshama – that are for people spiritually connected. Jews receive and extra Neshama on Shabbat. Rashi says – that’s one reason why people eat more on Shabbat.

Animals and plants are more spiritually connected than we would assume. Animals have a soul. Talk nicely to a plant and it will grow better. A Japanese scientist tried an experiment on water. He would talk nicely to water and freeze it. Other water he would speak not- nicely. The water that was spoken nicely to, had beautiful crystals formed. The water that was yelled at had irregular and non-symmetrical crystals formed.

Blessing Before Eating

This might be one reason, why we Jews say a blessing before eating anything. (We have a Blessing card for food available free at the Freebies / Store Section) (Gentiles can also say the blessing for food – provided they say “G-d of Israel” instead of “Our G-d” in the blessing.) When we say the blessing – we beautify the food physically – as shown in the experiment.

But more than that – we transform the physical into spiritual energy. Also we unlock the soul that was in the food.

Soul Transmigration

When a person sins – some are punished by their soul coming back to life in an object. It could be in a rock, a plant, a tree, a fruit or an animal or a person. (For instance – Kabbalah says – one who acts with immorality with a gentile or a Jew – their soul might come back incarnated as a dog.)

When a person says a blessing on the food – that soul is released from the object and is able to make a reparation and the soul is uplifted to another degree. ie, a soul that was in a fruit – is elevated and may be able to go into an animal body.

Apparently – that is one reason why only Torah Scholars should eat meat – by them saying the blessing on the meat or using the energy for a holy purpose – like learning Torah – they are able to make the proper reparation – Tikkun to the food – allowing the soul in the food to be elevated.

Helping the Soul in the Animal

If a vegetarian says the blessings on food – he might want to reconsider eating meat. Many a time he doesn’t want the animals to be hurt because his eating of the food – may cause hurt to the body of the animal. But if he or she really wanted to be considerate of animals – they would try to eat animals and say the blessing – thus helping the soul of the animal to receive a reparation. I guess they’ll just have to help the souls in the fruits and veggies.

Helping the Soul of the Children.

I hear parents shout at children – “no candy for you!” They recognize the importance of healthy teeth and bodies. The parents are concerned for the health of the child’s body. If only parents would be so concerned about the health of the child’s soul.

The child who is helped to follow Torah and Mitzvot – will have a healthy soul. For this a Jewish child must have a healthy diet – of Kosher food, Prayer, Torah learning, acting kind with others, following Jewish law / Shulchan Aruch – Love of Hash-m, Emunah, Shabbat meals, doing Mitzvot, Torah Day school. Just like a Jewish parent or child is well versed in the mathematics tables for being a good student – being well versed in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch / Abridged Code of Jewish Law is a way for a child to grow into and parent to raise spiritually well-balanced children. A non-Jewish child – should be taught the 7 Noahide laws from Torah by a reputable Orthodox rabbi.

Many parents disregard – intentionally or unintentionally – the child’s Spiritual health & well-being. They give in to the social mores of society yet disregard the spiritual consequences of their actions. They give a child an unfiltered cell phone or internet that causes them to fall prey to improper websites and activities. They send them to colleges – without protection from cults, drugs, drinking, fraternity initiations – that may cause their spiritual downfall.

Attaining Best of Material & Spiritual World

A caring parent – cares also for the spiritual welfare of the child according to Torah. G-d gives parents the tremendous gift of a child. He expects us to return the child as pure as he or she was – as when they were born. Thus prudence asks us to be concerned that our children will live a safe life – but also a life that their children will be worthy of receiving a place in heaven.

The path of the middle is correct. Spiritual, mental and physical health are all important factors of which to be prudent. A parent that has the primary goal that their child should receive a place in the world to come – through Torah & Mitzvoth – usually attains the best of both worlds – the physical and spiritual worlds.

Message from Names of Torah Readings

The names of parashiot / weekly torah readings also give a message – bereshit – in the beginning, noach, it is restful (when a person is a baby), lech lecha – you shall go – then ones objective is to go higher and higher in ruchniut / spirituality…
(if one rises daily in Torah and mitzvot) Acharei mot – after one dies , Kedoshim they will be holy.

Problems Causing You Worry? or Worry Causing You Problems?

G-d loves his creatures. He doesn’t even want the death of the wicked. He wants them to correct their ways and He will accept them.

The power of Teshuva / repentance is such – that anyone can be forgiven for their sins if they return sincerely to the good and just path of the Torah. G-d is so gracious that He would forgive anyone that sincerely repents. Anyone. Yes – You, Me and the Average Joes.

So Magnanimous is G-d – His Mercy is unimaginable.  I heard from a rabbi – that even if Hitler would have sincerely repented for all the sins he committed – he would have been forgiven. Yet, now that he did not – he ranks among the most evil men of all times.

G-d is our father. He wants us to have a relationship with Him. If we place our worries upon Him, He will take care of them. Say “G-d, I have a great test or an important interview- I will do my best to do well, but You take care of the rest. I won’t worry because you control all.” Don’t Worry – Have faith in Hash-m and he will handle the rest.

One who worries is basically lacking a bit of faith. He thinks that things don’t happen for the best. If he integrated the fact that G-d controls all and does everything for the best – there is no need to worry. After you put in your best effort, act prudently, take your precautions and pray to Hash-m – put your concerns in the hands of G-d – let Him take care of the rest.

If you do worry – you think that man is in control. If a person does worry sometimes G-d says let the worrier take care of the situation. And lets the “dice roll” for what happens. At times one’s worry is the cause of his problems. If a person worries – that which they worry about – might come to fruition due to their worry. Yes – a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Better to put your fate in the Hand’s of G-d. Don’t put your fate in the hands of men. Understand that only good will occur and it will. Remember G-d is Good. He is our Father. He wants the best for us. No need to worry.

Believe it will be good and it will be good.

Don’t worry be happy.

In the Market for a New Religion? A Comparison to Consider

I meet a lot of different people. Most are pretty down to earth. Average Joes doing their 9 to five to make ends meet. Working hard. Working honestly.

That’s good. It is a Mitzvah / Commandment from Torah to work – for Jews and Non Jews. For through work one builds the world. G-d wants a world that is built up Thus it is also a Mitzvah for people – Jews and Gentiles to have children – because G-d wants a world that is populated – not desolate.

Thus people have satisfaction in working and having and raising children. It’s a Mitzvah. Mitzvah’s make you happy. For you are your soul and your soul feels satisfaction in doing Mitzvoth.

Proofs? Statistically Married people commit suicide less than single people. Statistically, suicides occur most on Sundays and Mondays – right after the weekend when people are not working. Also the Motivation theory of Theodore Herzberg demonstrates that people are more motivated when they are accomplishing things at work.

Sorry for the regression. In any case – I met people who go through religions like they go through clothing. One year they are this, the next that.

Some hit the bid. Some fly into another set of laws – uncomfortable for them or society.

There are thousands of religions. How does one find the right religion?

Feeling?

“I feel it is right?” As Spock would say – That is illogical.

Why – because Joe might feel that A is right for him and Jack would feel that B is right for him. Obviously G-d made a way to rationally determine what is his true law. It must be that every sane person in the world could come to this determination. Otherwise, a person would not be able to be judged after they pass on. They could always defend themselves to G-d and say “I thought my feeling was right?” And get off the hook. Sorry. It doesn’t work that way.

Obviously there must be a rational way – based upon logic and rationality – to determine G-d’s true law.

Four simple questions exist that one can come to the conclusion of the true religion of G-d. Each question must be answered rationally.

These are the four questions in short. (A previous post on The Four Question entitled – What G-d really Wants from You goes into the matter in more depth.)

  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?

The rational answers are :

 1. Is there a G-d?

Answer: Yes. To say “No” would mean that you believe that man, the world, all nature, molecules, the universe, growth, order of the world, babies, the food chain comes from random atoms flying together. Saying No is irrational, thus you must say – Yes there is a G-d.

2. Did G-d Give a Law? 

Answer: Yes. To say “No” would mean you believe that G-d created this magnificent world and not care about if people destroyed his nature or creatures. Saying No is irrational, thus you must say – Yes there is a Law of G-d.

3. What is that Law?

Answer: The Torah. The Torah is the Only law in which millions of people, an entire nation of people, the Jewish People – heard G-d speaking and giving of the divine law the Torah at Mount Sinai about 3,300 years ago. Not one person. Not two people. Not 5, not 10. But Millions of People. To say another law that was not heard by millions would be irrational. Why? Because if it was only one person, I would have no reason to believe one person over another person who says the exact opposite of the first person. Thus millions of people would have had to heard the divine law for it to be valid.

4. Did G-d change His mind?

Answer: No. To say G-d gave a law and changed his “mind” about the laws or people is irrational. G-d is omniscient. He know all the past the present and future. Not rational to say He gave a law and changed His mind.

A G-d that Answers when We Call

G-d is called Hash-m, which means “the Name”. One who prays to Him is answered. Once an african american woman went to see my friend the optometrist. She said she beacame a follower of the Noahide laws for Gentiles according to the Torah. He asked why? She said when she was following another religion, she prayed and was not answered. When she prayed to Hash-m, she was. So She became a righteous Gentile that follows the Seven Noahide laws.

Gentiles have tremendous Wisdom in Science. In Astrology. In Mathematics. The Torah says to believe in the Wisdom of the Gentiles. Yet, we do not believe in their laws that pertain to Spirituality. For the Jews are the recievers of the Torah. This is the expression –

Chochma Bagoyim Taamin Torah Bagoyim al Taamin. – Wisdom of the Gentiles Believe. The Divine Law of the Gentiles do not believe. Because G-d Himself taught the Jews the laws. Anything that differs cannot be believed – beacause we heard it from the mouth of G-d.

Like we mentioned above – After a person passes away they will be judged for their deeds and actions. The question is according to what law will they be judged? Is it according to the Torah? A person must be able to determine through rational thought what is the true law of G-d. Otherwise they would not be able to be judged fairly in the next world because they would always have the excuse “I thought that Judaism was not the true religion.”

For a claim to hold up in the heavenly court any person in the world could have figured this out. Below are some issues that help a person to decide the religion they should follow.

Here is a comparison that was compiled several years ago. Perhaps it can help those in search for the will of G-d.

Comparison of Judaism and Other Ideologies

In the left column is the ideal situation for a religion to be well founded.

The second column is what Judaism believes and is supported by fact.

The third column is an example of what some other religions believe.

The purpose of this comparison is for a person who is sincerely searching for the true religion and wants to get close to the true God to have a point of comparison between Judaism and other ideologies. The answers in the second column are provided for information purposes and the reader is free to enter the answers of their own religion’s stance on the issue to be able to compare it to the Torah.

The list below not only provides evidence of the veracity of Torah Judaism as the religion of G-d. It also shows that since most Jews believe in the basic principles of the Torah, it show that the Jews are spiritually connected to Hash-m.

What does this mean? This means that the through Torah – Jews can maintain a closer relationship with Hash-m by adhering to its principles. They can reach higher heights of perfection and their potential.

Though gentiles can reach a level of closeness to Hash-m, through exercising their own potential and attaining a higher degree of perfection through the Seven Noahide laws of the Torah, to attain a greater closeness to God they have the option of becoming full fledged Jews – by conversion through a competent Orthodox Rabbi. Those concerned about this, those that wish they could reach this closeness to Hashem – always have the option of conversion to Judaism open to them permitting them to reach this greater closeness.

Issue – the ideal answer.

Judaism

Other religions

Law transmitted by God Himself not by an agent

Jewish people actually heard transmission of Torah from God Himself

Transmitted by a single human being to others

Transmission of law witnessed by millions people

The giving of the Torah by God Himself at mount Sinai was witnessed by over 3 million people. Of which 600,000 Jewish men between the age of 20 to 60 witnessed the event.

Witnessed by one individual or several individuals

Transmitted by a person who spoke directly to God face to face

Moshe Rabbeinu / Moses Our Teacher spoke to God face to face like a person would speak to another person, while he was completely awake and lucid.

Transmitted by a person who had a dream

Law conceived by God

God created the Torah and then created the world. The law is his law.

Group of people conceived law

God did open miraculous kindness for an entire nation

God sends plagues upon Egyptians and brings Jewish people out of Egypt in front of all the world.

Did not do miracles for entire nation.

Law is based upon principles that cannot be changed by man

God gave to Torah is written Torah and the Oral Torah. All laws must conform to what is written in the Oral Torah. (Which is now the Talmud)

People have discretion to change laws according to their whim

God changes nature for a entire nation

God sends 10 plagues upon Egypt to punish Egyptians for pain they caused the Jews.

Does things for individuals

God punishes nations that hurt entire nation

God sends 10 plagues upon Egypt because they caused suffering to the Jewish nation.

Does things for individuals

God helps entire nation to be victorious in war

God helps Jewish nation to be victorious over nations much mightier than them in the wilderness of Sinai

Win by force. (Of course with the will of G-d)

Explanation of God’s features makes logical sense

God is not physical nor spiritual. He is the essence of existence. Has no deficiencies or weaknesses. He is Perfect. He is One. He is Unlimited. He is everywhere.

Their concept of “gods” are illogical. It can be an animal or a man (either dead or alive) or an object – “that is dead, eventually dies or decays or can be destroyed. If a “god” dies, or is dead, decays or can be destroyed it has a weakness and logically cannot be the real god. Assumes G-d changes his mind after taking a well thought out decision – if G-d is perfect he wouldn’t change his mind.

Is Truth

Allows and encourages questions to arrive at the truth. Truth is not afraid of questions.

Use manipulative tactics to avoid truth or threats because their doctrine cannot stand up to the test of truth. Punish people who deny their doctrine.

Has detailed laws that deal with all situations.

Has specific and detailed laws that are either treated directly or can be derived from the Talmud.

Have vague laws based on general foundations of the religion. No specific details of cases.

Detailed Laws are based upon Torah’s Laws

Detailed laws that correspond directly with Torah Laws (ie, five books of Moses).

Have vague laws many of which have nothing to do with the Torah’s commandments or are against the Torah’s commandments ie, – “Do not make an image of G-d.”

Giving of law witnessed by trustworthy people

The Jews were on the level of righteousness so high that they attained prophecy when they received the Torah.

Was witnessed by harlots, immoral people or killers.

Transmitted by righteous people

Moshe Rabbeinu who transmitted the Torah was so righteous he was able to speak with God directly

Transmitted by killers and sinners “if they could kill they could lie also

Based upon logic, not miracles

Hash-m did thousands of miracles for the Jewish nation – “ten plagues, manna, splitting of the sea of reeds, etc. But belief in Torah is not based on miracles. It is based upon historical fact, G-d’s communication with the Jewish people, common sense and logic. See Rambam “ Laws of Mashiach / Messiah. Laws of Kings – chapter 11

Believe because one or more people were subject to or did miracles. Because of the existence of freedom of choice even wicked people can actually do “miracles” – ie, voodoo, black magic. Thus doing Miracles is not a proof of veracity.

Allows truths to be questioned and is open to questions – open minded to allow questions to arrive at the truth

Questions will surely encouraged – Anyone who learns Gemara or Talmud realizes how open the Torah is to questions

Religions censor people and works that are contrary to their beliefs in order that they do not discover the truth. They hide the truth or deny questions and provide roundabout answers. They Give very vague verses from the “Bible” to show their veracity – yet these verses are misinterpreted by them, because they did not receive the Oral Torah that explains exactly what the verse means.

Meaningful and well thought out laws, rituals and customs

Rituals are pleasant like having meals with the family on Shabbat and holidays. Prayer.

Have unusual rituals and laws sometimes subjecting followers to flagellate themselves, torturing themselves, throwing people into fire. They burn wives of upon death of husband. Some Religion leaders do not procreate – if all of the members of the religion would become leaders their would be no members of the religion after that generation.

Believe that God is an entity that is not physical or spiritual. It is not logical to say that God is physical or spiritual, because anything that is physical or spiritual can be created or destroyed. Anything that can be created or destroyed cannot be God.

Hash-m is not physical nor spiritual. He is the Essence of perfection and goodness.

Some propose God is physical. They may say he is a man, an object, or an animal. they attribute godly attributes to a mound of flesh Or to an inanimate a pile of stones or a statue. All these have the weakness “they can be destroyed. Therefore they cannot be the true god.

Common people who follow the religion are righteous.

The basic rule for the Jews is to love one’s fellow like one’s self. Observant Jews do many and exemplary acts of kindness.

Though many are righteous, many times in history the masses of people were killers and instigators in that they actively participated in in pogroms, crusades, blood-libels, aiding the Nazis, terrorism and anti-Semitic campaigns.

Top leaders are exemplary  righteous people

Top leaders are exemplary in morality, in kindness and in following the laws of the Torah.

Many scandals are surfacing against top leaders – stealing, killing, immorality, etc. Gurus make up their own set of laws ie – it’s OK to steal if the Guru gains money from it.

Foundations of the beliefs of the ideology are logical

Foundations are based upon solid evidence and logic (and see 13 principles of faith of the Rambam)

Believe because you have to believe (they force people to believe because their claims make are irrational like their “god” is a dead man.) To quell the masses they say it is improper to ask questions or to just believe on faith. No sane person would by a car on “faith” that it has an engine. Subscribing to a religion – that one’s life in heaven depends upon – should be subject to at least the same scrutiny.

Foundations of Religion are consistent with the Document of the Law

Foundations of Torah is that G-d is One, He is Perfect, He is not Physical. It says in the Torah “You shall not make any image that is on earth or in the Heavens” – The second of 10 commandments.

Their god is a physical entity or a physical entity represents their g-d which is explicitly forbidden in the 5 Books of Moses.

All people are treated with sensitivity

Each man must be respected because he was created in the image of Hash-m. Never killed innocent people on basis of the Torah.

Killed millions of innocent people in the name of “God” and their religion – historically and currently condone killing of innocent people who through terrorism, pogroms, violence, etc.

Are in sync with morality and common sense

Each person should be treated with respect and dignity.

Their law says “don’t kill.” Yet in actuality religions were at times one of the greatest terror organizations. Historically and currently condone killing of innocent people through terrorism, pogroms, violence, holy wars, holocaust, genocide, intifada, etc.

Number of witnesses to Origin of Religion

Millions of Jewish People “600,000 men witnessed and heard G-d’s voice at Sinai

Two harlots, person who had a dream, guru that got a divine message

Number of Adherents

Millions

Hundreds of Millions “number of adherents is not a testimony to the truth“ see below (If a million people say 1 + 1 = 3 and one person says 1 + 1 = 2. Who is right? The million people or the one person?) Easier to follow ones desires than to control ones desires. There was a point in time that a majority of the world believed the world was flat. Does that mean that the world was flat at that time point in time?

Claims to have millions of witnesses to transmission of the law – and has proof

Millions of Jewish people saw and heard Hashem –  G-d giving the Torah.

Don’t make any claims that millions of people witnessed giving or Re-transmission of the law

Claims G-d did not – “change his mind”

Hash-m is perfect. His knowledge is perfect. He knows the past and the future. He does not change his mind.

Say G-d changes his mind.

G-d did not change his people

Hash-m chose only the Jewish people to be the Chosen nation and they remain to be his Chosen nation. He never changed them with another nation.
There are proofs of this in Torah and according to logic. If someone employs a thousand people. If he decides to fire them he sends them pink slips. “Pink slips” or another declaration never was made that Hash-m rescinded his covenant with them. When one introduces a product they do much publicity if they wish to recall it they also use much publicity. It is an eternal covenant. Hashem forgave the Jews for any sins that they did. Mishkan Haedut “ the Mishkan is a testimony to the fact that Hashem forgave us for the sin of the Golden Calf.

Say G-d changed his people with another people.

The Law is Divine

The Torah is Divine. How do we know the Torah is Divine? Millions of witnesses heard transmission of law from Hash-m himself at Mount Sinai.

Law made up by men.

G-d did not change the original nation that he chose.

G-d does not change his mind. He has perfect knowledge and knows the future. He would not select a nation and then “change his mind.” The Jews were Hash-m’s chosen people and remain his chosen people and will remain to be his chosen people forever.

Other religions say G-d changed the original nation that he chose. This is the basis for their religion’s existence.

Treat non-members of the religion in respectful manner.

Even the most lowly of people “Bilaam” – the gentile prophet who was unable to answer the rebuke of his talking donkey – who wished to curse the Jews was spared embarrassment. Hash-m his donkey killed so that people wouldn’t point to the donkey saying “look that is the donkey that Bilaam couldn’t answer back” and embarrass Bilaam.

Vilify Jews and create hatred among their people of Jews. Teach children to Hate Jews from an early age – even in schools. Create heros out of those who commit violence against Jews. Call Jews the “Devils”. Create campaigns against Jews and make plots against Jews. Every new act or speech of violence against the Jews further detracts credibility of the validity of their religion.

God did not change his original nation that he chose for another nation. The nation he chose is the same nation forever.

God says in the scriptures and the Torah that the people of Israel are his chosen nation forever. “Six days you shall work and on the seventh day it is a holy day of rest to Hashem“ anyone who shall do work on the Shabbat day will …. And the children of Israel observed the Shabbat “to do the Shabbat throughout the generations – between Me (Hashem) and the children of Israel “ it is a sign forever. (Shemot 31:16-17) (Devarim/ Deut. 5:25)

God changes his mind. They disregard these verses.

Follow the laws of the 5 books of Moses

Follow the laws of the 5 books of Moses to the most minute detail. Know all the details of the laws.

Those religions that claim their people to be the “replacement” of the Jewish people “ Do not even know the details of most of the commandments. They act contrary to the commandments. G-d said the seventh day of the week should be the Sabbath Day. The Jewish people observe the Sabbath on the Seventh day “others on the 6th day of the week and others on the first day of the week. This goes against an explicit law in the Torah. There are many more examples too numerous to list.

Follow the 10 commandments

Follow the 10 commandments with all the details.

“You shall not make an image of G-d that is from earth, the skies or the waters” – Those that worship – a man – a man is from earth“ thus it is forbidden from the 10 commandments to worship a man or treat any man as a representation of G-d. A cow is from earth, a tree is from earth“ all are forbidden to treat as images of G-d.

“Thou shalt not kill.” Many pogroms, killings done in the name of the religion.

“Thou shalt not steal” after the pogroms sanctioned by religions they stole goods that belonged to innocent people that they killed.

Observant Orthodox Jews are the only ones that consistently observe the laws of the 5 Books of Moses – eaning that we are the True representatives of the Torah.

Jews: Observe Passover, wear Tephillin, Observe the Sabbath on the Seventh day, eat Matzah, take the Lulav and Etrog, live in Booths, Celebrate the receiving of the Torah.

No other people observe the commandments of the Torah in their entirety and detail like the Orthodox Jews.

Philosophers admitted to the Truth of the Torah over their own Philosophy.

Aristotle wrote a letter to Alexander the Great at the end of his life testifying that he erred with his philosophy, he regretted teaching it and that he admitted to the Truth of the Torah. (see Meam Loez “ Parasha Yitro)

Do not present an insult to G-d

Jews Praise G-d for his Greatness every day. Believe that G-d is exactly they way that He is described in the Torah according to the RAMBAM. He is not physical, nor spiritual. He is all powerful. He has no weaknesses.

Present an insult to G-d. Say G-d is a man or a stone or a tree or a statue “who is limited and nothing in comparison to Hash-m. This is comparable to calling a mighty human king a dog. (See story of Rabbi Akiva)

Facts of science correspond to facts written in texts of the religion

Because Hash-m created the Torah and then created the world using the Torah as a blueprint facts about the world and nature must correspond to facts that are accepted in the Torah. For instance:

Torah states world is a sphere. World is a sphere.

Torah states Gestation period of a snake is 7 years. Gestation period of a snake is 7 years.

Torah states exactly how many stars in the Universe in Talmud Berachot. Current scientific calculations of number of stars corresponds to number of stars written in the Torah.

Time it takes for moon to revolve around the earth. Time stated by Torah (in Talmud) thousands of years ago corresponds exactly to time determined recently by NASA scientists.

There was a point in time which religions stated the world is flat. If they represent G-d, they should know a basic thing like that the world is not flat. Religions are historically against science.

People are Chosen People as it states in the Torah

Hash-m Chooses the Jewish nation to be a light to the world“ in terms of ethics and serving Hash-m. As it states in the Torah about the Jewish People “For you are a Holy nation to Hash-m Your G-d: You Hash-m your G-d chose to be a special nation to Him “ among all the nations of the world that are on the face of the Earth.” (Deuteronomy 7:6)

Others religions say “Jews are devils, are the cause of the worlds problems, are the enemy” and cause Jews tremendous suffering in the name of the religion. Anti-semitism is prevalent.

(Asides the fact that it is strictly forbidden for a Jewish person to marry a gentile – this is one reason why even a totally assimilated Jew should not marry a gentile unless the gentile converts. Judaism doesn’t condone the killing of gentiles. Other religions historically and some currently condone and encourage the killing of Jews. Basically a person who associates themselves with a religion accepts their practices “ currently and historically.

So the Jewish partner should say to the non-Jewish partner “If you love me“ you wouldn’t want me to be killed. If you adhere to a religion“ that shows that you agree with that religion and their past and present practices. Your religion condones the killing of Jews “ and I am Jewish. If you actually love me show me through your action by abandoning your faith and become a sincere convert according to the Torah with a competent orthodox Jewish Rabbi.” If they convert this is a sign that they love you. If they do not accept to convert they surely do not love you. A person who loves another does not want any harm to come to the partner and even more they do not the death of the partner.

Gentiles have two possible paths to choose from in Judaism. To become a Righteous Gentile by following the seven Noahide laws proscribed by the Torah commandments and would not be able to marry a Jew. Or become a full-fledged convert to Torah Judaism by following the program proscribed by a competent Orthodox Jewish Rabbi. (Those already intermarried should contact a competent Orthodox Rabbi to seek guidance for Jewish Conversion).

Philosophies are logical

Solid logic applies to foundations, all law and all thoughts

Can an animal, man dead or alive, or a statue make a house from nothing (ex-nihlo) even more so the entire universe

The forefathers and Jewish people are the major subject of the Torah (Tanach “ Torah, Neviim / Prophets and Ketuvim / Writings)

Jewish nation occupies major part of the Torah

Ishmael is mentioned only briefly. Other guy is not mentioned even once. Ever heard of a novel where the main character is never mentioned once?

Law is Standard

There is only one version of the Torah “ the five books of Moses, Prophets and Writings. There is no difference between Torah of now and of three thousand years ago. Text of the Torah is standard where found geographically throughout the world, throughout various customs, throughout time.

Hundreds or thousands of different versions of their “bible”.

Witnessed by millions / Remembered by millions

An event of the magnitude of millions of people leaving a country accompanied by clouds and by miraculous events to an entire nation is an national unforgettable memory that people remember (see the kuzari principle “ david gottleib”?)

Reason for the existence of the religion makes sense

The reason for the Jewish religion is so that the Jews will serve as an example as the lights to the nations for them to know how to act in a moral and ethical manner and to become close to Hash-m. The Rambam -Maimonides –  writes the reason for why Hashem let other religions to develop is because before people were idol worshipers and their religion serves as a transition stage before they recognize the truth of the Torah.

Is the Oldest and Original Monotheistic Way of life

Judaism is the Original and the Oldest Monotheistic religion in the world. The others are offshoots. HaMotzi Mechavero Alav Haraya. If a person is holding an object we can assume that it belongs to him. If someone wants to take it from him the claimant must bring the proof. Judaism originally held the title of the one and only True Monotheistic religion. Other religions came after and wanted to falsely claim that title. Other religions have to bring proof of their authenticity because they are not holding on to the title. Rather than Judaism having to prove its authenticity.

Others are unfaithful imitations of the original.

Adam, Noah, Shem, Ever, The Forefathers, Matriarchs, Moses, David, Solomon, observed scrupulously the Torah as it is being observed by observant Jews today

The Torah was given to Adam and the Great Men of the Torah who observed it. They observed it in a form similar to the way it is observed today.

Other religions weren’t around to be observed by any great people of Bible.

The whole world was supposed to observe the Torah – the Seven Noahide Laws – when He gave them to Adam the First Man.

 

Issue – Ideal Answer

Judaism

Other Religions

Did not kill innocent people in the name of the religion

Does not and did not kill innocent people in name of the religion.

Killed and tortured millions of people in the name of the “religion.” Committed tremendous crimes against humanity. Condoned the Nazis. Yet are supposed to be the upholders of morality.

Solid foundations

G-d is one. He is not physical. He has no deficiencies.

They say their god died. If a “god” dies it must mean that they are not the true G-d.

Not Contradictory

Laws and philosophies follow a directive of “Love your fellow as yourself.”.

Says “Love everyone” yet killed millions of people in the name of the religion.

Admit to the Truth of the Torah

Yes

Usually – when convenient.

Have a line of transmission from Mount Sinai till now

There are books that list the line uninterrupted transmission of the Torah from Moses till the recent rabbis. (See Rambam – Maimonides). This uninterrupted transmission spans over times where popular religions were started – showing that the other religions are man-made offshoots or novelties rather than a religion that was given by Hash-m himself.

No line of transmission. Or Contradictory Lines of Transmission.

Do not actively pursue converts – in order that only sincere convert

Do not encourage gentile people to convert to Judaism due to challenges of being a sincere Torah observer. Encourages gentiles to follow the law that is proscribed for them by the Torah “ the 7 Noahide laws.

Convert anyone, by force, threat of death, torture, bribery, tricks, money.

Proofs from the Torah that the Jewish Torah and Philosophy is True

“Hashem is one”;
“G-d is not a man.”

“G-d does not change his mind”

Mishkan Haedut – testimony that the Jews were forgiven.

Use truthful practices

Encourages questions and investigation of the religion.

Missionaries lie, make false interpretations of verses, are ignorant to true meaning of the verses.

Law remains the same over time

If it was forbidden to steal yesterday “ it is forbidden to steal today. Law is decided based upon new situations “ but law remains the same.

Law changes according to whim of people.

Institute punishment in a just manner

Have detailed laws of justice with strict laws for judges.

Kill innocent people because they don’t believe a dead human of flesh or a mound of clay is god.

G-d loves his own nation with a special love and his covenant with the Jews remains for at least a thousand generations (one generation is 20 years, 1000 generations is 20,000 – years the world has only been in existence for at least 5768 years ) – meaning that Hash-m never replaced his Jewish people with another nation.

“It is not because of your great number among the other people that Hash-m desired you and chose you – for you are the fewest of all people. Rather it is from the love of Hash-m towards you, and his guarding of the oath that he swore to your forefathers that Hash-m would take you out with a strong arm and redeem you from the house of bondage from the hand of Pharaoh – the king of Egypt. And you shall know that Hash-m your God – He is the God, and the faithful God who guards his covenants and kindness to those that he loves and those that guards his Commandments to the thousandth generation. And he pays His enemies before him and destroys them – He does not tarry to his enemies before him to pay them back. And you shall guard the Commandments and the laws and ordinances that I commands you today to do. (Devarim 7: 7 -11)

Hash-m loves the convert to Judaism. Enemies of the Jews, Esau and Amalek are Hash-m’s enemies.

Chosen nation has different laws than other nations (Gentiles shall not marry Jews)

“And you shall not marry them. Your daughter you shall not give to his son and his daughter to not take for your son. For he (the gentile father or mother) will remove your children from following after Me (Hash-m) and he will serve other gods and Hash-m will burn his anger against you and he will destroy you quickly. Rather this is what you shall do to them “their altars you shall break. “And their pillars you shall smash and their sacred trees you shall cut down and their idols you shall burn with fire.” (Devarim / Deut. 7:3 – 5)

Some Faiths people kill women that marry outside their faith.

Hash-m Loves His People and People that Follow his Laws (Gentiles that follow Noahide Laws and Jewish People who follow the Shulhan Aruch)

“Rather because of the desire towards your forefathers “ He loves you “ and he will select their seed “ from among them till today” (Devarim / Deut.10:15)

The Five books of Moses is accepted as True throughout the world by many people

The main basis of the observance of our Torah is the Five books of Moses that much of the world accepts as the Truth.

The basis of other religions are documents that the other people of the world dispute their veracity.

Jews have the Oral Law

Jews received the Torah and its explanation originally transmitted orally – which is the Talmud. Thus they know how to observe the Torah with all its details.

Other nations do not do or know how to do commandments properly.

 Jews Pray Directly to G-d – There are no Intermediaries Jews pray only to Hash-m. Intermediaries are are form of Idol worship according to Judaism. In the Generation of Enosh – People thought G-d is too great to pray directly to him – So they started to pray to intermediaries. This was the start of Idol worship. This eventually culminated in G-d’s destruction of the world through the flood. Many Religions condone  prayer to intermediaries – which was one of the causes of the destruction of the world.