The Real Messiah – The Criteria Needed

Shimon Bar Kokhba was a Jewish Warrior. He Fought Wars. He was unusually successful in his campaigns. He was so successful that Rabbi Akiva thought that he was Messiah.

His success got to his head. He thought that it was because of his own strength and wisdom that made him win. It was really Hash-m who was giving him success. One time, he said to Hash-m / G-d basically “Let me handle the fighting. You can take a rest.” G-d did as he said and he was miserably defeated and unfortunately killed.

When Rabbi Akiva saw this – he said he was not Messiah, because he was killed.

If a person who claims to be Mashiach – dies without accomplishing the requirements, then we know that he was not the Messiah.

Many criteria exist for a Person to be the Real Messiah. The Rambam / Maimonides – in His Work the Mishne Torah (Hilchot Melachim / Laws of Kings – Perek/ Chapter 11) – explains the requirements of Messiah.

The Messiah has to have created peace in the world – meaning he must make peace among all nations of the world. He has to make Hash-m – the G-d of the Jews and humanity – the only G-d that is worshiped in the world. He has to have brought the kingship back to the Jewish people. He has to be a tremendous Torah Scholar, as great as Moses.

He hast to have fought wars and won them. He has to have built the 3rd Holy Temple in Jerusalem. If he dies without accomplishing all of this – he was not the Messiah.

The Requirement of Having Children

Someone told me that there is a verse in Tanach that says that the Messiah will leave an inheritance of a field to his child. If this is so – there seems to be another indicator of a person to be the Real Messiah – that he has to have children.

All the people who claimed to be Messiah – at least the ones we know about – did not have children.

Could Bibi Be Messiah?

In his current status Bibi could not be Messiah? Why? Although he did make wars, he did not create wold peace. He did not build the Holy Temple. He is not as Great as Moses in Torah Learning.

Though in his present state Bibi cannot be messiah. If he learns much Torah and he brings all Jews to Israel. And he reestablishes Torah Law and the Kingship in Israel and he makes world peace and rebuilds the Jewish Holy Temple in Jerusalem. And he makes everybody in the world worship Hash-m. – he could fulfill some of the requirements of being Messiah.

A challenging task – for no one in the world did this so far.

Can a Dead person be the Messiah?

In the Talmud – someone asks a Great Rabbi – what is Messiah like. He said “If you are talking about the living – he is like me.” If you are talking about the Dead, he is like so and so.

Some people improperly interpret this that the Messiah could come back from the dead. But this is obviously not so for 3 reasons:

  1. Rabbi Akiva said since Bar Kokhba died he could not be the Messiah.
  2. If I ask someone – who is the best tailor? He answers me “If you are talking about the living – it is Shlomo Cohen” But if you are talking about the dead also “It is David Levy.” Obviously David Levy is not coming back to life to receive the the best tailor award. The person meant by his answer that Among all the people dead or alive he was the best tailor.
  3. If a dead person would could come back to life to complete his mission of creating peace in the world – every single dead person could thus be potentially messiah. Because any person could come back to life and accomplish what was not accomplished yet – of the things mentioned above that the Messiah must accomplish. So why pick Jack over Jake?

To see the requirements of being the Messiah – one may read “The Real Messiah by Rabbi Arye Kaplan” or one can look at the laws laid down by the Rambam / Maimonides who tells you of the requirements.

Don’t Try to Get into a Discussion with a Missionary

Don’t try to refute a missionary. They are not interested in truth. They are interested in spreading their religion. Spewing their version of “the Bible”. The Torah is not the Bible. The Torah is the 5 Books of Moses, The Neviim / Prophets and the Ketuvim / Writings.

What Only Judaism Has that Proves its Veracity – The Oral Torah.

Jews have something that no other nations have – the Talmud. The Talmud is the Oral Torah written and elucidated. When G-d gave the Jews the Torah – he gave us the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. The Oral Torah is to explain the Written Torah. Logically there must be an Oral Torah for anyone to understand the Written Torah. If there is no explanation of the Written Torah – then anyone can interpret the Verses of the Torah the way that they would like. Which is commonly done by religions other than Judaism.

I was talking to someone of another faith. He was explaining concepts of the “Bible” in the way that suited him – to the point it was ridiculous.

Here is an analogy to how he was talking – You know the Car Jack? The reason why it goes up is because it wants to grow like a plant. And You know why it is called Jack – because it wanted to be like Jack and Jill that went up the hill. And that is another reason why the car Jack rises – because it wants to be like Jack that went up the hill.

We know that a Jack rises because a person puts energy into cranking or pushing up a lever that will little by little lift up  the Jack.

This is why the Torah states “Wisdom of the Nations Believe. The Torah (Religion) of the Nations – do not believe.” Because it is not sourced or based upon the word’s of G-d – it is based on words of men.

Missionaries take things out of context and claim it is a proof for their religion. I told the person “The Second Commandment of the 10 commandments – says that you should not make an image out G-d – otherwise that is idolatry. Attributing any form to G-d is limiting Him. That is an insult to G-d for he is infinite.

Idolatry – An Insult to G-d

Once I think it was Turnusrufus asked Rabbi Akiva – why does G-d get angry when people compares Him to an Idol. Rabbi Akiva said come back tomorrow and I will answer you. When the Emperor came – Rabbi Akiva Called out “Turnusrufus! Isabella!” and two dogs came out. R. Akiva named his dogs Turnusrufus and Isabella. Turnusrufus was raging mad. He said – you dare to call your dogs by the name of the emperor and queen? How dare you! Rabbi Akiva answered – Yesterday you asked me why Hash-m / G-d gets angry when people worship or call him by the name of a human being, an animal or and idol. This is your answer.

Be truthful. Be Honest. Pray to Hash-m to help you find truth. Consult Your LOR (Local Orthodox Rabbi) and you’ll be one step closer.

G-d Does Not Change His Mind

Most Religions accept that G-d gave the Torah to the Jews – but he changed his mind because the Jews sinned. That is pretty illogical. Firstly because G-d knows the past present and future. He is not going to choose a nation that will not be able to fulfill his laws. He will not make laws that a person cannot fulfill.

The Basic structure of the laws of the Torah are there are laws for all types of people. For Jewish Men, Jewish Women, for Cohanim, for Leviim / Levites. For Jews  – the 613 Commandments –  and For Gentiles – The 7 Noahide Laws – of the Torah.

G-d doesn’t expect a Gentile to observe the Shabbat – even more it is forbidden for a Gentile to observe the Shabbat.

G-d doesn’t expect a woman to put on Tefillin. The Torah laws are based upon the nature of the individual, his or her capabilities, his or her role in life and his or her soul. Thus we have laws that pertain to various categories of people.

The Messiah will come when all people regard Hash-m as their G-d. That is what the verse states “On that day G-d will be One and His Name will be One.”

TGIM – Thank G-d It’s Monday – Why You Feel Good to Go to Work

Why are people basically happy to work?

Anthropologists study and theorize. Difficult to believe that 1) we evolved from an amoeba and now because of 2) survival of the fittest we want to work. Both theories leave much to be desired. Theory 1 is utterly illogical. Theory 2 is leaves much to be desired. I would think the fittest would want to rest after all these years. 🙂

The Torah tells it like it is.

The Torah says that G-d created the world. He implanted in each human a soul. This soul wants to do the will of G-d. But He also created a force inside a person that offers advice to follow temptation rather than reason. How do you know the difference? Study your respective commandments.

There is a commandment for all people in the world. To build the world (Lishuvu Shel Olam / הדינין לישובו של עולם) It is Part of the 30 commandments for all humanity of the 7 Major categories of laws for Gentiles – called the 7 Noahide Laws of the Torah.

Going to work builds the world. Thus a person who works gets a mitzvah.

When a person does a Mitzvah / commandment from the Torah – they feel satisfied inside. They satisfy their soul.

That’s why you feel good when you work.

What’s the proof?

Abraham Herzberg’s Theory of motivation.

He said at work there are Motivators and Hygiene factors.

The Motivators – Motivate people to work. With them present people are satisfied and motivated.

The Hygiene factors – if not present – a person may be dissatisfied. But if they are present it will not increase the satisfaction of the work.

Motivators or Job Factors include
Achievement
Recognition
Work itself
Responsibility
Advancement
Growth

Hygiene Factors include
Company policy and administration
Supervision
Relationship with supervisor
Work conditions
Salary
Relationship with peers
Personal life
Relationship with subordinates
Status
Security

With accomplishment at work one builds the world. With the work itself one builds the world. Thus a person is satisfied because he is doing a mitzvah.

A gentile observes 7 Noahide laws from the Torah. A Jew observes the 613 commandments from the Torah.

Each observing their respective commandments, gain satisfaction.

TGIM.

One Thing to Do to Beat Procrastination – and Why it Works

How to beat procrastination. Take one cup of cold water. Put ice inside. Add lemon and sugar.

Yes that is the solution. Kind of.

You know the dictum. When Life gives you lemons make lemonade.

I like the saying “The pessimist sees the glass half empty. The optimist drinks it.”

Be positive. Be proactive. Be Productive.

To get over procrastination – apparently you have to understand what is procrastination and why people do it.

Hash-m gave us the Torah and inside is the secret to all. Even how to beat procrastination.

This is the secret to beat procrastination – for at least a while: Do something small that you like to do to prompt you to get started on project.

King David used to get up and go out with the intention to go to enjoy entertainment. When he passed the Beit HaMidrash / House of Torah Study – he would quickly jump in to study Torah.

He would trick his evil inclination. The evil inclination wants him to be idle. Not to accomplish. To waste time.

So he would get started by doing something his evil inclination wanted – to waste time and then he jumped into something that he really wanted to do – to learn Torah.

Apparently the same applies for procrastination from work. It is a great Mitzvah to work. It is the mitzvah of building the world. This mitzvah applies to Jews and Gentiles.

One of the 30 laws of the greater category of the 7 Noahide laws is to not let the world be barren. To build the world. That’s one reason why people procrastinate. Because it is such a great Mitzvah / commandment to work – so the evil inclination prevents him or her with all sorts of excuses. That’s why a person feels badly when they waste time.

Obviously taking a break once in a while to be more productive later is also a mitzvah – but to waste a day, an hour, or a lifetime – is the evil inclination talking.

Just do it.

And you’re doing great.

The Four Sons of the Haggada. Which Son Are You? – The Ultimate Guide for Self-Improvement

“Blessed is Hashem. Blessed is He. That He gave Torah to His people Israel. The Torah talked about the four sons – one wise, one wicked, one one simple and one that doesn’t know how to ask.”

A person reading the Hagada on Passover will usually ask – who am I out of all these sons? Am I the Wise? The Wicked?

Really each one of us has a trait of each son in us. At times we fall to our temptations – so we have the trait of the wicked son. At time we act with wisdom – thus we are like the wise son. At times we act as the the other two.

So what is the solution? How do we Become more wise and less wicked, less simple and more ethically educated?

There is a concept in Torah Hash-m Makdim Refual LaMaka – Hash-m provides the cure before the illness.

The Ultimate Guide for Self-Improvement

What is the proper cure to having the attributes of the four sons – The Torah.

As first in the Hagada it says :

“Blessed is Hashem. Blessed is He. That He gave Torah to His people Israel.

then it says:

The Torah talked about the four sons – one wise, one wicked, one one simple and one that doesn’t know how to ask.”

 

 

Boosting Retail Sales – Saving the Retail Stores from Amazon – An Idea to Bring Customers Back

Jews live weekly on a weekly Parasha – Torah Reading. A Rabbi I used to learn with once explained that the Parasha does more than teach you laws, stories & Jewish philosophy – it gives you insight on what will happen that week.

Making the World Better

Yaakov Avinu – Jacob, Our Forefather – in Parasha VaYetze – it says “VaYetze Yaakov MiBe’eer Sheva vaYelekh Harana.” (Beresheet /Genesis 28:10)(Beresheet /Genesis 28:10) And Jacob went out from Be’er Sheva and he went to Haran. Rashi SaysRashi Says – we know that Yaakov was in Be’er Sheva from previous verses. Why does the Torah have to teach us that he left Be’er Sheva? This is obvious. Rashi answers – Yaakov was such a person that made such an impression on the area he went to – that when he left – so did the light leave, so did the glory leave, so did the beauty leave.

Apparently Yaakov – tried to make every place he went to better. That is the goal of our lives as Jews – to make any place that we come to better than it was before.

My father, of blessed memory said he learned in being in the scouts in Morocco that every campsite that you visit, you should leave it better than it was before. A similar concept.

So here is my idea for a better world – at least in the retail (or wholesale) business.

Amazon Took My Idea 🙂 – Selling Online

But Before I tell you the Idea, I want you to know that before Amazon or even the Internet existed, I had the idea of selling things online. In the good old days – when people had computers with names as such as the Apple II plus, the PET, the Commodore 64, the Amiga, the IBM PC – people would buy hardware called a modem. A modem is basically a phone for computers. Instead of going online – on the Internet – people would dial using phone lines into a computer BBS (Bulletin Board System). I thought – perhaps I could sell knapsacks – from Israel (Steve’s Jerusalem Packs) on a Bulletin Board System. People could download the catalog and then call me or send me a message on the BBS to order or mail me.

Why do I tell you my about great ideas? To make you admire me? No. I want you to know of a Torah concept. G-d gives ideas.  G-d also releases ideas at the proper time for the world to advance. The nature needed to make computers and drones existed since the time of creation. The ideas to tap into them – came at a certain time based upon what G-d thought was appropriate. He releases the ideas. Thus you have Amazon.

The 2,800 year-old Drone

Shlomo HaMelech / King Solomon invented a mechanical bird that was able to fetch him books or scrolls from his library. Thus the idea and technology for drones was there – but it wasn’t time for it to become widespread.

Amazon’s Hiddush / Novelty

Amazon has tapped into a customer that wishes to save time or money by doing shopping on-line. Their experience shopping on-line – although not as interesting as going to a retail store – gets the job done.

They are efficient but lose the human and product connection. The customer loses part of the shopping experience. They talk with an Alexis or a Siri. But that will never match talking with a human.

Getting Customers Back to Stores.

So how do retail stores get their customers back?

Let me coin the term the “virtual clerk” ™ or if you want the clerks name to sound more warm and human – the “Home Clerk.” ™ The “Virtuclerk” ™ is a human employee of the store that is on-site in the store itself. He or she has a cell phone. You call up the store. They connect you to a home clerk.

You want shoes – the home clerk brings you down the isle – as you watch on your cell phone. He or she shows you the shoes. “Yes. I like that one.” You choose the shoes. He or she rings you up. You can choose to come to store to pick the shoes up or they can send it to you.

Technically – this opens new doors. A person from New York can buy a coat from Israel or vice versa. You have a favorite store – but don’t feel like taking a 20 minute drive there – searching for 20 minutes – and then driving back. You can search before you get to the store – then drive there just to pick up the merchandise. No waiting on line to pay. You already paid before you arrived. If you don’t find what you like, you saved 40 minutes of driving. Or If you do find what you like – you save 40 minutes of driving by asking them to have it delivered.

A store can develop an app or they can just use whatsapp to implement the HomeClerk ™ idea. Perhaps the big boys – Google, Apple, Paypay and Amazon can incorporate it into their payment apps or their shopping systems. You can have an option “Shop live.” ™ Where the customer presses a button and you are connected to your favorite department store or retail store’s Home Clerk ™ HC(tm).

Physical Store Home Clerks ™, Public HCs & Private.

A Home Clerk can be private, a store employee and/or a public employee. A retail store can hire these Home Clerks ™ and customers can be directed to them via an app or a computer program. Customers can choose to turn off their cameras – as to not be seen by the Home Clerk ™.

A private agency can charge a certain amount per hour for shopping. If it is for groceries – they might charge 10$ an hour and also get a part of their wage from the store itself.

A public agency can use these Home Clerks ™ to help the elderly or infirm. They would be hired like Uber drivers – after a small period of training – and be called upon demand. They could do food shopping for the elderly and the like.

Someone who applies to be Home Clerk ™ employee can decide what schedule they prefer – if they want a 9 to 5 job – they can opt to be a Retail Store HC. If they want more flexible hours they can apply to be a Private or Public HC.

You heard it here first.

Remember Ohr Binyamin with a generous donation when you make your first million on the idea. 🙂

Make the world a better place.

The Difficulties of Life – Here to Make You, Not Break You

Rachel eloped. She married a shepherd that her father did not want her to marry. He wanted a person who knew Torah. She also wanted the same thing, but she looked at potential while her father looked at where the boy was now. She married a person who did not even know the alef-bet (Hebrew alphabet). The son of Kalba Savua, her father, was wealthy. He removed her from his support and her inheritance.

She married Akiva. Through delicate tact she convinced him to enroll in a Yeshiva. He did. They were so poor that she they slept in a barn-like shack. Their beds were made of straw. She being from a wealthy family was a bit disheartened. At that moment a poor person knocked on the door. “Please my friend can you spare some straw. My wife just gave birth and we don’t even have straw for the beds.” Akiva generously gave the straw he could spare. The incident gave them some Hizuk – strength to their morale.

“You see there are people who are even more needy than we.” Akiva said to his wife.

The truth was was that the poor person was Eliyahu HaNavi / Elijah the prophet who comes to the world to accomplish a mission for G-d. He came to them to give them Hizuk – by asking them for some straw.

The commentators ask a poignant question. “If G-d is sending Eliyahu – why not instead let him give Akiva and his wife a purse of gold coins?” Wouldn’t that make him happier?

I heard two answers to the question.

One answer is that by sending Eliyahu to ask for straw, it enabled Rabbi Akiva (as he was known later) to do kindness. It is kindness that really makes a person happy.

A Second answer is that if Eliyahu gave them gold coins, Akiva would not have become the great Torah scholar that he eventually became. The wealth would have made him and his wife focus more on materialism – that focus would have damaged his potential of becoming the Rabbi Akiva that he became. Eventually after 24 years of study away from home R. Akiva came back home with 24,000 students.

If Akiva received gold perhaps he would have come back with only 23,000 students or maybe even none. A person – taking life with the right attitude – can excel in adversity. G-d sends difficulties do that you can overcome them. So that you can become closer to him. So that you can excel in Torah and Mitzvot. And so that – through Torah and Mitzvot – you can become the greatest person you can become.

Meaning – the difficulties in life are here to make you – not break you. G-d only sends a person what they can handle. And all challenges that one encounters is for one’s own good. G-d is good. One reason why people have sufferance – is to help them achieve and better themselves. A person who always had all they needed – may become haughty and/or ungrateful. Sufferance may bring them back to humility and appreciation.

You have to be creative enough to see the good. Bold enough to follow a path – guided by Torah – that will make you a new person.

Don’t look at difficulty as a negative thing. Look at it as an opportunity to improve yourself and your life.

The Apple & the Secret to Self-Appreciation, Meaningful Living & Communication

In the center of the Mizbeach / Altar in Mishkan / Tabernacle – after burning the offerings – the Cohanim would place the ashes in a pile. This was called the Tapuach – the apple – because it resembled half of an apple. There was a Mitzvah to remove ithe wastes before starting the new day’s offerings. This service was called the terumat hadeshen.

The Altar had several pyres of fire. The fire on the mizbeach represents a man’s soul. At times it is covered with ashes – which cause the fire of spirituality and desire for closeness with G-d to wane. Our Job is to remove these external impediments to help us develop a closer relationship with Hash-m / G-d.

Two ways to deeper Self-Appreciation

The process of becoming closer to ourselves is twofold. One goal is to remove impediments. A second goal is to dig deeper into who we really are deep inside.

This process applies to discovering ourselves and to communicating with others.

The Danger of TV – Superficial Family Relations

Our communication with others is mostly superficial. “How are you?” Do we really care or are we making polite conversation. The problem is not strangers. The problem is our close relatives and friends. Do we prefer gathering around a screen munching snacks and fruits than getting to know our children?

Unfortunately the opportunity cost of TV and computer time is less profound relations with children, spouses, siblings and parents. But the point of this article is not to bash TV. It is to remind ourselves that our job in life is to develop deep and meaningful relations with others.

I saw a cute cartoon. A man was on his deathbed with his family surrounding him. His last words were “I wish I would have watched more TV.”

No one regrets TV. People do regret not having more deep family relations.

So we fall prey to the superficial. What the other was wearing. What was a great restaurant. Fine. Stay on that level – but lose out on meaning.

In Pirkei Avot (4:20) – it Says

Elisha ben Abuya says: One who learns as a child is compared to what? To ink written on new parchment. And one who learns as an elder is compared to what? To ink written on scraped parchment.

 

Rabbi Yose bar Yehuda, man of Kfar HaBavli, says: One who learns from young ones is compared to what? To one who eats unripe grapes and drinks wine from its press. And one who learns from elders is compared to what? To one who eats ripe grapes and drinks aged wine. Rebbi says: Do not look at the jug but rather at what is in it. For there are new jugs full of old, and old that do not have even new within them.

Rebbi reveals a secret about learning. “Do not look at the Jug or container – but rather at what is in it”. You can have a young Torah scholar – that has much to teach and an old man that has no Torah knowledge.

Rebbi’s statement also reveals to us the secret to communication, self-appreciation and meaningful living. Don’t look at superficial appearance – dig deeper and look inside.

Let’s apply his statement to each.

Successful Communication

Want more successful communication? Don’t look at the only the words that come out of a person’s mouth or actions – try to understand their needs. There is a child that causes trouble – because they want attention. They do things because they want a reaction from you. They would rather a negative reaction than total ignoring from your part. If you were attuned to the child or spouse’s needs you would not be getting flustered by your relationship or conversations.

Write down on paper – what you think the other person’s needs are 1) In general 2) in particular.

It is simple for a child who is causing trouble. Their need in general is 1) Attention. Love. Appreciation. Their need at the moment is 2) Having fun with a parent.

The Rice experiment of ..  He had three containers of rice with water. He spoke to one nicely. The Other he spoke negatively and the third he ignored. The one he spoke to nicely after a period remained white. The one he spoke negatively became black. The one he ignored  became moldy.

Don’t Look at the container (the words) look at what is in it (the needs of the person).

Marshall Rosenberg was able to settle a 35 year old marital dispute within 20 minutes after each one recognized the other’s needs.

Self-Appreciation and appreciation of others

People Judge other’s and themselves harshly. They think they are bad. The fact that a person feels guilty for a thing they did bad – shows that they realize that they did bad and because they feel guilty – they are actually good. Bad people don’t feel remorse – they rationalize that the bad they did was good. Also one can always do teshuva / repent if they missed the mark.

At times a child or other does an act. They spill the ice cream on the floor. The child was trying to serve their younger sibling. You can either look at the negative – they spilled the ice cream or that they were trying to help their brother.

Don’t look at the container – look at what is in it – he tried to help. Praise him for that.

Praise yourself for your good aspects. The Torah wants you to be happy about yourself. The more positive you are – the more you can accomplish.

More Meaning

Abraham Herzberg wrote an article about motivation of employees in the Harvard Business Journal. He found that employees are satisfied by a job because of certain factors. But become dissatisfied because of the lacking of other factors.

The factors that caused satisfaction were called Motivators. The factors causing dissatisfaction were called Hygiene factors.

Two-factor theory distinguishes between:

  • Motivators (e.g. challenging work, recognition for one’s achievement, responsibility, opportunity to do something meaningful, involvement in decision making, sense of importance to an organization) that give positive satisfaction, arising from intrinsic conditions of the job itself, such as recognition, achievement, or personal growth.

  • Hygiene factors (e.g. status, job security, salary, fringe benefits, work conditions, good pay, paid insurance, vacations) that do not give positive satisfaction or lead to higher motivation, though dissatisfaction results from their absence. The term “hygiene” is used in the sense that these are maintenance factors. These are extrinsic to the work itself, and include aspects such as company policies, supervisory practices, or wages/salary.

Meaning comes from contributing to a better world or a bettering a company. Doing an activity that helps you pass the time doesn’t usually bring you deep satisfaction. It helps you pass the moment in an agreeable way.

It is interesting to note that there is a commandment from the Torah (for Jews and non-Jews) to build the world. By working and doing an honest job helps to build the world. Thus we see that the list of Motivators above – are linked to the commandment of building the world. Meaning that achieving meaning is linked to following the commandments of the Torah. The Jews the 613 commandments found in the Shulchan Aruch. And for Gentiles is following the 7 Noahide laws of the Torah.

When we look deeper in to ourselves, others and the purpose of life – we find a more beautiful world out there.

True Free Think. Why the World Needs More Tea.

I want to be a free man.

Freedom of speech is condoned by most civilized countries.

Freedom of thought. Freedom of Expression. Yes. All seem to be lofty ideals.

But is free speech really free? If you are part of a group, you are expected to think a certain way. If I am liberal – I must defend liberalism. If I am a Conservative – I defend conservatism. If African American – I defend African Americans. If I am a scientist – I defend science.

This is expected. This is normal. Yet it is not yet freedom. Why? Because my Ideas and ideals are based upon the group with which I am associated. So you don’t hear liberals against abortion. Or Conservatives – for abortions.

So say something against the other party’s ideals. And they will attack. Speak against certain politically sensitive issues and you are shunned – by at least the people who disagree.

Pretty immature.

What we call democracy today is not true democracy.

It’s like terrible twos. A kid does what he wants. Breaks. Takes – Mine he says. He develops his own personality. And the word “No” enters his vocabulary. Ok – a sign of development. As we grow, we mature – we hope.

A friend takes a toy, the two year old will grab it and say “mine.”

If it’s mine – my opinion – then i will protest because you disagree. Did we evolve from these terrible twos?

I think this attitude may stem from fear. Fear that I will agree with the other party or be influenced by their thinking. This is legitimate if you are avoiding a bad influence.

But if you are seeking truth – this is a backward attitude.

Here is a small example – The United Nations. Join the bandwagon and condemn Israel. Their point is not to find truth – it is to propagate their attitude. In this case – they use Israel as a pawn to propagate their anti-semitic ideals. Examples abound.

When one learns Torah, it is not the opinion that matters – it is what is the truth that matters. We both want truth. I don’t want to sell you my ideas or ideals.

Today everyone is a salesman. Companies, non-profits, people. Torah Judaism is not selling anything. It is – through Torah – helping you to recognize the truth.

In a Yeshiva – people vigorously argue their points of view regarding different aspects of life and Torah subjects. After they finish learning – although they might have been shouting their points of view – in the end they are the best of friends. Why because each helped the other reach a higher degree of truth.

Contrast that to what occurs in today’s media. A person doesn’t like your opinion – so they will rank you out – and even insult. Each more – they are on worse terms – because each was selling their own opinion without regards for truth.

An adage written on a Tetley tea bag – said “Learn to disagree without becoming disagreeable.”

A concept the Torah taught 3,300 years ago – like it says in Pirkei Avot / Ethics of the Fathers (1:18).

Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says, “On three things the world stands: on judgment, on truth and on peace, as it is said (Zachariah 8:16), ‘Judge truth and the justice of peace in your gates.'”

If you search for truth and justice – in the end you will have peace. If you search for propagating your opinion – peace will not necessarily ensue.

 

 

Guard Your Soul- Safety from Stroke

It is a Torah Commandment to “Guard Your Soul” – meaning to keep yourself safe and healthy.

Recently I received a message – telling 4 signs of stroke. Here is what it said:

STROKE: Remember the 1st Three Letters…..
S. T. R.
STROKE IDENTIFICATION:
During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall – she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) …she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening.
Jane’s husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital – (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don’t die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.
A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke…totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.
RECOGNIZING A STROKE
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
S *Ask the individual to SMILE.
T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A
SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
(i.e. Chicken Soup)
R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
Another ‘sign’ of a stroke is this: Ask the person to ‘stick’ out his tongue. If the tongue is
‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke.
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

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My father, z”l / of Blessed Memory had a stroke on Shabbat. I was reluctant to call Hatzala / the Ambulance for I didn’t want to violate the Shabbat. I was believe I was mistaken. I should have called. Thank G-d – our family friend Howard Stein, saw the signs and called hatzalah – possibly saving my father’s life.

A person should learn the laws of which medical signs warrants a person to desecrate the Shabbat. Learning the Halachot / Jewish Laws on the subject as well is highly recommended.

Once, during the time of the High Holidays, an epidemic hit a community in Europe. The Doctors said the people must not fast on Yom Kippur. To prompt the people to eat when many were reluctant, the Rabbi got up in front of the entire congregation and ate food – telling them they were required to eat on Yom Kippur – because of the law of Venishmartem me’od et nafshotechem / You shall greatly guard your souls overrides the law of fasting on Yom kippur.

Once a rabbi – that was giving many dispensations for people to transgress the shabbat for health reasons – was asked – “Why are you so lenient regarding the law of Shabbat? The Rabbi responded – I am not lenient regarding the Law of Shabbat – I am Stringent regarding the law of “You shall surely Guard your soul!”