The Winning Mindset – Overcoming The Attitude of Mediocrity

Read a Newspaper. Especially the Editorial.

Is their slant their message?

Preaching Papers

do your due diligence. are articles of news or of preaching its own message?

The Religious Papers. The Scientific Papers. The Liberal Papers.

Is its general theme: “Yes. I’m Right. Now I have the right to put others down or impose my views.”

The Mindset of Mediocrity – The “I’m Right. You’re Wrong” Attitude

Mediocrity is based upon a mindset. The mindset of “Basically, I’m Right and You are Wrong.” It’s living based upon criticizing what other people do wrong to you or others. People with this attitude stay the same and don’t progress as much as they can. For their focus is on others and don’t work on self-improvement.

Their lives are dependent on the actions of others. They base their lives on the people they dislike the most. Not on ways they can improve their own actions or do good for the world or at least themselves. This is the UN, this is the BDS, this is the story of many countries whose goal is to complain against the Jews or Israel.

Criticizing Attitude Leading to Stagnation

But can also be our own story on some small scale. Stagnation is one of the reason’s why lashon harah / evil speech – speaking badly of others – even if it is true – is forbidden in Torah. It stifles growth. Instead of focusing on self-improvement you focus on others lacking.

Let me blame others so I won’t see my deficiencies – in thought, deed or action.

Open Minded to Torah even if it may not fit my current views

Some people refuse Torah because – it doesn’t fit their lifestyle.

A friend who when he was returning to the path of Judaism – would check upon which of the 13 Principles of Judaism by the Rambam – he felt comfortable with until he accepted all of them. He grew to understand the principles of Judaism.

Difference Between Torah and Other Religions

Rejecting Torah because it is a “religion” is stereotyping. Torah is not remotely close to any other religion. Of the almost 80,000 religions in the world – all are man-made. The Torah was handed down by G-d to millions of witnesses. That’s a far cry from one man transmitting a message and G-d himself transmitting His own message to millions of people.

Rejecting Torah – due to personal habits that go against it – is like rejecting a free New car because you don’t use the air-conditioner. Or rejecting going to gym because you have to work a bit. If you want to get in shape you have to work at it.

Global or Local Attitude of Mediocrity?

One should ask – does my “focus on other’s actions” attitude encompass my being or is it relegated to certain times, people or places?

True Path to Freedom – Torah

It could be a global mindset or one used for a by an individual in a particular aspect of life. In any case it should be treated by opening one’s mind and vistas to Torah. A person who thinks the thoughts of G-d / Hash-m is free. (Provided they act upon them as well.)

The intelligent will determine what G-d wants and follow His will. Why? Because more than even you yourself, G-d knows and wants what is better for you.

The Search for Truth

The attitude of “I’m Right. Now I have the right to put others down.” is not the way of Torah. That it an attitude that leads to stagnation and decadence.

Torah will say – receive the message – now see what is truthfully wrong in this situation and see what you can learn to correct yourself. The Torah will say search for Truth – not for giving yourself a pat on the back or to allow yourself righteous indignation – but to find out what is really right in G-d’s eyes.  And then correcting yourself. Regardless of what is your point of view.

The Torah says every day is a new opportunity to improve and become a new and better person. Rejuvenation daily.

Some will hold on to “religion” because it is their religion or their lifestyle. Drop the attitude of “being stuck to one point of view” and follow truth. Follow G-d’s will. Sometimes what you think G-d wants is not what He actually wants. Some will think making pogroms or killing innocent people is right – for that is what their religion says. Is that want G-d really wants – innocent people – His children to be hurt? Follow truth – not “religion”.

The Torah says hurting innocent people is forbidden. Killing is forbidden. (In the Seven Noahide Laws – for Gentiles and in the 613 commandments for Jews) Sorry, a Pogrom is Just plain Wrong.

The Great Torah of the generation will be able to tell you what G-d really wants. Why? Because Torah is the only document that G-d gave before millions of witnesses. Thus it is obviously His will.

In business – the quality experts say don’t blame. Fix the Problem. Don’t say that it is Steve’s fault for the bad paint job on this car. Fix the process – don’t push the blame. Fix yourself. Don’t push the blame.

Don’t criticize, condemn or complain is a Jewish concept. Those who adopt it will be able reach higher levels of success than those who don’t.

To Be Continued…

Developing The Winning Mindset – Part 2 – Listening to G-d’s Messages for Self-Improvement

Developing The Winning Mindset – Part 3 – What Aristotle Taught Alexander to Be Able to Conquer the World –

 

 

Can G-d Create a Rock He Cannot Lift? – and Answers to Other Atheist’s Questions

I was walking down the street and I met a person. Somehow we got into the discussion of the existence of G-d. They were a foreigner but spoke English.

I mentioned that it is easy to prove the existence of G-d.

The first Question I asked was – “If you were walking on a beach and you found a pencil – what would you say? Would you say that it was random sand that blew this pencil together? or Would you say an intelligent creature created it?”

“Obviously – if something less complex such as a pencil must have a maker – so something more complex – like a baby – must have a creator.”

Easy enough. One need not be a rocket scientist – to understand that logic.

She and her friend half-heartedly acknowledged it. Her friend did believe in G-d.

I pointed to the building behind and asked do you think this building was built with bricks flying together.

I proceeded to explain that there are four questions that through rationality and logic anyone can come to the conclusion that the true law of G-d is the Torah.

Finding G-d through Rational Thought

The Four Questions

G-d, our Father, like a human father – wants us to be successful. If one thinks things out he will be able to come to the conclusion that Torah is the true way of G-d and thus success. How? By asking four questions and answering them rationally.

The four questions are:
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”?

 

In short here are the answers:
1. Yes. Rationally, It doesn’t make sense that random atoms formed the world and nature.

 

2. Yes. Rationally, It doesn’t make sense that G-d created a magnificent world to allow others to destroy it.

 

3. The Torah. Rationally, G-d would have to give a law to millions of people, rather than one man, otherwise a person could always say – why should I believe that man. The Torah is the only Divine law given by G-d, witnessed by millions of people.

 

4. No. Rationally, It doesn’t make sense that G-d, who knows all, is omniscient – knows past, present and future, is the most intelligent existence, will change his mind about His people or His laws.

She raised some objections but they were easily answered away.

Then she dropped her “bomb” question.

Can G-d Create a Rock He Cannot Lift?.

Before answering it – I’ll preface by saying it is important for all people to know themselves. To know what is driving them. To want to seek truth.

Many people say they seek truth but it is not so. They seek to justify their behavior. Why do people pick on the “goody-goody”? Because he makes them feel guilty that they are not living up to the standards they intuitively know that G-d wants from them. So instead of making the effort to improve – they put down the goody-goody. Not improving and basically fooling themselves.

Thus it is of utmost importance for a person seeking true self-improvement and connection with spirituality to have this motive of searching for truth. Willing to give up my lifestyle for truth.

Others have a lifestyle that they want to pursue and they seek to find the “truth” that suits their lifestyle. A religion that allows me to do what I want.

This is the real reason for anti-semitism – pick on the Jews because the Jews remind me that G-d wants me to be better. Hitler said it straight out – in Mein Kamf – “the Jews brought two problems to the world circumcision – [recognition that man is not perfect and we must make an effort to better ourselves – in short the pursuit of perfection] and the conscience [the belief that G-d is watching our actions].” To deal with it – Hitler – instead of trying to improve himself – he committed genocide. He wanted the earth to be a world of “civilized acting” barbarians.

This is the reason why many deny G-d. If I deny Him I don’t have to feel badly about doing wrong. A mature person takes responsibility for their actions and tries to improve when they missed the mark. G-d accepts their repentance. G-d allows them to wipe the slate clean.

Even scientists like Stephan Hawking and others fall into the trap. Ask Stephan – Come on the whole world, all nature, growth and movement, life all caused by random atoms? Not rational. I’d expect more from you Stephan.

The drive to cover up truth as long as I can do what I want is strong. Strong enough to blind scientists. Strong enough to cause people to support BDS and company. Strong enough for people to justify terrorism. Strong enough for the UN to make over 220 resolutions against Israel and remaining silent for atrocities in the rest of the world. Logically it makes no sense – but given the interest of justifying one’s behavior and avoiding having a guilty conscience – it all makes sense.

It happens to all of us. It happens in Judaism. The whole reason for the initial development of the reform, conservative, reconstructionist “movements” is because they want to justify doing what I want while not feeling guilty. It is irrational – to think that G-d given laws can be nullified by man.

I’m not trying to blame the world. But just pointing out that this will – to avoid feeling guilty for one’s bad actions – is a real driving force in the world and in the individual. Thus – we pray to Hash-m to help us find truth.

OK. So the answer to the question.

Can G-d Create a Rock He Cannot Lift?

here’s a better one:

Can G-d destroy Himself?

the answer to both is – NO.

G-d is all powerful. He can do whatever he wants.

The talked-out reasoning behind those questions is:

You say G-d is all powerful and has no weakness.

If G-d is all powerful and has no weaknesses then –

Can G-d Create a Rock He Cannot Lift?

The answer is – G-d is all powerful. He can do anything. But not being able to create a rock that He cannot lift is not a weakness – it is a strength. Not being able to be destroyed is a strength – not a weakness.

Let’s put the answer in positive terms – Any rock that G-d creates – He can lift. G-d cannot be destroyed. Those are both strengths – not weaknesses.

If we compare our existence to the pixels on a computer screen and G-d being the Programmer – just like the programmer can program whatever he wants – G-d can do whatever he wants.

She then asked another “bomb” question.

If G-d created the world – who created G-d?

That answer is also basically simple to answer.

G-d always existed. No one created G-d. G-d created time.

We live in a world that time is an integral part of existence. G-d created time. G-d did not just create the world and leave it on autopilot. G-d is creating the world and recreating it every second. Like pictures in the old movie reels. So it seems to us that there is time. But G-d is out of the world of Time.

There is a statement in Pirkei Avot (2:14) on

Torah Diligence & Knowing Why & for Whom You Toil

Rabbi Ela’zar says: Be diligent to learn Torah and know what to answer to the non-believer.  And know before Whom you toil and that Your Employer is trustworthy to pay you the reward of your labor.

It’s good to know the answers – but you don’t have to go out and debate everybody now – it is good enough for you to know the answers yourself. It seems that the Mishna above is telling you – if you will be influenced to deny G-d because the deniers promise you living a life – guilt free by denying the existence of G-d – that lack of guilt is no way worth the great reward and tremendous pleasure – in this world and in the next world (heaven) –  in serving G-d.

Seek truth.

Prepared for the Moment of Truth – Unbiased Thinking & Finding Truth in Your Lifetime.

Vibrant and Colorful Whole and Halved Fresh Oranges

I once asked myself – I wonder I would be like if I was born in Africa.

Then I remembered I was born in Africa. (Morocco)

Product of One’s Environment

A person is the product of his environment.

His experiences, upbringing, society and values shape his perception of the world.

Is there One Truth?

The question that people ask is – is there one truth for everyone.

The answer is – Yes.

Yes – in that there is one truth. The truth that G-d provides.

Yet, for different people different ways of life are appropriate – obviously following that one truth that G-d provides. Different situations also provide different ways of acting. Give a person a bat to play baseball – you are doing good. Give a person a bat to hit someone with it, you are doing bad. Doing Good and bad depends upon the situation.

Laws to Guide and Help You find Purpose

G-d gives laws that give a person much flexibility. But more than that He gives laws that will help a person determine what is his or her purpose, the path to reach it and the possibility to reach one’s potential in life.

The Truth of G-d is what?

First – we must examine what would be  the rational way for G-d to give a divine law.

Would it be more rational for G-d to give it to one person and say – go and transmit it to others or would it be more rational for G-d to appear Himself to an entire nation – of millions of people – and give them a divine Law?

Apparently it would make more sense for G-d to appear to millions of people. To appear to one man – regardless of who it was – would not be so convincing. A single person cannot be a witness in Jewish law for certain things. At least two people are needed.

Judaism is the only religion that claims that G-d himself gave millions of witnesses –  the Jews – a Divine law – the Torah.

Do Miracles Prove Divinity?

Miracles do not prove a person has any divine powers. A person can lift a table. To a child that would appear he did the impossible – for the small child seeing it – the man is doing something that the child cannot do. Doing miracles can be done by the wicked and good. G-d had to make it that way to provide freedom of choice to the world.

If only good people could do miracles or magic then the people would be tempted to do good because they saw it is obviously true – because only good people can do miracles.

Freedom of Choice

Let’s take another example – if only good people would become rich – then everybody would be good. Yet most would not become good because they see the intrinsic value of good and that they are doing the will of G-d – they would be doing it because they want to become rich.

Why do The Good Suffer and the Wicked Prosper?

Freedom of Choice – as explained above – is one reason why sometimes the good suffer and the wicked prosper.

But in the end the wicked will be punished & the righteous rewarded. If not in this world – in the World to Come / Heaven.

How to find Truth

One way to find truth is to write out your thoughts about a certain topic. If it seems right to you – then perhaps you are right. Show it to someone else.

Here’s an example:

I am upset at the cashier because she charged me the regular price on the can of tunafish – when it was on sale.

Now if you read that – a person will think – it’s someone else who put the wrong price tag on the tuna. Why should the cashier be responsible? She shouldn’t yell at the cashier. She should raise her issue with the management. Obviously – in a calm manner.

The Tricks of Liers 

The Torah says the best lie is one that is mixed with truth. If you say you saw a cow flying 200 feet people wouldn’t believe it. But if you say – a cow that was on a truck and the truck stopped suddenly causing a cow to fly 200 feet out of the back of the truck. They might believe it.

Unfortunately – many religions say yes the Torah is true. “But” G-d changed his mind about his laws or about the selection of his people. They take Torah truth and mix it with falsity and pass it on as the Truth. The thing many don’t realize is that “G-d changing his mind” is irrational. G-d  is omniscient. He knows all the past, present and future and thus does not change his mind.

Arriving at truth

A person can discuss truth with a non-biased person. The main point is is to stick to rationality. If either one starts talking irrationally – then the game is over,

A person who is not honest – you cannot really discuss things to find the truth – because their self-interest taints the search for truth.

This week’s Torah Reading (Bamidbar / Numbers 16:1 – 18:32) Talks about Korah. He started a power struggle in the Desert. He accused Moshe / Moses – of nepotism – that Moshe gave the position of Chief Cohen – to his brother Aharon – because Aharon was his brother.

Korah – egged on by his wife – created a quarrel against Moses.

Moshe – in his Humility – went to the parties who started the quarrel and tried to convince them that they were in the wrong. They refused to listen. He tried reason. He tried explaining the consequence of their actions. He explained that he had nothing to gain from being in a position of leadership.

Provide a Litmus Test

He provided a challenge. They claimed that they deserved to be the Chief Cohen / High Priest. Moses said – the 250 people with Korach – will all take fire pans – and offer an incense offering. If one would remain alive – that person would be the High Priest in stead of his brother Aharon. Afterwards he added that Aharon also would participate in the offering.

Why did he do it this way?

Because if all the people died – that would prove that they were not chosen as the high priest – but it would not show that Aharon was chosen to be the High priest.

So therefor he said afterwards that His brother Aharon would also participate – to not only prove that – they are not chosen as the High Priest – but to also prove that His brother Aharon was chosen to be High priest.

To prove something wrong – you can’t just disprove an argument – you have to also show that your position is correct.

Being Ready to Go to the End and Change All for Truth

Once Rabbi Israel Salantar was discussing a particular issue with a person from the Maskilim / “Enlightened” Movement. In the middle of the discussion the man told his wagon driver to get the carriage ready. The Rabbi stopped the discussion. The man asked – why don’t we continue the discussion? The Rabbi replied – I was ready to join your position if you were truthful and were really sincere about truth – but since for you it is only an intellectual exercise and you have no interest in changing if you are proven wrong – I have no time for intellectual musings.

The person who is discussing a topic – should be aware of why they hold a position. Is it because they want to find truth or is it that they want to defend their position.

Many a time a person will find “fault” with Torah and defend himself or herself. His point of view is not based upon careful investigation or rational analysis of the situation. He found a way to justify his immoral way of life by his “disproving” to himself “the existence of G-d.”

In the back of his mind he is thinking if G-d doesn’t exist in my mind – I have the right to act immorally – without guilt. That’s what many scientists do (including Stephan Hawking). They find “fault” with the reasoning of the existence of G-d – to justify their lifestyle. In the end – it is irrational to think that way – because of the argument found in many dentist offices. Ignore your teeth and they will go away. If a person ignores the existence of G-d, it doesn’t mean that G-d will disappear. That person will still be accountable for their actions in the end.

It is also irrational to think that G-d does not exist. If a person found a pencil while walking on the beach – he would never say “The sand just blew together randomly to form this new pencil.” He would know there was an intelligent creator of the pencil. Even more so a person, all nature, the planets, etc – testify to an intelligent creator. Random atoms don’t create people, animals, plants, fruits (see what R. Avigdor Miller says on the orange proving existence of G-d), vegetables, order, movement, mobility, growth, perfect interactions between mates, uniformity, unified laws – like physics and chemistry, etc.

Many a time a person fears what G-d expects from them when it is much easier than they think. According to Torah, Gentiles follow the 7 Commandments and Jews follow Shulhan Aruch – the code of Jewish Law. Both are relatively easy to get accustomed to after serious commitment. So what it comes down to is that many people ascribe to illogical ideas to avoid just taking upon themselves 7 or 10 commandments.

A Popular Rabbi in Israel – Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak – teaches secular Jews about the Torah. He provides clear and rational proofs of the Torah. After his lecture – completely secular Jews – take upon themselves the Mitzvot. Men start putting on Tzitzit / Tassels on their Fringes of their four cornered garments. Married women – take upon themselves to cover their hair. This is the ultimate in recognizing Truth – changing – because you found truth. Those who never observed the Shabbat according to Torah start to do so.

Having Someone to Reason With

In Torah Study – we discuss the issue until we are satisfied that we have come up with a truthful conclusion. Learning Torah with a study partner – hevruta – the usual way of learning Torah – is a way that we arrive at truth. You can sometimes pull the wool over your own eyes – but the study partner will be able to have a more objective view.

The Wife Who Saves Her Husband

In the story of the rebellion of Korah and his followers – one person – Ohs Ben Pelet – is mentioned in the beginning, yet at the “showdown” he is no longer mentioned. His wife saved his life. She reasoned him – “Look, Ohn – what do you gain if you join Korah’s rebellion? Under the rulership of Moses, you are not the leader. If Korah also wins the rebellion you will also not be the leader. So what do you gain?” He acknowledged her truth and she found away to disassociate her husband from the quarrel which saved his life.

Fooling Oneself

Many a time a person thinks he is fooling others. Really he or she fools himself. He think he can swindle others and not be caught. Eventually – he is caught. Eventually the truth catches up. If not in this world – in the next.

Dieing Happily

A rabbi visited a fellow Jew on his death bed. The man disregarded Torah and Mitzvot all his life. The Rabbi explained – if the man would do Teshuva / Repent, he would get a nice portion in heaven. Even if one does Teshuva the last moment, Hash-m will forgive him or her.  The man refused. Apparently – even though he would gain much from repentance – the man refused because he didn’t want to admit that all his life he “wasted” doing nothing to better himself or the world.

Once a Rabbi visited a non-Jewish reverend in the hospital. The reverend was about to die. He asked the rabbi – his religion said that the Jews would never Return to Israel. Now he saw that the Jews had returned and many of the prophesies of his religion were outright disproven. He wondered on the deathbed – “if he had wasted his life in following his religion.” At this moment of truth – the rabbi knew it wasn’t the time to mince words. The rabbi replied “Yes.” The reverend died with pain. Apparently – dieing recognizing the truth is better than dieing without recognizing it.

But even better is to recognize truth when it comes your way. Better to acknowledge the truth and change once you encounter it – rather than wait for the last minute.