Turn Back the Clocks. It was a simpler era. You come home it is almost dark. A hearty “good evening my dear.” Dinner is waiting for you on the Table. Some fresh baked potatoes. Fresh baked bread from the oven.
Dinner finished – you have time to relax with family before bedtime.
You pull out the checker board and challenge a family member to a game. He wins. Perhaps another?
Checkers is a healthy game. It involves thinking, action and interaction.
A person was able to feel and enjoy the presence of the other family member. I get to know their reactions, thoughts and emotions. I appreciate the person. The person feels appreciated.
Fast forward to the 21st Century. I come home grab a quick bite. Then attach myself to tech world. Even if the family sits in front of the TV for a completely innocuous show, it reminds me of Big Brother holding the reigns of peoples minds.
I am your screen. I control your thoughts and emotions. I control your opinion. Thus I control your actions.
I am not for videos or TV. They take a person’s freedom away. I follow the crowd to do what’s popular and cool. I let go of my true self to mix in the melting pot of nothingness.
People want real personal relationships. Not a relationship with a screen.
The new drug of the century – technology.
Where can we find relationship builders?
Judaism & Relationship Builders.
Most Torah Laws are relationship builders.
No TV or technology gadgets allowed. No driving. No shopping – just focus on your family / freind relationships, your participation in community and spiritual relationship with G-d.
Spend time with family at Shabbat table. The family says divrei Torah / words of Torah that serves as wholesome discussion at the table.
The family participates in shul / Synagogue together.
The family learns Torah together or attends a Torah lecture.
Kids play board games or simple outdoor games.
Yes the Torah preceded the No Cell-Phone Restaurant meet – where cell phones are placed in the middle of the Table. The first to pick up the cell phone has to pick up the tab.
Getting Married –
Getting married is a Mitzvah in the Torah. It encourages young marriage. Another relationship builder.
Having children is another Mitzvah. Another relationship builder. and developing relationships with the children and the common parents.
Traditional marriage allows a person to have common children – impossible with same gender marriages.
A Jewish man prays with a quorum of ten men for three prayer services daily.
People interact together on a personal level.
There they nurture their communication and relationship with Hash-m / G-d. They learn Torah, also an interactive activity.
One Studies Torah either in a lecture or a small group or with a study partner / Hevruta or by oneself.
In each there is personal interaction with others.
In each one learns to better oneself enhancing further personal relations.
One aspect of keeping kosher is to eating animals with negative character traits. Non-Kosher Animals usually have negative character traits or are in certain ways appalling. A person who consumes certain animals adopts a form of its character traits.
We avoid slaughtering Kosher animals – that we do eat – in an inhumane way.
Going to a Torah Day School
In a Torah Day school children are taught to do acts of kindness, to honor parents, to be respectful to elders, to treat everyone with respect and much more – subjects not taught in public school. While other religions teach hate – we teach love.
Acts of Kindness
Doing acts of kindness are also a Mitzvah, like Helping the poor with money or food, visiting the sick, lending money and comforting the mourners, etc.
Not hurting People
It is prohibited to speak words that cause pain to another individual. It is forbidden from the Torah to embarrass a person. A Jew controls his temper – he should not get angry.
No Evil Speech
Lashon HaRah is a group of many laws prohibiting speaking badly of fellow Jews – even if the speech is 100% true.
Not Hurting Animals
The Commandment in Torah to not hurt animals is called “Tzaar Balaie Haim” / Pain of Living Creatures. It is prohibited in the Torah for one cruel with animals engenders in himself or herself these character traits of cruelty. What he did to an animal – he might consider doing to others. In Naza Germany one of the training of cruelty in Nazis was to bring up a cat in their home and then to kill the cat with their bare hands.
Saying Kaddish – Connecting with Departed Souls
The soul of the departed goes to a spiritual world. It can no longer be elevated by doing Mitzvot. It is stuck in the place that it earned by doing mitzvot while it was alive. Two things that can elevate the soul is saying the Kaddish prayer for the soul and doing Mitzvot from the Torah for the sake of the soul – like giving charity to a Torah institution li’ilouy nishmat – for the elevation of the soul. The Torah allows one to kindness and even keep a relationship with the departed through the ways mentioned above.
Each time I eat, I thank G-d before and after. By Saying the food Blessings – Eating is elevated to enhancing one’s relationship with the creator, rather than being merely a physical act to sustain one’s body. One elevates the food to a spiritual level.
One reason for the saying of food blessings is to unlock a soul that was found in the food. Thus we also do kindness with souls of the past.
Many Blessings exist – Morning Blessings, Blessings on Aromas, Blessing on Mitzvot and After Blessings, blessings for good health. These blessings help not only establish a connection with G-d but also help a person be grateful, be appreciative and appreciate life more.
A small section of laws of Judaism – all related to improving ones relation with family, friends, community and Hash-m / G-d.