Lamborghini Stuck in Traffic – What’s Stunting Your Growth?

Driving ahead to the left of me was a Black Lamborghini Aventador. I was stuck in slow traffic. So was he. He got about 30 yards of space so he sped up and then quickly stopped. The idea of a fast sports car is prestige and speed. Well at least he had one – prestige. Regarding speed – he was going about my speed in my old van.

Superheros in Judaism – Superpowers of the Jewish Righteous

People are the same way. G-d endowed people with tremendous abilities. We can even achieve – Super-Human abilities like we see many true instances in the Torah.

Superpowers mentioned in Torah

Some superhuman acts brought in the Torah include invisibility – like Pinhas, being averse to effects of fire – like Avraham Avinu (in the fiery furnace), transporting from one place to another in an instant (kefitzat haDerech) – like Yaakov Avinu (Jacob), walking through walls, seeing the future – like prophets, seeing what is happening in another place, transforming things from one thing to another (like Yosef HaTzadik), transforming oneself into another being, freezing a person, levitation / flying (like Pinhas), levitating objects. (Perhaps I’ll make a new post on it with further details – further on).

So why don’t we achieve? We’re slowed by traffic.

Thank G-d for Free Choice

G-d made the world for a person to choose between good and evil. We say a blessing  in the Daily Morning Blessings for this gift – “Barukh… HaNoten laSechvi Bina leHavchin ben yom uben layla.” / Blessed are You, Hash-m,… Who gives the heart of man the Ability to choose between Day (ie, good) and Night (ie, evil).”

A person can achieve great heights in good or in evil. And with both he or she can achieve the powers above. Witchcraft, sorcery, talking to the dead and black magic are all real according to Torah. But they are all forbidden – because it is using forces for evil.

Whatever can be done through evil can also be done through powers of good. G-d made it that way for a person to be able to have freedom of choice. If a person could only let’s say become rich by doing good – people would only be good – not for good itself – but to become rich.

What’s Stunting Your Growth?

I was at a Bar Mitzvah party last night. I mentioned – that at 13 a boys starts putting on Tefillin / Phylacteries – the black crown on the head and arm sign that a Jewish man wears. At the age of 13 (according to the Hebrew Year) – a Jewish boy becomes responsible to do mitzvot like a man. A girl becomes responsible at 12 for woman’s mitzvot. (Why 12? A girl matures earlier than a boy.)

Knowing our Goal in Life – Self-Improvement through Torah

After a Jewish boy is born he is circumcised. One message of Bris Milah is that a person is not born perfect – it is our job in life to perfect ourselves. Another message is that a person should direct their passions towards those permitted by Torah.

Attaching Ourselves to the One Who said “Let There Be Light”

Tephillin – allude to a crown and attachment to Hash-m. A crown to remind the wearer that he is nobility – that he is a child of the King / Hash-m – making him a prince. Recognizing his high stature and responsibility teaches the Bar Mitzvah – that he has importance in this world to make it better. This gives him self-esteem & confidence to face, overcome challenges and build the world.  Attachment to Hash-m is one of the ways we establish a connection to Him and emulate Him.

So – anything that creates a detour to our relationship with G-d will stunt our growth – excessive involvement in – politics, gossip, watching videos, TV, sports, etc.

The Difference between Permitted & Forbidden pleasures in Judaism

Exercise is good – overdoing it is not. Eating is good – overdoing it is not. Judaism – is not averse to pleasure. In fact it encourages permitted pleasure. Usually – the pleasures of Judaism – are pleasures that build a society, build a family, build an individual – spiritually, physically & materially. If you look at many of the pleasures forbidden by Torah they are pleasures that do not have purpose. They are pleasure without purpose or Pleasure for only for the sake of pleasure.

Change Yourself – to Change the World

Once a rabbi wanted to change the world. He saw he could not. He said he will change his country. He was not successful. He said perhaps his province. No luck. His city. Nope. His family – no success. He finally decided to change himself. Eventually – he changes the whole world.

A good place to start to better oneself – for Gentiles is to learn about the 7 Noahide laws from Torah. For Jews – it is to learn the Shulchan Aruch & Pirkei Avot.

 

3 times 0 = 10? How to Not Be Misled by Falsity

The Seltzer Enigma

I was looking at a seltzer bottle’s ingredients. One serving is 0 calories. 3 servings is 10 calories. The last I checked 0 + 0 + 0 = 0. Or 3 servings x 0 calories per serving = 0 calories. Did the seltzer company come out with a new branch of mathematics? No. The reason for this discrepancy is that the FDA allows you to round to the nearest 10 calories. One serving of flavored seltzer is probably about 3 calories. They rounded to the nearest 10 – which is 0 for one serving. For 3 servings it is 9 calories – so they rounded to the nearest 10.

The point of this article is to help people discern what is true and good and what is bad and false.

Honest Reporting?

I am sure there remain people with morality and honesty in Journalist. The little news I do read are from sources that have some kind of non-biased bent – that report news facts.

The Change from Fact to Opinion

We are not here to condemn News organizations or Journalists. Yet I have more distrust of News media that 20 years ago. I remember the days where some kind of ethics reigned in the media. Nowadays – many once reputable news organizations – reports their take on the matter, at times reporting their own agenda & fake news. Some change spin doctor journalism into something close to fiction.

Falsity in History

It is not a new phenomena. People from ancient civilizations did the same. Reporting things – out of context – to give credibility to their agenda. Many cults, philosophies, religions use the same technique. Some will quote you verses from the “Bible” out of context to fit heir agenda. It makes them look good in the eyes of the ignorant. But the educated will not fall for their game.

Protect Yourself from Falsity

So how do you protect yourself from falsity and fakery? the simple answer: Educate Yourself & Research it. Be willing to sacrifice your comfort zone to find truth.

If you want to know three times zero is 10 – educate yourself in Mathematics. You know that 0 + 0 + 0 = 0. So there must be some explanation. If you know mathematics – you will attempt to discover a reasonable explanation for the discrepancy. If you don’t know math – you will accept it at face value.

Questioning Discrepancy

I know people who investigated many religions an cults. When they discovered a  discrepancy and asked about it – the leader either swept the question under the rug, or used the ‘you just have to have faith’ answer or looked down upon the person asking the question. These responses – lead the questioning person to have doubt that the person is covering up.

Questions to Improve Ourselves

The questions below are to help us to improve and clarify our philosophy in life. They are not to put people down. They are to make you think. We in this world are guided to live a moral, uncontradicted life. We are supposed to ask questions to ourselves and others to arrive at the truth – to correct ourselves in this world. In the next world we cannot correct ourselves. Our reward in the next world depends upon how we think, speak and act in this world. If we don’t ask these questions to ourselves – in Heaven they will show us the biographic “video” of all our life – and ask us to clarify some of the questions asked below. Better to correct ourselves in this world than to be corrected in the next world.

Questions that many a philosophy cannot answer but can be answered by Judaism:

Questions For Philosophies that deny the existence of G-d.

Question: How can the world be created by random atoms colliding with one another to create a perfect universe? Where did those atoms come from? What happened before the “Big Bang”? What is the physical difference between a body before death and after death? How does growth occur – according to the “random atoms” theory?

Torah Judaism’s Answer– We believe in a G-d that created and continues to direct the world every moment.

Questions For Agnostics:

Question: Would you expect a company that creates a complicated piece of machinery or even a simple appliance – like a toaster – not to include instructions & warnings? How could G-d create a world without providing instructions?

Torah Judaism’s Answer– We believe in a G-d that spoke to millions of people at Mount Sinai – when He gave the Jewish people the Torah. Those are the laws of the world.

Questions For religions – that believe in the Torah / 5 books of Moses –

Question: How can someone believe in a philosophy that condemns killing – Like it says in the Torah “Do Not Kill” in the 10 commandments – yet the history of that religion was replete with killing?

Torah Judaism’s Answer – Judaism never committed crusades, pogroms or terrorism to get converts – we are looking for sincere people to follow Torah not quantity.

Question: How can a philosophy that condemns idolatry – which is the second of the 10 commandments – believe in a Human as a deity?

Torah Judaism’s Answer – Judaism believes in one Omnipotent, Omniscient G-d Hash-m – that Has no body or physical form.

Question: How can a philosophy say that G-d “changed his mind” about observing of His laws or about His selection of the Jewish people – this insinuates that G-d does not know the future?

Torah Judaism’s Answer – Judaism believes that G-d never changed His mind.

Question: How can someone observe the 10 commandments if they were only given to the Jewish people? (The 7 Noahide laws from the Torah were given for the Gentiles).

Question: The Torah says “I am Hash-m, Your G-d, that brought you out of Egypt” Meaning the 10 commandments only applies to people who left Egypt and their descendants – the Jewish people.

Torah Judaism’s Answer – The Torah was given to the Jewish people to observe. A non-Jew that wishes to Observe them entirely – may convert. Their main obligation is to follow their 7 Noahide laws from the Torah and Torah laws that are not prohibited by the Torah – like observing the Shabbat. If they want to observe more they can take upon themselves certain commandments. Consult a competent Orthodox rabbi for more information.

Question: How can you believe in different G-d than Hash-m when Hash-m is the Only  Name that is mentioned in the 5 Books of the Moses? (Many Bibles erroneously translate – G-d’s name – “Hash-m” – as “The L-rd”. For instance a verse in the Text is properly translated as “Hash-m spoke with Moses Saying” – NOT “The L-rd Spoke with Moses saying)? )

Torah Judaism’s Answer – Judaism believes only in Hash-m.

Questions for People Who condemn Israel

Why? Did you define what is apartheid – and compare Israel’s policies to what Apartheid was? Do you also condemn virulently other nations that commit more heinous acts that what you accuse Israel?

How to Not be misled by Other Philosophies

To Not be misled by Philosophical Arguments – learn what Torah says about it – ask a competent Orthodox Rabbi. If someone from another religion tells you a “proof” that supports their view from a verse in the Torah or Tanach – first see what the Authentic Torah sages say about it – ( like Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Ramban, Sforno, Abarbanel, Aderet Eliyahu (Rabbi Yosef Chaim), Alshich , Avi Ezer, Bartenura on Torah, Bekhor Shor, Chatam Sofer, Chizkuni, Chomat Anakh, Daat Zkenim, Gur Aryeh, HaKtav VeHaKabalah, Haamek Davar, Kitzur Baal Haturim, Kli Yakar, Malbim, Minchat Shai, Minei Targuma, Mizrachi, Or HaChaim, Paaneach Raza, Penei David, Rabbeinu Bahya, Ralbag Beur HaMilot, Ralbag on Torah, Rashbam, Recanati on the Torah, Riva, Rosh,  Siftei Chakhamim, Torah Temimah on Torah, Tur HaAroch, Tzafnat Pa’neach, Tzror HaMor) These commentators explain Torah as it was handed down from Mount Sinai. If one relies on interpretations that contradict Torah – it is like learning Tennis from the pre-game show.

Torah Questions

In Torah – we are encouraged to ask questions. The Passover Hagada /  Book – encourages the children and adults to ask questions. Torah study appreciates and relishes questions. The Torah is not afraid – because it was given by G-d / Hash-m. Hash-m is truth.

 

 

 

Politics Ruining Your Life? Use Time More Productively

My friend is a traveling salesperson. He sells yarn to retail stores. He told me that one Knitting Club had a sign posted: “No Political Discussions Here.” I heard many offices and schools apply the same creed.

We applied the same message in our synagogue.

Once people started discussing politics at a friendly breakfast in the dining hall. One was a Republican – the other a Democrat. Each was touting their candidate. One became offended and left the synagogue and never returned.

It was too bad. He was a nice man. He had much to gain from Judaism.

Now – no more politics in our shul. Yes we limit “Freedom of Speech” in order to have peace in the synagogue. Want to discuss politics? Go outside – go to a restaurant – but not in our Synagogue. A synagogue is a place for peace – not quarrel. A place to grow – not a place to stagnate with ideas that bring people no where. You will rarely convince the other party that you are right. What will you be left with – bad feelings.

Rabbi Brandt from France told a joke:

The Evil inclination / Yetzer haRa came to Noach / Noah before the flood and wanted to enter the ark. “I’ m sorry you can’t enter the ark. You have to enter as a couple. Where  is your mate?” he told him. The Evil Inclination searched around and decided to marry Quarrel Mongering. Noah let them in. Eventually – they had a baby. They called it Politics.

Vote – very good. Write to your congressman. But political discussions are rarely lucrative. I met a person who refused to marry a person with different political views. I asked what if the person you meet is kind, sensitive and has the right Torah values but would vote for the other candidate – would you refuse matrimony? He explained he wouldn’t think it would be a good match.

“Lev Melech BiYad Hash-m” (Mishlei / Proverbs 21:1) King Solomon – the wisest of all men – said “Like Channeled waters, the heart a king is in the hands of Hash-m / G-d – He directs it to whatever he wishes.” G-d directs the heart of the rulers to achieve His own purpose. (See Commentaries on the verse.)

So in actuality – our comments will make no difference in how the politician will act. Our actions of kindness towards others may influence the politician. Because when G-d sees us doing His will – He will influence the politician decide to do things that benefit people – like we helped people benefit with our kindness. Prayer to Hashem also makes a difference.

Many a time a parent is very adamant upon their views. What do they teach children – to hate people with views different from theirs. To argue. To adopt the views and “morality” of society.

They spend their time trashing others – so the children learn its alright to insult others – like their friends and family.

Being too much into politics also detracts from one’s Torah learning. If one is constantly involved in political discussion – the opportunity cost is losing time to learn Torah. The Torah what it means to be Jewish. It teaches:

Learning to respect others. Learning to do acts of Kindness. Learning to respect parents and grandparents. Learning to be a peaceful person. Learning to establish a positive relation with friends and family. Learning to establish a relationship with our Creator.  Learning the True morality of Hash-m. Learning to be respectful with all people – regardless of their race or face or occupation.

Political discussions is sometimes anti-ethical to the Torah. The Torah promotes gratuitous love between our fellow Jews. Political discussion may cause gratuitous hatred.

Political discussions may turn off people – like potential friends, old friends or potential marriage mates. It may get a person so involved that people lose sight of the priorities in life – getting married with a Torah-minded mate, doing kindness with others that may not share your political views, establishing a Torah family, etc.

My recommendation to any politically opinionated person : Spend at least as much time studying Torah as you do expressing your political views. Many sites exist. You will live a more serene life – a life full of peace, love and understanding. See our links section for a list of sites. Gentiles can take time to learn about the Torah’s 7 Noahide laws for all humanity.

The Torah tells us in the time of Mashiach people will be polarized. Some on one side of the fence. Others on the other side of the fence. I hope to be among those on the Side of the Torah and Hash-m. Amen.

References & Solutions to CoronaVirus Found in the Torah – A 3,000 Year Old Message from G-d

G-d is above time. He created it. He knows the past, present and future.

A Simple proof to knowing the future is the Deja Vu. A person feels they dreamt or knew something in the past about a particular situation in the future. It’s a proof to being able to know the future and the existence of G-d. Prophecy is another proof.

The Coronavirus originated in the Chinese marketplaces. People in China eat Raw food, live food and creepy, crawly creatures like the Bat and the snake.

Here are 3 references to the Coronavirus in the Torah:

1. In a verse in Parasha / Weekly Torah Reading Bo, where G-d sends the last three plagues upon Egypt & commands the Jews to do the Pascal Lamb offering – it states:

אַל־תֹּאכְל֤וּ מִמֶּ֙נּוּ֙ נָ֔א וּבָשֵׁ֥ל מְבֻשָּׁ֖ל בַּמָּ֑יִם כִּ֣י אִם־צְלִי־אֵ֔שׁ רֹאשׁ֥וֹ עַל־כְּרָעָ֖יו וְעַל־קִרְבּֽוֹ׃

Do not eat any of it raw (“Na”), or cooked in any way with water, but roasted—head, legs, and entrails—over the fire. (Shemot / Exodus 12:9)

In Rashi – the classic commentator on the Torah – defines the word “Na” in that verse.

אל תאכלו ממנו נא DO NOT EAT OF IT HALF-DONE — flesh that is not roasted as much as it should be is called נא in the Arabic language (cf. Pesachim 41a).

He says that flesh that is raw is called Na – Called in Hebrew is “Caro”. Called “Na” – in Hebrew is “Caro Na”

2. The numerical Value of the Hebrew word “Corona” / קורונה –
using Gematria (A Numerical calculation system of the Hebrew letters) is 367 (100 + 6 + 200 + 6 + 50 + 5). The Prohibition for all humans to eat a limb from a live animal is called “Ever Min HaChai” / Eating a Limb [taken] from a Live [creature]. The Numerical Value of “He Ate Ever Min HaChai” is 367 as well. This alludes to the fact that the Chinese eat animal limbs and animals themselves before killing them. This is a Torah Prohibition. Even Gentiles are commanded to abide by this law as part of the 7 Noahide laws from the Torah for all humanity.

3. Matityahu Glazerson – a Rabbi and Torah Code Researcher found the “Corona” Virus encoded in the Torah – with other words surrounding it like “Virus, China, Ever MiHaChai, 5780 (The Jewish Year – this year), “Do Not Eat”. The Verse that the word Corona was found in was the following:

וְהִבְדַּלְתֶּ֞ם בֵּֽין־הַבְּהֵמָ֤ה הַטְּהֹרָה֙ לַטְּמֵאָ֔ה וּבֵין־הָע֥וֹף הַטָּמֵ֖א לַטָּהֹ֑ר וְלֹֽא־תְשַׁקְּצ֨וּ אֶת־נַפְשֹֽׁתֵיכֶ֜ם בַּבְּהֵמָ֣ה וּבָע֗וֹף וּבְכֹל֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר תִּרְמֹ֣שׂ הָֽאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־הִבְדַּ֥לְתִּי לָכֶ֖ם לְטַמֵּֽא׃

So you shall set apart the clean beast from the unclean, the unclean bird from the clean. You shall not draw abomination upon yourselves through beast or bird or anything with which the ground is alive, which I have set apart for you to treat as unclean. (Vayikra / Leviticus 20:25)

What is the Solution for the World – to Follow the 7 Noahide laws – One of which is – Not to eat a limb taken from a live animal.

 

What the Torah Expects of Non-Jews – the 7 Noahide Laws

In Judaism we have a common core of laws. Everyone must follow them. Jewish or Non-Jew. Men and women. Kings and the common man.

These laws were given to Adam HaRishon / the First man. They were given again to Moses when he received the Torah at Mount Sinai.

They are pretty simple. These laws assure the proper functioning of the world.

7 Noahide Torah Laws for All People
1 Being Faithful to G∙d – Don’t Worship Idols – Object,Animal,Man
2 Respect of Integrity of Family – Prohibition of Immoral Relations- Adultery,Bestiality,Homosexuality& Incest
3 Respect of Human Life – Don’t Murder
4 Respect of G∙d- Don’t Blaspheme
5 Respect of Property-Don’t Steal
6 Law & Order-Establish Courts of Law
7 Respect of Creatures-Don’t Eat Limb from live animal

7 are the big lines -but there are really 30 laws.

http://www.jerusalemlife.com/?p=1473

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 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.

Being Married this Time Next Year – 14 Reasons why You are Not Married Yet & 10 Tips to Tie the Knot

Yes I am the expert. 🙂

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

What I do know is common sense.

Unfortunately sometimes the common sense kicks in only after I made my mistakes. At least I do learn after the mistakes. Sometimes.

Yes this is a Jewish site. So here is some of the Jewish or Torah perspective on the Dating for Marriage.

G-d made a concept of family. He made it that a man and woman will marry to bring up a family that will make this world a better place by following His guidelines as established in the Torah.

The Purpose of Dating

A very important point to remember is – one dates to determine whether the person is the right person for marriage. One tries to get to know the other through seeing if they share common goals and values. Although you want to find out pertinent information – It is not a job interview. You have to see if the person before you has the right attitude, personality, values for you to build a family together. Your first two dates are to determine whether you can get along. The third is to determine whether you can respect the other person’s opinions, goals and personality.

I went out on dates with 10 different people before meeting my wife. It took me 3 dates to ask my wife to get married. Thank G-d she accepted. For others it may take more time.

Statistics are claiming Less people are getting married.

Having this in Mind here are 14 possible reasons why some are not married yet

1. Lack of effort.

Many people want their perfect spouse to fall from the sky. Not likely. A person has to put in a serious effort to finding a mate. If you don’t look you are not likely to find. But an important point to know is – that your looking is not a guarantee that you will find.

Here is the way the world really works. You make your effort for achieving a goal. G-d looks at your effort and says – OK, you made enough effort for Me to give you what you set out to do.

You make your effort – G-d provides the results. This helps us cope with failure as well. because if I put my utmost effort into achieving something and I don’t I am not a failure. I am a success because at least I tried. But G-d had different plans in mind.

Here are two personal examples of the effort we make and the results G-d determines principle.

I wanted to buy a house. We negotiated the price with the owner. We set the terms – we agreed on the terms. I signed the papers to buy the house. I deliver them to the owner’s lawyer. Then I get a call from my lawyer saying “Sorry the deal for the house is off.” “What do you mean. I signed the papers. I gave the deposit check. What happened?” My lawyer said he could not get along with the other lawyer’s attitude. Thus he didn’t want to deal with him.” The lawyers didn’t get along. I lost the house.

Upsetting? Perhaps if you remove G-d from the equation. But if you do put G-d into the equation – you realize that G-d is Good. G-d loves you. G-d wants your best and He thought that what you thought was a good deal was not a good deal – so He found a way to nullify it. End of the story – we found a better house for us in the end. We were happy we didn’t buy the first house.

Another example:

When single, at times I made efforts to find a spouse. At times I was laid back and put it on the back-burner. When I started making a serious concerted effort – by networking with people and prayer to Hash-m / G-d – to find the right mate – I found the right one but not through my efforts. You could say the proposition to meet someone came from left field. I was calling people in the US to meet prospects. The right prospect came from my grandmother who lived in France and who suggested someone from France.

I made my effort – but G-d sent me the right one. My meeting the right person was not a direct result of my efforts. I made my effort. G-d saw I was serious & He sent me the right one.  

So  make your effort. If G-d thinks it is a good idea for you to get married – He will help you.

Obviously – this is provided you stick to the rules of the Torah. If you don’t stick to the rules – so G-d may give you what you want – which is not always the best thing for you.

It is better to pray that G-d find the best person in His view for you to get married with – to help you achieve your potential in life – than to pray to marry a particular person – who might not be the best person for you. I made that mistake. I prayed to date a particular person – I did date them and it didn’t work out in the end – because they were  not for me.

There is a principle in Torah – G-d will guide you in the way you wish to follow. If a person is a thief and he prays to G-d he will help him steal. If you really want a particular person to marry G-d may help you – but it might be to your detriment.

Thus following the laws of the Torah (ie, the 613 commandments for Jews or the 7 Noahide laws from the Torah for non-Jews) is a prerequisite for finding the right mate to achieve your potential in life.

I know what you are going to say. What are you talking about? I know many people who do not follow Torah but are happy in life.

To this I answer – OK they may be happy – but are they achieving their potential for doing good for the world? Probably not.

This is one reason against Jewish intermarriage – when Jewish people marry people of different religions – the goals are the family are automatically confused. One partner wants to give a Jewish education – the other says they see no point in a solid Torah day school education for Jewish kids. But we’ll get to that later.

Be ready to put your best foot forward when searching for a mate. Treat finding a mate as seriously as you would as if you were searching for a Job.

My optometrist friend would call up optical stores – one-by-one he found in the phone book to find a Job. We should be at least as serious in searching for a mate for ourselves or our children. If a person is out of a job, one calls a head hunter, networks, makes phone calls and sends out resumes. The same dedication is required for getting married. Dedicate at least 10 minutes a day to find the right person. Effort includes praying to Hashem / G-d daily to help you find a mate. Before I got married I would recite Tehillim / psalm 121 as a segula to get married. I prayed at the kever / grave-site of Yonathan Ben Uziel in Amuka, Israel. At times I would be serious about dating for marriage regularly. At times I would slack off. When I became serious – G-d sent me the right mate.

A Suggested Amount of Effort

I would suggest a person spend at least 5 to 10 minutes daily searching for a proper mate for themselves or their children.

2. Lack of clarity of what is truly important.
Another boon to getting married is – lack of clear idea of what one wants. If you don’t know what you are looking for – you won’t know when you find it. Some basic points you should consider are found in tip 3 below.

3. Do not value the importance of marriage
Getting married and having kids is a commandment in the Torah for Jews and gentiles. some think it is a nice thing to do – but not for them. G-d formulated things that to reach your potential – you must be married. He created man and woman as one entity. A person not married has not yet found their mate to help them complete themselves.

Because some Do not value the importance of marriage they do not date for the purpose of marriage. Some date just for a good time. That might be a problem. If you or your mate have no marriage intentions – marriage is less likely. Also physical relations before marriage causes objectivity to fly out the window. A person who is not celibate on dates may end up marrying a person who might not be suitable for them. This is probably the major reason for divorce today – people marry others that they are “in love” with without determining if they are compatible with the other before hand.  

4. High expectations
Some people think they are prince charming or princess of Pompadour – so they reject anyone they think is not suitable for them. G-d may have organized you to meet a particular person that He determined is suitable mate for you. Look into a proposal seriously before you reject them. Some people tailor design in their mind a person for themselves. You will most likely not meet this person. But you will meet a person that you feel that you have an affinity to build a wholesome Torah home if you do make your effort.


5. The “When I” excuse
“When I” get my degree, I’ll start looking to get married. “When I” get a decent Job I will start looking. “When I build” my business, I’ll find a mate.
All these are completely invalid excuses to postpone getting married. G-d does not say make sure you have a decent degree before you get married. G-d also provides the parnassa / the income – not your effort. (as mentioned above)


6. Am I turning people off?
Some turn others off with their looks, their appearance, their attitude, their habits and/or their opinions. I am talking with you face to face – your phone rings – it is impolite to answer while I speak with you. Some go on ranting about the President or politics. OK have an opinion – but if that is what you rant about regularly – i would rather talk about things that deal with real day to day life.

Today anyone can spy on your attitudes in life by checking heir facebook page. It’s a dead giveaway. Beware of what you post – it might come back to haunt you. I heard someone lost a job opportunity because of a Facebook post. Apparently people check out potential mates that way. Some people are obsessed with a subject because of a trauma or experience that they had.

Remember you are searching for a mate should be a friend to build a home with – not your psychologist.


7. Low Expectations

At times a person is dating people that will not help that person reach their potential in life. G-d makes it not work out so that you will find the person who can best help you together with the new mate to reach your family potential.


8. Not ready psychologically
Some people are not ready psychologically to get married because they have a fear of commitment or a fear of marriage or a low self esteem. Deal with these issues and make your effort to tie the knot. Marrying the right person makes a person life better not worse.

9. Not ready spiritually
G-d want you to reach a high level spiritually. Being connected to G-d is the greatest pleasure a person can have. He gave us the outline of how to become close with Him – the Torah. At times G-d wants you to reach a higher spiritual level in Torah observance and/or learning before matching you with the right mate so that together you can reach your spiritual purpose and potential. Advice – increase your spiritual Torah pursuits. Read Torah books in your language. Attend Torah lectures. Improve yourself – vis-a-vis the Torah’s values and G-d will match you with a better mate.


10. The “I want” syndrome
“I want someone open-minded. I want someone intellectual. I want someone who can sing.”
All very nice – but irrelevant to being a good mate. The question you want to ask is will the potential mate be a good husband and father or a good wife and mother. That is a fundamental point. Other “I wants” you have may be irrelevant to a good relationship and curtail marriage process.

Someone told me they want an intellectual wife. I told them “what do you think you will be discussing once married – Einstein’s law of relativity?” You will be talking of things to build a family and the relationship. Get goals that will make a great marriage not whims that have no relevance to building a Torah family.


11. No they are not your debate-team partner.
Some people go on a date and try to prove that they are right or show the other person they are wrong. Perhaps that is not their intention, but it comes off that way. if you are different – than respect the other person – act politely and after the date don’t go out again – it is not your job to convert the person to your views.


12. Rejection on paper or social media
At times a person sees a person’s photo and rejects going out because of what they look like. Many time a photo can lie. People reject others without seeing them in person.The total person is much greater than his or her photo or bio or Facebook page.


13. Looking in the wrong places
If you want to buy a car go to a car dealer. If you want to find a good mate go to a place that you would expect to find them and ask around.
I don’t know how successful singles parties are. I suggest to Jewish singles to contact local orthodox rabbis to determine if they know of a potential mate for them and to use me as a reference. An orthodox rabbi knows the members of his congregation. He will give you an honest opinion on the person – provided you ask the proper, pointed questions. You can get ideas for questions in tip 3 below.

14. Lack of Common Values

I think one of the strongest bonds is when people share Torah values. It helps people to make common family decisions. If one is a mate just following the winds of the newspapers or society – one day his value will be A the next B. Perhaps his or her mate will have Value B when he or she has Value A. Thus the solid, tried values of Torah help a couple to live a more stable relationship.

10 Tips to get yourself married with the right  mate that G-d intended you to meet.

1. Know that G-d wants you married – and what he wants from you in marriage by consulting Torah rabbis and lectures on the subject. (see the links section for info on the subject)


2. Know one of the commandments is for a person to beget children and raise them in the path of the Torah (jews the 613 commandments and gentiles the 7 noahide laws from the Torah)

3. know the “requirements” and the “good to haves.”

For a Jewish couple here are certain “requirements” and the “good to haves” for a potential mate

Requirements
a) that the mate is Jewish.
b) that the mate has a desire to use the Torah as a daily guide to building family. (Jews see Shulchan Aruch) / (Gentiles see Torah’s 7 Noahide laws)
c) that the mate has a good heart (ie, generous & giving)
d) that the mate has good values (based upon Torah outlook)
e) that the mate has good character traits (merciful, bashful & doing kindness)
f) attractive to you
g) that you can talk with

Good to Haves

What are the good to haves? Some may be more important than others. You probably have a list of your own.
a) person from a good family
b) person with class
c) person that is responsible
d) person from same background as yourself in terms of – country where you were born, family country background, ethnicity, etc. a similar mentality of the mates decreases lack of accord. A similar mentality will make the marriage to more likely to work out. I thus suggest Sephardim to Marry Sephardim. Askenazim to marry Ashkenaz. Moroccan Jews to marry Moroccans. etc. Obviously, it is not a guarantee for a happy marriage – first the basics are to be in order (the requirements above). But it might cause less reason for quarrels because people are on a similar page. Statistics that supports this notion is a study done by the Center for Disease Control in 2002 about divorce rates that showed interracial marriages were more likely to end in divorce than same-ethnic marriages — 41 percent versus 31 percent.
e) person with similar goals in life
f) person that you can respect and help with their aspirations in life

4. Consider someone who is not 100% your perfect mate / know there are things you can change 

If you find someone who is 80% perhaps you can try to change the rest. Accept the person as who they are. I know people who rejected dates because they were only 90% of what they were looking for. Too bad. There is no perfect person. Only G-d is perfect. Know what you can change and can’t change in a person. If a person has something you don’t like that can be changed – perhaps a date is worth a try. If you don’t know ask a competent shadchan / match maker or Orthodox Rabbi.


5. Know that it only takes one person

For a Jewish couple G-d basically wants a couple to build a family that lives happily using the Torah as their guide for their daily lives. Some people try to surf the social media for a mate. Just focus on meeting one right person at a time. don’t compare. see if that person that you are dating is good based upon what we discussed. aprreciate that person for who they are. pray to G-d to help you make the right decision.


6. Get help from professionals

Perhaps you need a dating coach or advice from the Torah / Daat Torah – so ask a competent Orthodox Rabbi for help.


7. Do your homework before you go out.
Ask references – some have a dating resume – ask for a dating resume of potential mates.


8. Portray a positive image.
Don’t use your date a social worker or psychologist. Keep your vocal opinions to yourself on dates – don’t be obsessed by certain issues. It is a turn-off. don’t be obsessed about yourself and your opinions. You may be wrong. Don’t talk about your failures and deceptions in your life. Don’t talk negatively. Use your speech wisely.


9. Pick 10 things you are looking for in a mate and if you find five out of the 10 – it is worth a try.


10. Look in the right places.

If you are looking for a Torah scholar network in the Yeshivas. If you are looking for a good person – call local orthodox rabbis of communities. If you look in the local bars – you’ll find people with values from the bars – which is a shot in the dark at best.

Wishing you all the best. If you need any advice please feel free to contact us at info@jerusalemlife.com

What Kind of the 5 Seekers Are You? Truth, Goodness, Pleasure, Relationship or Spirituality. And What Gets You There?

Man is called a Go-er / Mehalekh in Hebrew.

Apparently a person wants to achieve something in this world. He does not want to stay idle. A person works, plays sports, creates & learn.

This is the world for doing. In the next world it is a world to receive reward for our deeds we accomplished in this world.

Thus we seek. We seek perfection.

Rabbi Yigal Haimoff once explained the reason why seek perfection is that we were created by G-d. We now wish to emulate our creator.

Why Be a Winner?

It’s seen frequently in everyday life. We want to root for the winning team. We want to win – not lose. Why? We want that perfect product. We are upset when we get a small dent or scratch on our new car. Why? We recognize the value of perfection. We want to emulate the perfection of Hash-m.

I came up with five things people seek.

Truth, Goodness, Pleasure, Relationship or Spirituality.

There could be other things.

Most people seek a combination of all. But each focuses more on one aspect than another.

Is there a path that will bring a person to all of these aspects of life? Like the Theory of Everything in Science.

Apparently.

10 Commandments or 7?

I talk to gentiles / non-Jews sometimes. I teach them that there are seven commandments for all people in the world – The 7 Noahide commandments of the Torah given to Noah and Moses at Mount Sinai by G-d.

One typical response I get is “I Thought there are 10 commandments?”

So I explain – Yes. There are 10 commandments for the Jews and 7 Commandments for the Gentiles.

They Say what are the commandments that are missing. So I explain A Gentile does not observe the Sabbath. and other differences.

At this point I must determine whether this person is genuinely interested in learning more, or if it is a curiosity question or if the question is to challenge me back to say  that their religion says otherwise and they actually observe the Sabbath.

If I feel that they are a person that follows religion because of religion I back off and say well read more about it and I tell them about them some websites that teach the Torah’s Noahide Laws. Why do I back off? Because some people have already made up their mind on their way of life. They will not change even if you show them the truth. These are people of religion that are not truth-seekers.

These people – with no intention to deride them – are similar to some people who were told that Mount Helens was about to erupt and that they had to evacuate their homes. They did not evacuate because they said “that is where they lived all there lives and they did not want to abandon their homes.” Many died because of this attitude.

There are other people that follow religion but also follow truth. If I prove to them that the truth is is that a non-Jew should follow the 7 commandments rather than the 10 – they give it a chance.

Why Gentiles Do Not Observe the Sabbath

What is the proof that only Jews follow the 10 commandments? Pretty Easy. If I say to a class – everyone wearing a blue shirt can go out to recess. If a person who is wearing a yellow shirt goes to recess – they will not be following my instructions.

In the 10 Commandments it says – “I am the G-d who took you out of Egypt…” Who did G-d take out of Egypt? The Jews. So the commandments apply to everyone who G-d took out of Egypt and not others.

So of utmost importance for any person is to follow truth. Truth will bring them to truth. Feelings will not bring them to truth. Some people say – I follow religion or any other path because it feels good. But that can be self-destructive – as we see alcoholics who follow a lifestyle of inebriation – which is not the path that G-d wants from us. So feeling cannot be the determinant of the truth of G-d or the True path of G-d.

To find the path of Truth, Goodness, Pleasure, Relationship or Spirituality.

Logically we can figure out that G-d wants all of the above for all people. How? G-d is one of the partners in Every human being.

Proof that G-d Wants Your Pleasure, Happiness & Good

There are 3 partners in every person on earth – the Father, the Mother and G-d. If parents want children to live a meaningful, purposeful, happy life thus G-d also wants his children to live such a life.

So now the question is how does G-d want us to find all of those aspects of life?

Apparently G-d is not going to give a person a gift of life without giving them the instruction booklet. You would not expect to a car or any other machinery or appliance you buy to not come with instruction or a users manual.

What is the User Manual of G-d

So one of the biggest questions that person must answer correctly in life is what is the Instruction Manual of G-d for humans?

If you answer correctly, you win the Jackpot. All the good aspects of life mentioned above follow. Sure one will still live challenges – but at least it will be challenges with a purpose – not challenges without purpose or challenges that distance a person from G-d.

Spirituality – the Definition

Spirituality is basically- establishing a close relationship with G-d. Thus what better way to establish a relationship with G-d than following His commandments.

The Pursuit of Truth to Arrive at the True Law of G-d

Abraham – our Forefather followed the path of truth to establish a relationship with G-d. He traced a path for us. He showed us that accepting the status quo or following fads or societal norms will not necessarily bring you closer to Hash-m / G-d.

G-d is Good & wants you to emulate Him

We can see the tremendous kindness of G-d daily. He feeds the entire world. Not Just humans, but all the living creatures, plants andimals, insects, fish birds. That is a tremendous act of kindness. Most people in the world live a good life – a life to be thankful for. So we see that G-d is good and he wants us to act with Goodness -thus His Instruction Guide must teach us about kindness.

Improving Relationships

Relationships – the Kindness that one does is mainly through interaction and relationships with other human beings. Thus G-d’s instructions must also include how to have more positive relationships.

Determining the true guide of G-d is pretty easy. Only once in all man’s history did G-d appear to millions of people. This is when G-d appeared at Mount Sinai and Gave His Torah. Everyone heard G-d speaking. No other document or religion claims this national revelation. Some try to piggyback on the Torah and say yes G-d revealed Himself to the Jews but “changed his mind.”

Not really logical that G-d, who has knowledge of all – the most intelligent being in the world – the seer of past, present and future will give laws and then change His mind.

Thus only the Torah fits the bill.

Thus all the 5 aspects of life can be bettered through Torah observance. Ask your local Orthodox Rabbi.

You Stole the Cookie from The Cookie Jar – How do I Fix it?

Do Good.

Don’t do bad.

Got the warning too late?

You did the bad deed?

Now what?

Is it really bad?

First of all ask : Is what you did really bad in G-d’s “eyes”?

If you don’t know the answer to that question – ask a competent Orthodox Rabbi.

G-d told us what is good and bad in The Torah – the only divine law that was given by G-d before millions of witnesses.

A Jew learns what is right and wrong from the Shulchan Aruch  / the Set Table and 613 Commandments of the Torah (see Sefer Mitzvot Gedolot, Mitzvat Hinukh, Sefer HaMitzvot).

A gentile determines what is bad and good from the 7 Noahide commandments from the Torah / Sheva’ Mitzvot B’nai Noach.

The Torah Laws for Gentiles are 7. These 7 are major categories and have Mitzvot / commandments related to them. The accepted number of commandments that are “under” the category of 7 is 30. Dr. Aaron Lichtenstein in his book “The Laws of Noah” found sources for 66 commandments that non-Jews are to observe. (perhaps one day we will publish them)

Perhaps a non-Jew ate pork. For a gentile – this is not forbidden. No use for a gentile to feel guilty for something G-d does not consider bad. For a Jew it is forbidden. Why? That’s another story.

How Bad is it?

Stealing a nickel is not as bad as stealing a person’s life savings. OK one fell to temptation and took those new office supplies from work. (For your info these are the top stolen supplies : Post-It Notes, Paper Clips, Tape, Scissors, Toilet Paper, Copier Paper, USB Memory Sticks, Notepads, Pens, Pencils & Highlighters)

Yes it is bad that one did bad, but G-d doesn’t wants the person to be punished – He wants them to do teshuva and better their ways.

Because a person did bad in one area of life it does not mean that they are evil. They fell into the trap in one area of life. A person can be evil in one area of life but righteous in other areas. Because someone stole some paper clips it doesn’t make him into a high scale criminal. Even a person who does evil regularly – G-d does not want their death – he wants them to improve his or her ways. This is what we call teshuva. (Repentance). You can Start a New Page in Life. Repentance – according to the RAMBAM / Maimonides – is 4 different steps: 1. Regret the Misdeed, 2. Confession to Hash-m about it, 3. Stop Doing the Misdeed. 4. Commitment not to do the deed again.

Can You make amends?

Is it something repairable or replaceable? If you stole your friend’s cookie and ate it – buy him or her another one. Let them know and make amends – and make back your friends.

Be wise! Apologize. It’s Better than replaying the same guilt trip in your mind over and over.

Once a bag merchant cheated people by giving them less bags than said in the packaging. Instead of giving buyers 100 bags as said on the box – he would give 96. People wouldn’t pay attention. He felt badly for his misdeed and decided to start anew. He decided to make up for cheating people he would pack more than 100 bags in each box. After his Teshuva – A big company was looking for a bag distributor. They decided to check the number of bags packed by various bag manufacturers. They counted the bags he provided and he got the contract.

Intentional or Unintentional?

An unintentional misdeed is not as bad as an intentional one.

Ask: Was the deed done intentionally or unintentionally? Intentional is that one knows it is wrong but did it anyway. Unintentional can be that you thought it was permitted or you made a mistake – ie, you took a coat that you thought was yours.

Feeling Badly for Misdeed is a Good Sign

If you feel badly for what you did that is already a good sign – it shows that you are cognizant of good and bad. You already did one of the first steps of Teshuva – regret (see above).

Don’t Do Something Worse than what you did!

Unfortunately we hear in the news people who kill themselves because of their doing a misdeed or even being accused of a misdeed. The suicide is worse than the misdeed itself. One who did something bad should go see an orthodox rabbi and talk to him about how to go about Teshuva process.

Killing oneself is one of the worst deeds. Why? Because killing a person is forbidden. Killing a person who is close family is worse. Killing oneself is even worse.

So don’t do a deed that is worse than what you already did. Improve yourself. Commit not to do it again. Say sorry to the people you hurt. Make amends and say sorry to Hash-m and continue your life as a penitent person.

If a person does Teshuva from fear of punishment – G-d forgives their sins. A person who does teshuva because he or she loves Hash-m / G-d and is upset that they went against Him – their sins become mitzvot (merits).

Three People are Forgiven All of Their Sins

Aside from people who sincerely repent – three others receive forgiveness – one who reaches a new position of greatness (ie, they become a ruler), a person who gets married and a person who converts to Judaism. These three people take upon themselves new responsibilities in the world and G-d gives them a clean slate to start with.

Both Jew and Gentile receive a portion in Olam HaBa / The World to Come / or Heaven based upon their deeds in this world. This place is determined based upon their observance of their particular commandments as mentioned above and the good deeds they did in their lifetime. (See sources here.) Their place in the next world (ie, basement or top floor) will depend upon  their observance of these laws.

Every person who did transgress – Jew or Gentile – can Do Teshuva / Repent.

The challenges of life are to help a person to become better. Failed – by doing a misdeed? Do Teshuva. Improve and Try again. You’ll become person in the end.