A person cannot break his inborn personality. But everyone has free will to choose how he will act within the basic structure of his personality. Whether you will be righteous, evil, or average - it's up to you!
As the Talmud (Shabbos 56a) states: A person born with a tendency to shed blood makes his own choice as to whether he will draw blood for healing, or as a robber, or as a butcher, or as a mohel (ritual circumciser). That is, the choice of how to express your basic personality is the key factor in determining your greatness (or lack thereof).
King Solomon (Proverbs 22:6) instructs us to "train children according to their individual natures." When your approach is in alignment with the child's personality, he will continue in this positive path his entire life. If, however, you try to force the child (or anyone, for that matter) to act in a way that is inconsistent with his basic nature, he might listen superficially out of fear. But as soon as he can escape your authority, he will turn away from what you have taught him.
This concept is so valuable, that it is worth reading it five times - to internalize and remember it.
By: Moshe Feiglin Published: March 28th, 2016 Latest update: March 23rd, 2016
MK Moshe Feiglin
I was once a member of a panel at a Jerusalem symposium on religion and state. Next to me sat Anat Hoffman, the chairperson of the Women of the Wall.
“I oppose any type of coercion,” I explained to the crowd in the room, “whether it is religious coercion or secular coercion.”
“Can you give us an example of secular coercion?” someone in the audience asked.
“Certainly,” I answered, and pointed to Anat Hoffman. “Anat Hoffman is a walking example of secular coercion.”
“Me?” retorted the astounded Hoffman.
“Yes,” I answered. “The Western Wall is almost one kilometer long. They have been offering you every possible place for your prayers. But you insist on forcing yourselves on the traditional worshippers. What can be more coercive than that?”
Prayer at the Western Wall is not what the Women of the Wall and parts of the Reform community want. They have already been allotted an appropriate and extremely picturesque place for their prayers (called Ezrat Yisrael) next to Robinson’s Arch at another section of the Western Wall – and it remains empty. There is no reason to believe that after another 40 million shekels are invested to make a plaza there similar to the size of the current plaza that it will suddenly be filled with Reform worshippers.
There are approximately 40 Reform synagogues in Israel, as opposed to approximately 50,000(!) traditional synagogues. When a fly demands his share of food equally with an elephant, that is not a compromise and not equality. It is coercion.
The new agreement reached between Israel’s government and the Women of the Wall does not achieve an arrangement (which already exists, as stated above). On the contrary, it will create a new battle arena. Where will the IDF soldiers hold their swearing-in ceremonies? (I can already see the appeal of the parents of the Reform soldiers to the High Court) and the rest of Israel’s official ceremonies? Into which section of the wall will the president insert his note with prayers? Why did they bring the visiting foreign VIP to “their” Wall and not to “ours”?
Incidentally, here are a few facts about the Western Wall: The Western Wall is not holy and it is not a remnant of our Holy Temple. The Western Wall is part of the expansion project of the Temple Mount undertaken by Herod. The famous saying of our Sages, “The Shechinah has never left the West wall” refers to the western wall of the sanctuary of the Temple, itself – certainly not to the retaining wall of the Temple Mount. There is no such thing as “Jewish law of the Western Wall” because according to Jewish law, the sanctity of the Western Wall is no different than the sanctity of the Jerusalem Convention Center. The truly sacred place, according to Jewish law, is above the Western Wall, on the Temple Mount, which we have abandoned to the Muslims.
The Western Wall is a sentimental place for Jews. Over the past hundreds of years (before that, Jews prayed in different places) it has absorbed the prayers and longing of Jews from all over the world. As such, it is certainly precious to our nation. Historic value, personal and national sentiment – yes. But not sanctity and not Jewish law.
The place where Jewish law is trampled upon on a daily basis is just a few steps from the Western Wall, at the truly sacred site – the Temple Mount. Approximately half the commandments in the Torah can be fulfilled only there, on the Mount. Some of those commandments can be performed even if the Holy Temple is not built. Tragically, the Temple Mount has become a place for Arab soccer games, picnics, incitement, and ISIS.
This situation on the Temple Mount does not seem to disturb the Jews – neither the religious Jews nor those of the other denominations. All of them prefer to abandon the site of our Holy Temple to wild Islam and to bicker down below over the plaza at its feet.
About the Author: Moshe Feiglin is the former Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.
A man's tears
A touching story - make sure you read it to the end
Be sure to read this to the end. Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life.
As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country.
As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man, I didn't stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.
I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play. The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man.
And as I played "Amazing Grace", the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head was hung low, my heart was full. As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen anything like that before, and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."
Apparently, I'm still lost.... it's a man thing.
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Romani (Gypsy) Camp at Mill Street near Coes Pond, 1904, Worcester, Massachusetts. Photographer unknown.
Cowboys Around the Hoodlum Wagon, Spur Ranch, Texas, 1910
Some of the toughest, bravest people we know of. They gave it their all to go west and start a new life. This wagon train is in eastern Colorado in 1880.
Omaha Board of Trade in Mountains near Deadwood, April 26, 1889. It was created in 1889 by Grabill, John C. H., photographer. The picture presents Procession of stagecoaches loaded with passengers coming down a mountain road.
This is a stunning photograph from 1862. The image shows a Civil War Ambulance crew removing the wounded from a battle field. It shows a horse-drawn ambulance, and the Zouave uniforms of this unit.