"The world was created for me" (Talmud - Sanhedrin 37a), and
"When will my deeds reach the level of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?"
The Torah attitude is that we are obligated to be aware of our greatness. Feel proud that you are created in the image of the Almighty. Pride in the elevation of your soul is not only proper, but is actually required.
Love Yehuda Lave
I returned August 15 to Jerusalem after a 16 day absence from Israel. I visited over 100 synagogues, graves and holy spots throughout Czech and Vienna, along with castles and tourist spots. My friend the Cabalist, says like the Bal Shem Tov, I was gathering up the holy sparks of Jewishness that has been trapped there and bringing the spiritual energy back to Jerusalem. I hope I have accomplished that goal, but I know for sure that I brought back lots of pictures. There are too many to share at one time so I am trying something new and sharing them day by day as experienced with a 16 day delay. I will repeat this introduction each day. I have been studying Jewish history and Israel in my time in Jerusalem, but the history of the Jewish people in modern times from 1492 to 1945 was in central Europe where the majority of the Jewish people lived. It is worth studying and knowing about and by sharing it with you my friends, I hope I am expanding your knowledge as well.
The Lowest bidder
As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind - every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder. ~ John Glenn, Astronaut and Senator
When the White missionaries came to Africa, they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land. ~ Desmond Tutu, Cleric and theologian
America is the only country where a significant proportion of the population believes that professional wrestling is real but the moon landing was faked. ~ David Letterman, Entertainer
I'm not a paranoid, deranged millionaire. God dammit, I'm a billionaire. ~ Howard Hughes, Influential figure in the aviation industry
The only reason they say 'Women and children first' is to test the strength of the lifeboats. ~ Jean Kerr, Author and playwright
I've been married to a communist and a fascist, and neither would take out the garbage. ~ Zsa Zsa Gabor, Actress and socialite ************************************************************* Courageous Progress Choose to focus on the progress you are making. You have infinitely more courage now than you did when you were born. Since each courageous act makes you a more courageous person, by focusing on progress, you will almost always feel that you are increasing your level of courage. This perspective will give you the encouragement to continue developing this quality. Even if you feel that you are backsliding, you still have made progress from the place where you were when you started your journey in life. --Yehuda Lave
Czech Polna Rabbi House and synagouge and Unesco Zdar nad Sazavou Castle 080818
Stare Into The Eyes Of The Mantis Shrimp
Mantis shrimp are known for their powerful punch; but we personally get lost in their eyes. With more color receptors than us, and divided into three bands that allow for depth perception from just one of their eyeballs, the independently controllable eyes of the mantis shrimp are some of the most stunning in nature, and a truly ocular rift from the way we perceive the sights of the sea.
A person does not sin unless he is seized by a spirit of folly (Sotah 3a).
Some people try to defend a misdeed by claiming "temporary insanity." The Talmud is telling us that while all wrongdoing does result from temporary insanity, people are still held accountable for their behavior.
No sane person would do things that are self-destructive. Small children who do not know any better may eat things that are harmful, but when adults submit to temptation and eat things that are harmful, they have essentially taken leave of their adult senses. This form of temporary insanity accompanies every wrong act.
Civil law does not accept ignorance as a defense, and although Jewish law does consider ignorance a mitigating factor, it holds a person responsible for being derelict in not having obtained the requisite knowledge and information necessary to act properly.
Jewish law holds that while true psychosis may be an exonerating factor, a non-psychotic person is capable of overcoming the "temporary insanity" that leads to wrongdoing. The Talmud states that in evaluating any act, we should calculate the gain from the act versus the loss it entails. A reasonable person will conclude that a brief pleasure of indulgence is certainly not worth the price, whether it is in terms of negative physical effects or of spiritual deterioration. People are certainly accountable for failure to exercise their reason and come to correct conclusions.
Today I shall ... ...
exercise my rational powers to avoid making foolish decisions, especially when subjected to temptation.
"And you shall love the L-rd, your G-d, with all your heart" (Deuteronomy 6:5). Why does the Torah use the word "l'vavcha," which implies plural hearts, rather than "libcha," which clearly means one heart? The Mishnah (Berachot 9:5) answers: "You should serve G-d with BOTH your inclinations- the good inclination and the evil inclination." Rabbeinu Yona in his commentary on the Talmud explains this as follows: "When a man does not have mercy on the wicked and is cruel to them, he performs a great mitzvah and worships G-d with the evil inclination."
The foundation of foundations of Judaism is ol malchoot shamayim, the acceptance of the yoke of heaven. A mitzvah is EXACTLY that. A COMMANDMENT. Not an approved thing; not a thing that was mulled over, considered, and then agreed to, but a commandment from the Almighty. Do! Don't! Regardless of your approval or disapproval. To smash the ego and harness it and limit it and bend it to the will of G-d.
That is, of course, the exact opposite of what I call "Saulism," after the first king of Israel, Saul. Concerning the words in I Samuel 15:5 "Va'yarev ba'nachal," the Rabbis (in Yoma 22b) explain that Saul "struggled," i.e., he struggled with himself over the commandment to wipe out Amalek, saying, "If the men sinned, why the women? If the women, why the children? If the children, why the animals?" And a voice from heaven called forth, "Do not be overly righteous."
Saulism. The inability to accept the standards of mercy and cruelty that G-d has laid down. AS G-D HAS LAID THEM DOWN. The inability to accept the yoke of heaven because of personal views and concepts that are at odds with the Torah.
That Centrist Orthodoxy is the heir of Saulism is beyond dispute. Let it never be forgotten that Saul, according to tradition, was a great scholar, av bet din of the Sanhedrin. This did not prevent him from sadly falling into the sin of following his own views and concepts and ideas concerning morality and ethics. He defied the L-rd, refused to bend to the yoke of heaven, because his heart and mind were shaped by other views and he could not accept what he considered to be the immoral and unethical command of G-d. That is the original sin of Centrist Orthodoxy, too. And as one pours over the myriad of sources that clearly show Judaism's commitment to the hatred and wiping out of evil, one is appalled at reading an article by Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, an eloquent spokesperson for Centrist Orthodoxy, as he tells Jews:
"I know how hard it is for Jews to be self-disciplined and suffer the intifada until the Arabs learn that it will gain them nothing. Many a time, I, too, am tempted to say that perhaps only Rabbi Kahane's way is the road we will have to take. He can base his militancy on Biblical texts. But it is not the truly Jewish way. It is the way of bringing G-d down to the level of man. Our goal must be to bring manup to G-d's level. We MUST continue to be patient, obedient to law and even forgiving. It is a slow road but the only G-dly one."
Few statements in my recent memory are more deliberately fraudulent and hypocritical. It is precisely the Saulists of our time, as so keenly represented by Rackman and Centrist Orthodoxy, that bring G-d down to man's level because they pervert Torah and create it in their image. They, the ones who have been so sadly perverted by worship and adulation of the secular, non-Jewish, gentilized college and university courses they embraced, find it spiritually impossible to accept Torah values that are at such odds with what they call humanism. It is THEY who drag Torah and G-d down to THEIR level, and it is precisely those Jews who accept the Torah commandments without hesitation and queasiness of soul and intellect who raise themselves to His level.
Centrist Orthodoxy, the continuation of Saulism, is the greatest ultimate danger to Torah verities and purity. And as it becomes ever clearer that they are a retreating camp with less and less of a future, they will become more desperate in their attacks on authentic Judaism (which they call "ultra-Orthodoxy") and more radical in their accommodations with right-wing Conservatism, with whom they have more in common than they care to admit.
Written in The Jewish Press 1989
Where Does Gold Come From?
The fascinating extraterrestrial origins of one of earth's most precious metals:
See you tomorrow
Love Yehuda Lave
Rabbi Yehuda Lave
2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego United States