The Golden Calf. Why not a lion?

Robots and angels don’t err, they can live for a thousand years without making a single mistake. Human beings, however, sin and fail and make lots and lots of stupid decisions; individually and communally. There is, however, an obvious distinction between mistakes committed by individuals and sins perpetrated by a collaboration of many people. Current day Germany is a perfect example. Continue reading “The Golden Calf. Why not a lion?”

My little War of Independence

Parenting is complicated, to say the least. It’s the lesson we learnt in adolescence; when our parents were selfish, paranoid, control-freaks. It was then, when we swore by our conscience that we will give our children all the ‘space’ and ‘independence’ in the world and God forbid not perpetuate the closed parenting we inherited. Continue reading “My little War of Independence”

Is there room for me?

Maimonides. It’s hard to finish the sentence. No praise can do justice and no words can encapsulate the magnificence of this brilliant light, eternal fountain of wisdom, and bright star in the skies of our history. He was a physician by profession, a philosopher by nature, and by heart, a teacher and student of Jewish Law. I won’t tire myself and try to write a short bio, that’s what Wikipedia is for. (Obviously, expect some inaccurate information and flawed judgement there, as you shall always.)

Anyway, in his theological defense of rationalism titled “Guide for the Perplexed,” Continue reading “Is there room for me?”

Followers?

There seems to be an unspoken objective in the world of social media, and that is to gain as many “followers” or “friends” as possible. To the blogger, or any artist for that matter,  a new ‘follow’ is not only a validation of his skills, it is a legitimization of the feelings that he is attempting to convey. Moreover, it is the sense of approval that motivates the poet to sing, the writer to write, the musician to play and in our case the blogger to blog.

Continue reading “Followers?”

God’s Wall

One of the greatest privileges of living in Jerusalem, is that you can visit the Western Wall at any given time for just $1.75!

The Western Wall is a small remnant of the majestic Herodian wall that encircled the Temple Mount. The wall served as a fortification for the Temple, but more importantly, it was the border of the common world and the Divine. Outside these walls is the world of money, power, greed and lust; within these walls is God’s Presence, and therefore, love, charity, blessing and purity.

In 70 C.E. when the Romans conquered the Holy Land and destroyed its cities, the Jews of Jerusalem found refuge in the Temple. The people were protected by the Temple, and the Temple was protected by the mountain’s Wall. Continue reading “God’s Wall”

God’s Hide-and-Seek Game

There’s a Hasidic tale related, of the Holy Ba’al Shem Tov (The Master of the Good Name), that his two grandchildren, Baruch and Ephraim were playing hide-and-seek. Baruch hid behind a tree and eagerly waited for Ephraim to start his search. Ephraim, however, wasn’t in the mood of searching, Continue reading “God’s Hide-and-Seek Game”

Preperation

I saw my friend Benzion walking around lost in his thoughts. I approached him curiously and inquired what he was meditating about. He took a sip from his coffee and with a smirk on his face he told me:

“Before doing a good or deed for man or God, it is crucial to prepare your soul; mentally and emotionally. When doing something virtuous with spontaneity, the effect on your soul will disappear as fast as it came. However, the preparation doesn’t always have to be before the action; you can prepare afterwards, too!

I’m preparing myself for some charity I gave this morning!”

Benzion

Continue reading “Preperation”

The Story of Lonely Faith

As our patriarch Jacob prepared to depart from this world, he summoned his son, Joseph, the vice king of Egypt, and his two children Ephraim and Manasseh for final blessings. Jacob then exclaimed to Joseph: Continue reading “The Story of Lonely Faith”

Milestones and Stumbling Blocks

“One who has one hundred craves two hundred. When he acquires the two hundred, he craves four hundred. Therefore, no one dies with [more than] half of his wishes in his hand” (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 1:13)

Us humans, are by nature satisfaction-craving beasts. We cannot survive without purpose, and living by that purpose is what gives us satisfaction. The purpose depends on what every person feels to be his calling. Continue reading “Milestones and Stumbling Blocks”

Jacob’s guide to emotional health

In the Book of Genesis, the bible relates of the confrontation of two long estranged brothers. Jacob escaped from his parents’ home in fear of his brother Esau from whom he’d robbed their father’s final blessing. Now, when the scene is set, it is thirty-five years later and Jacob heard rumors that his brother is coming to meet him, so Jacob sent messengers to get exact details: Continue reading “Jacob’s guide to emotional health”