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?”
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”
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”
The morning sun breaks through the density of the dark forest night, signaling to me that another day dawned. A day like the many that preceded, one of ceaseless search and hopeless attempts of finding my out of this lonely nightmarish forest, to the Promised Land. The map I acquired was insufficient for it was written in old letters and the diagrams seemed outdated. So I decided to find the path on my own, Continue reading “My Dilemma”
They say “a picture speaks a thousand words”, regarding my tapestry I say: the needlework speaks millions of words. To the visitor in my home, the needlework is a beautifully knitted picture of Kever Rachel (Rachel’s Tomb). In our tradition Rachel is the ultimate mother of Israel, the mother who cares and cries for her children, as the prophet says: Continue reading “The Story of a Tapestry”
One of the foundations of the Jewish faith is the commandment of repentance. In fact, our sages teach that repentance is so great that it preceded the creation of the universe (Tanchuma Naso 11). This statement clearly implies that repentance is a prerequisite for the existence of the world; otherwise, it could have waited until after creation. Indeed, it did not take long for man to appreciate the urgency of repentance, for just a few hours after creation, he disobeyed the only commandment he was given. Continue reading “In thy mouth and in thy heart…”
Appreciation is a weird thing. It defines the quality of a human being. One who shows gratitude to the gifts and blessings he receives, is a humble and decent person. And the opposite is one who feels entitled. The ironic twist to all this, is that we tend to appreciate the rather smaller gifts than the bigger ones. Continue reading “Appreciation: Rashi”
It all started many years ago, shortly after we reached adolescence. We were innocent, pure, and clean; our feet walked the path in the direction of heaven. Not long after we embarked on our journey, we curiously studied the surroundings of our path, and that is when the trouble began. Side roads breaking off our path appeared every few meters; they overwhelmed us with their excitement and pleasure, their glamour and beauty. As hard as we tried to stay true to our path and its destiny, the side roads enticed us to change our ways. At one point or another, we succumbed to their seduction and abandoned our path. Months, years and decades passed with lightning speed but we were too drunk to feel the passage of time. One day, we awoke like a drunkard from his wine; we looked around and wondered where we are, how did we get there, and then worried of the final destination to where these roads lead us. Continue reading “Self-Control: Step One”
“Man comes closer to God through the questions he asks Him, he liked to say. Therein lies true dialogue. Man asks and God replies. But we don’t understand His replies. We cannot understand them. Because they dwell in the depths of our souls and remain there until we die. The real answers, Eliezer, you will find only within yourself.” (Moishe the Beatle, Night ch. 1)
The book of Job is not an easy one to read. It is a story of a righteous man tested by God to almost unbearable limits; he then rebelled against God by cursing the day he was born. Following is forty chapters of heated debate between Job and his three friends about justice and fairness in God’s judgement. Job relentlessly questions the ways of God and rebuts all the defenses offered by his friends. Continue reading “Tribute to Elie Wiesel”