LESSONS OF JUDAISM

 

Perspective

†† WhenI was 6 years old, my father brought me an inexpensive balsa wood glider.This was the greatest gift I had ever gotten, a treasure!I was so excited.The next day I took it outside to fly for the first time.I was thrilled.Outside our row home was a large grass area.In the middle of that area a manhole cover stuck up a foot from the ground.†† That day a group of older boys were standing around the manhole.I launched my new plane on its maiden flight.It arced beautifully in a wide circular path and came to rest squarely in the middle of the manhole cover just as one of the teenagers was sitting down.†† A few seconds earlier or later and all would have been fine.Instead, the exact second when he was sitting down it landed under him and was ruined.The loss that I felt was terrible.Itís first flight and five seconds later my greatest treasure was gone.

 

†† The purpose of creation required that G-d separate for Himself the Jewish people and give them the Torah.All the events of history and writings in the Torah are for this one purpose.†† In the same way, each individual soul has a purpose for being here.The primary goal is to keep the entire Law.In addition, within a lifetime each soul has a focused mission that it needs to achieve to eventually fulfill the whole.1

 

†† Every event in oneís life, every person one comes in contact with has a reason.G-d is continuously creating the world and He puts those events in place.2All these have a hand in shaping the person so that the soul has the opportunity to fulfill its focused mission.††

 

†† Life is not a series of random events.G-d is fully in charge.Even the bad things

that happen.There is a mission.He sets the circumstances and sets the storyline so that the soul has the chance, within the story line, to achieve that mission.For example, one soul may be raised within an anti-Jewish environment and its mission is to choose Judaism, against all odds.†† Another is given the opportunity to show compassion to a person he was raised to hate.

 

†† A few years ago I walked into a building in an unfamiliar section of a nearby town.I was grabbed by four strangers and tied up so that I could not resist.One of the men took a knife stabbed me.He cut a slice of flesh out of my hand that caused a loss of blood and required stitches.It is a terrible story.But, it was a doctors office and he was removing a cyst from my handFrom that perspective it was actually a good story.††

 

†† Oneís circumstances can seem good or bad.It doesnít matter.Those are the circumstances created for that soulís chance to achieve its purpose.What was the purpose of my plane being crushed?It had the whole field to land in.Why land right under his tush at that split second?Perhaps G-d wanted me to feel that small loss so that I would develop a sensitivity to the loss of otherís or a sensitivity to listening to Him.It doesnít mean I am greatly sensitive but maybe without that little experience perhaps I would be quite insensitive.

 

†† People tend to look at this life and as if that this is all there is.This life is just the current mission.As Iím writing this, my son is struggling with high school math and physics.I am trying to help him understand that this is not the end of the world, it is just a semester.This year happens to have subjects that are not his strong area.So even though it is really difficult now it is just a small part of time, not his whole life.

 

†† So, it is with all hard times in this life.The bad times are not the book they are just a chapter.

1. Lessons in Tanya, Ch 1.

2. The Way of G-d (Derech HaShem) 4:9:1

 

TOPICS

 

Growth

Equilibrium

Find a Good Teacher

Judaism, A Religion of New Beginnings

Knowledge and Wisdom

Never Give Up

Our Greatest Teacher

Progress

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Truth; Our Most Powerful Tool

Value of Routine

Relationship: To G-d

Dishonoring Torah

Feeling Close to G-d

G-d Wants the Heart

Incomplete Offering

Time Spent

Whole and Willing

 

 

Prayer

Answers to Prayer

G-d Will Answer Your Prayers

Most Effective Prayer Offered

Purpose of Prayer

Why Prayer Services Arenít More Entertaining

Role of The Jewish People

(Purpose of Creation)

Eternal Life

Everything is Connected

G-dís Hidden Presence

Key to Success

My Part

Our Actions Change the World

Revealing the Concealed

Why the Animal Soul Controls the Body

 

 

Relationship: To Another Jew

Harbor No Enmity

Practicing Forgiveness

Spouses

Who Are your Victims?

The Soulís Mission

Just Right

Leaving a Mark on the World

Perfect Family

Perspective

Repair Your Part

 

 

Relationship: To Community

Charity Given With Joy

Love Every Jew

Mitzvah of Giving Up

Single Entity

Special Role of the Baal Teshuvah

Unity From Acceptance

Whole Story

Trust and Faith

Choices

Choosing for a Purpose

Donít Put G-d in a Box

Faith

Stick With G-d

 

 

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