► Show Top 10 Hot Links

Posts Tagged ‘Spirituality’

~Open Thread: Friday Evening Edition~

by WrathofG-d ( 44 Comments › )
Filed under Judaism, Music, Open thread at July 31st, 2009 - 3:14 pm

As a break from the regular (usually depressing and negative) news, we deal with all week, I offer a chance to add some light to the darkness, and positivity to this world. (or at least the Blogmocracy)

(Explanation of lyrics)

In the Shema prayer, Jews say, “You shall love God with all your heart, with all your life and with all your possessions.” This is a commandment to be willing to give up even our lives and our possessions in the pursuit of meaning.

The Jewish Sages explain that for some people, their money is more valuable than their life, so the Torah needs to state both. There are plenty of people who are willing to give up their lives for their money.

How many people do you know who are spending so much time making money that they have no time to actually “live”?

Each one of us knows deep down that life itself is so gorgeous that all of its bothersome details just pale into insignificance. At the same time, so many of us feel that we are just not tapping into that goodness. We know there is so much more out there that we are just not experiencing, so much we are missing out on.

The only way to engage fully in life is by doing exactly that: Savor every bite food; focus intently on the warmth of the sun on your skin; see the goodness in those around you, and love them for it. Even savor changing your beautiful baby’s diaper. It’s all there to be enjoyed. Life is rich, so rich, that even its most mundane aspects can be heavenly.

Unfortunately, the effort of enjoying life is often so great, that we would rather not bother. The effort of really focusing in order to fully experience the joy of living is such a hassle that we just mindlessly go through the motions. Deep down we know we are missing out when we do that, so we have to find a way to convince ourselves that we really are trying to find fullness in life.

The most common distraction from truly enjoying the living is the pursuit of money. We convince ourselves that once we have enough money, we will be able to enjoy life in its fullest sense. Quite obviously, this is not a means for engaging in life. It is merely a sophisticated excuse for not doing so.

Don’t just chase money for the future, chase life now! TIf you want to enjoy life, you have to take the effort to enjoy the “now” – not build toward some sort of wonderful future where all will be so much better. Life is rich for you now. Life is full for you now.

Don’t let the pursuit of a better life be an excuse for not living that better life right at this moment.

{The Source Article}


For the Jews who keep it, have a wonderful Shabbat.  For all who do not, have a joyful weekend.  Enjoy this open thread!

Adultery: Is It Really That Bad?

by WrathofG-d ( 29 Comments › )
Filed under Judaism, Open thread, Religion at February 13th, 2009 - 12:48 pm

This Saturday is not only Shabbat for the Jewish people, but it is also Valentines Day. A day when we, as a society discuss, celebrate, and emphasize love, and commitment.   Therefore, below is an article on these topics, which I considered exceptionally thought provoking.  I hope you do as well.

So, as I do every Friday, I wish you all a meaningful Shabbat, and a wonderful weekend.



Why is Adultery So Bad?

(Thank You: Aish HaTorah)

Some years ago a rabbinic colleague of mine in Chicago was giving a class on the Ten Commandments to a secular audience. Not one given to apologetics, he staunchly defended the death penalty the Bible prescribes for adultery. The rabbi argued that society as a whole, even today, would be a much better place if adultery was a capital crime.

Everyone in the class vociferously disagreed, saying that the Biblical punishment was too harsh. Except for one young man who sat there silently. This fellow had suffered through horrible teen years in large part because his father had been involved in an adulterous relationship. When he spoke up, all he said was “I see nothing wrong with the Torah’s penalty.” His words brought the rest of the class – who knew of his background – to immediate silence.

* * *

This week’s Torah portion, Yitro, tells of the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. Why did God single out these ten? In analyzing the Decalogue, many commentaries note how the Ten Commandments focus primarily on relationships: between God and man, between man and man, between children and parents. Central, to any successful relationship is fidelity, loyalty. Without that, any relationship is bound to flounder.

Let’s examine some classical commentaries on the commandment prohibiting adultery.

Nachmanides (13th century Spain) describes our relationships as a “ladder of love.” He says that a person must first love himself before he can successfully love his spouse. Then, if he has formed a solid relationship with his spouse, this will help develop his relationship with the Almighty.

The converse, however, can also be true. A man who is disloyal to his spouse will most likely be disloyal to his God as well.

The Midrash Mechilta says this idea is alluded to by the placement of different commandments on the two tablets. The seventh commandment, the prohibition against adultery, appears opposite the second commandment, “Do not have other gods before me.” Suggests the Mechilta, this positioning is not accidental. It is to hint to us that one who is disloyal to one’s spouse will eventually be disloyal to God.

* * *

Another Midrash observes that the Hebrew word for adultery, “tinaf,” can be split into two words, “ten af,” which translates as “giving anger.” The Midrash explains that adultery is an action particularly abhorrent to the Almighty – which particularly invokes His anger. The hallmark of the Jewish People has historically been the stability of family life. One who commits adultery violates and ignores this hallowed tradition.

Rabbi Avraham Ibn Ezra (12th century), says that adultery also violates the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Adultery is a grievous sin against one’s neighbor – treating the neighbor in a way that one would not want oneself to be treated.

Maimonides explains adultery in powerful, eternal terms. He says that the entire purpose of creation is to establish “Shalom Bayit” – harmony between husband and wife. The adulterer destroys that harmony and, in the process, undermines the very purpose of creation.