Permission

I believe that G-d wants us to find the joy in wonder in every moment of our lives.

Might it be that the more we give ourselves permission to be in that state of joy and wonderment, the closer we will be to Hashem?

The Kosher Cheeseburger

Rabbi Shai Cherry notes in his lectures that th prohibition against mixing meat and milk only applies to Kosher meat.

Of course, that does not mean that cheeseburgers are back on the menu for observant Jews: after all, we’re not supposed to be eating non-Kosher meat in the first place.

 

A Prayer.

Baruch Hashem for reminding me that, even in the dark hours of the night, everything is going to be alright.

Praise the Lord, He is my Rock and my Staff.

He is the Star by which I guide my life’s voyage,

and through His Torah, the other hand upon the wheel of my ship.

Beyond History

A rejoinder I frequently offer to those who would discredit our faith on the basis of a perceived conflict between religion and science:

Speaking for Judaism, the truth in Torah lies at levels far deeper than its objective historicity.

Propaganda

If only Israel would demonstrate to the world’s satisfaction the nature of the Palestinian/Islamist Reality Distortion Field. The propaganda chiefs of the PA, Hamas, IS, and Iran make Joseph Goebbels look like a rank amateur.

A point on the politics of Israel

There should always be a place in Eretz Yisrael for both the Haredim and for the secular socialists. But no group, however well-intentioned, should ever be able to hold hostage the entire nation. Such a situation places the Holy Land on a path to another fall, and another tear-filled journey to a new Babylon.

Two Good Things from Religion

If you are a grateful graduate of Oxford University or Yale University, even if you are an atheist, thank G-d before you thank the alumni and teachers. Because if it were not for G-d and the faiths that worship him, your alma mater would not exist.

Have a nice 4th of July weekend, and a Good Shabbos

“Needs are looked upon today as if they were holy, as if they contained the totality of existence. Needs are our gods, and we toil and spare no effort to gratify them. Suppression of a desire is considered a sacrilege that must inevitably avenge itself in the form of some mental disorder.”

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
Insecurity of Freedom

A Thought with which to Start the Year

“It is customary to blame secular science and antireligious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion, its message becomes meaningless.”

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
Insecurity of Freedom

Torah, Science, and the Sanhedrin

“The members of the Sanhedrin were commanded not to let any science, whether real, imagined, or conventional, escape their knowledge. This included forms of magic and languages. How was it possible to find at all times seventy scholars of this level, unless learning was common among the people? If one elder died, another of the same stamp succeeded him. It could not be otherwise, as all branches of science are required for the application of Torah law.”

The Kuzari

Judaism and Asceticism

“The Divine law does not impose asceticism upon us. It rather desires that we should keep the equipoise, and grant every mental and physical faculty its due, without excess, since excess in one faculty will come at the expense of another. A person who tends toward lust, blunts his mental faculty; and the opposite. A person who is inclined to violence, injures other faculties. Prolonged fasting is not an act of piety for a person who succeeded in checking his desires and is weak in body. For him, pleasure is a burden and self-denial. Neither is limiting one’s wealth an act of piety, if the wealth is gained in a lawful way, and if its acquisition does not interfere with study and good works.”

The Kuzari

Shabbat in China

“Thus the Sabbath begins in [the eastern border of] China eighteen hours later than it does in the Land of Israel. For the Land of Israel is situated in the center of the inhabited world.”

The Kuzari

If that’s true, then I’ve been doing it 24 hours early for as long as I’ve been in China. I am assuming that there has been a p’sak issued to the contrary, having us work from commonly accepted time.

Either way, Shabbat Shalom!