Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Truth is Never Sexy.... It's not an Easy Sell...

We were watching a Netflix movie called "Security" starring Antonio Banderas.
There's  one  scene where an eleven-year old girl is running for her life from a psychopath.
 She makes it to a mall in the middle of the night and frantically begs the security guards to let her in. They unlock the doors, let her in, and a little while later a normal looking gentlemen comes to the locked mall doors saying he is looking for his daughter.
He looks and sounds believable.
But what kind of security guards would just believe the guy?
Antonio Banderas,  the over-qualified security guard just so happened to be having his first night at his new job. He knows the man is not the father. 
The man offers the guards a bribe to hand over the girl to them.
 He offers them a lot of money ....

The truth becomes obvious this man is NOT the girl's father. Acknowledging that truth may cost the security guards their life. 
The psychopath has a large supply of helpers and weapons so it will take a miracle for the security guards to stay alive when the mall becomes the battlefield.

I remember another famous movie scene where Jack Nicholson is on trial in a courtroom. When he is asked for the truth he says "You can't handle the truth!"

So the plot thickens.....how will the security guards handle the truth? Will they give the girl to the evil man? Will they take the bribe?
Think "Die Hard".
You know the answer.

Then there's that guy, Neo, in "The Matrix". Neo is given the revelation of truth and then has the choice to accept it or live in a false reality - the famous red pill or blue pill scene.

Every day in our prayers we thank God for giving us His Torah of truth. He took us out of the false reality of being slaves in Egypt and gave us the opportunity to reach our full potential as human beings.

Every day we thank God for our ancestors who had the guts to leave Egypt and receive the truth on Mount Sinai. There has been trouble ever since. It's a miracle we are still alive.

Like in the movies, the easier path is to just believe the lie - take the bribe, turn a blind eye, take the blue pill.

Our first obligation to our heavenly father is to recognize and know Him. False religions tell us to just believe. Belief means you accept what you are told without understanding it, without questioning it.

It's tempting to just believe. Life is a lot simpler when no questions are asked.

Next time you ask a question about God and are told to just believe, think about the security guards and the eleven -year old girl. Think about your moral responsibility to the vulnerable children of future generations and use your intelligence to recognize and know who your heavenly father really is.

We are thankful to our ancestors because they were a few good men who could handle the truth. They were not thinking only of themselves but of all future generations. They are the heroes in our life story, our personal movie. They preserved the seven laws given to Noah for all the nations of the world. They knew a day would come when people would start asking for the truth. The nations are beginning to notice the supernatural existence of Israel and turn to Jewish educators for answers.

The time is ripe for every person who walks the earth to recognize and know the truth given at Mount Sinai, recover it if it has been lost, protect it, and pass it to the next generation. Learn from the people God has miraculously kept alive for this very purpose. Understand why there are still Jews on this earth today, against all odds. The miracle is for you!

Monday, October 29, 2018

....But Joy Comes With the Morning!

Stand-Up Comedians famously lead with  one-liners or stories that look like they are headed one way....and then....there's that unexpected twist at the end that startles, takes us by surprise, and makes us laugh. 

In his Ted Talk, "The Power of Laughter", comedian Steve Mazan, told of his experience  performing for military troops. He described laughter as a "Reset button for the soul".

God obviously thought laughter was a key ingredient for a great story and an amusing way to bring blessings to the world.

This week in our Torah portion we were introduced to our forefather, Isaac, which means "he will laugh". 

Almighty God chose to create a nation starting with 100 year-old Abraham and 90 year-old Sarah. Their child's name is a symbol for joy/unexpected/ laughter inherent in the story of the Jewish people.

Isaac is a symbol of laughter because his very being is a surprise, nothing short of ridiculous. His existence and the existence of his descendants (Israel), is in opposition to all natural conditions of cause and effect and in opposition to all the laws of World History.

According to Jewish tradition, the 12 months of the year correspond to the 12 tribes, the 12 constellations, 12 parts of the body and the 12 powers of the soul. Laughter is the power of the soul that corresponds to the month of Adar( February-March). Adar alludes to the greatest possible laughter, the celebration of life snatched from impending death.

Every year in the month of Adar we celebrate Purim, the date slated for our demise which, obviously, since we are still here, didn't happen. Instead, the Jews went from being a hated people to a nation the gentiles wanted to join.

Unfortunately, the notion of killing millions of Jewish men, women and children is still as real today as it was 2,400 years ago in the story of Purim.

We are incredibly saddened to hear of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.
This tragedy happened during the week our family collectively read the Torah portion about the birth of our forefather, Isaac.

From the beginning of existence to its end, mankind should grasp the concept of the miraculous existence of the Jewish people. It is also important to understand that the absurdity of evil is only allowed to exist by the free will of Almighty God.

In his article "How Do You Fight Evil", Tzvi Freeman says "Just as those possessed by evil did the wild and unreasonable.... so too, we must do kindness beyond reason."

Tzvi says this is the whole purpose of evil. It brings out our inner strength and a light so bright that "All evil melts in surrender, having fulfilled its purpose of being".

We look forward to the day when The Holy Temple will be rebuilt in the same place where Isaac's life was spared in a sudden twist of events. Through the use of foreshadowing, we can know how our story will end - in joy/unexpected/laughter and blessings for the whole world!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

We're All in the Same Boat

I just heard a story about a man who lost everything and had to start over at age 62. His name was Karl Eller (obm). In his 20's he worked for an outdoor advertising company.  After ten years he started his own advertising company. Eight years later he merged his business with a radio and television company. Sixteen years after that he became chairman of Columbia Pictures. He then merged Columbia Pictures with Coca-Cola and by the time he was 55 he had amassed 500 million dollars. That was around 1983. Then he invested all of his money into Circle K convenience stores which became the second largest chain of convenience stores behind 7/11. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) in a two or three year period he lost everything. What took him forty years to build was gone. The good news is, his story doesn't end there. At 62, he decided there was still time and he could bounce back. He learned from all his mistakes and was able to get some money together and make new investments. This time it only took him  six or seven years to become a billionaire by selling his company to Clear Channel, Inc. He was best known for his ability to seize opportunity and to give back to his community.

Life is all about false starts, wrong turns,missed opportunities, and learn-it-the hard way experiences. This is exactly the way it is supposed to be. We are not robots. Mistakes can be transformed into learning experiences so in the end we ascend higher than the angels.

I think it's interesting that even God had to start over. Something went wrong - not with God, but with His partner- man - the "wild card" in God's investment.

After ten generations, the best mankind had to offer was a guy named Noah. Thankfully we had a righteous individual to represent us in that generation. So God didn't have to start his business completely over. Instead, He did a merge.

God took the best earthling and merged him with the purifying waters of heaven. The meaning of Noah's name tells us something positive was happening in the world, "Noach" is connected to the word for inner peace, comfort and resting. When God purified the world through the waters of the Flood, heaven and earth became integrated. The merge brought the world to a place of tranquillity.

The clouds, which are formed from the mist that rises from the ground, represent this transformation of the physical into something exquisite and unearthly. After the Flood, the clouds were thinner (allowing rainbows to form), symbolising  the ability for human beings to take another stab at partnering with God to purify the material world.

Each of the colors of the Rainbow represent a righteous man who personifies or integrates a godly character trait into the physical world:

Blue is for Abraham. Abraham epitomises Kindness  -  his journey of faith became a blessing to                                                                                                           others.
Red is for Isaac. Isaac epitomises inner Strength and discipline of his body and emotions.
Yellow is for Jacob. Jacob epitomises the Beautiful Balance between love and boundaries.
Violet is for Moses. Moses epitomises Eternal Victory in choosing the God of the Hebrews over                                                                                                    other gods.
Orange is for Aaron. Aaron epitomises Simplicity in Serving God for the sake of the people.
Green is for Joseph. Joseph epitomises  Foundational Truth needed to be proactive and reach                                                                                                                one's full potential.
Indigo is for David, David epitomises Humility and a desire to constantly connect with God.

(If you would like a more in-depth mystical study about the colors of the Rainbow and integrating heaven with earth, contact us at Torah for the Nations.)

Saturday, September 22, 2018

True story....

Everybody should try this at least once in their lifetime. It would make an interesting social experiment. Go to a sporting event wearing the colors of the opposing team. Surround yourself with fans cheering for the home team. Then try and act natural.

Here's what happened to me. I sat on the Dallas Cowboy side of a football game and identified myself as a Chicago Bears fan. For every Bears fan there were about 500 Cowboys fans. It was intense.

From what I remember Dallas was favored to win against Chicago. Instead, the 1985 Bears totally dominated. By the third quarter Cowboy fans were evacuating the stands in droves. Then something "sweet" began to happen....Walter Payton (obm) inspired and captured the hearts of fans from both sides. He was fittingly nicknamed "Sweetness". It was a very cool moment of unity. Segmentation disappeared as Dallas fans cheered for # 34 from Chicago simply because he was one of football's all-time greatest players. Walter Payton and "Da Bears" had an unforgettable season! It was also a memorable sweet moment for me.

Jews make up less than one percent of the population. We live with the uncomfortable feeling of wearing the "wrong" color shirt. But something sweet is happening in the world.... Many from the Nations are showing respect and admiration for the accomplishments of Israel and the Jewish people. They are not looking to convert to Judaism but they are inspired by Jews.

I just want to say on behalf of the Jewish people that we appreciate when those from the Nations acknowledge our contribution to the world. This is a time our prophets encouraged us to look forward to; a day when barriers would drop and the Nations would respect the Jewish mission. Our identity and purpose for forty centuries has been to bring unity and sweetness to the whole world.  During our festive holiday of Sukkot we hope to bring consciousness and awareness of Almighty G-d to both Jews and Non-Jews everywhere.

A sincere THANK YOU for your support and Chag Sameach (Happy Holiday) from Israel!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

She gets that from me!

In one of my favorite movie scenes, a girl named "Baby" dances with her boyfriend, Johnny, on stage at a summer camp. The audience, including Baby's surprised parents, is delighted with the performance. Her mother nudges her dad and proudly states, "She gets that from me."

Whether its dancing, singing, playing soccer, or being a stand-up comedian, parents naturally want some of the credit when their children do well. It is the same with our heavenly parent. He made us in His image and  He also enjoys saying, "They get that from Me"

So what attributes do we get from our Creator? What do we do that makes us act just like Him?
What makes us different from the animals He made?

When I was a little girl, I must have heard my dad say a hundred times, "There's no God, what kind of God would allow all this suffering?!" He was especially upset about all the starving children and the unfairness of how wealth and resources are distributed throughout the world. My generation was the one urged to finish the food on our plate because of all the starving kids in China. My dad was loving and kind. He hated injustices. He hated to see anyone suffer. My dad supported equality, justice and human decency. The funny thing is, now I know, the God he didn't believe in, was saying "He gets that from Me".

The seven emotional attributes we get from our Creator are;

Netzach/ Victory - desire and ability to overcome evil
Malchut/ Kingdom- desire and ability to humbly transform society
Chessed/Loving Kindness - desire and ability to re-create, start fresh
Yesod/Truth- desire and ability to actualise our potential and fulfil goals
Tiferet/Mercy - desire and ability to give and receive forgiveness and blessings
Hod/Acknowledgement - desire and ability to give sincere thanks and serve Almighty God
Gevura/strength - desire and ability to stand in awe of Almighty God and His creation

These attributes are not automatic. Obviously we are not robots. Angels are like robots; they have to do whatever they are commanded. Animals follow their natural instincts. God made angels, He made animals, but He still wanted human beings. Why? We know why.