АКТУАЛЬНЫЕ ВОПРОСЫ: An open discussion about the issues that matter today

In Avot, Rabbi Shimon ben Gamaliel observed “It is not the study of Torah that is the essential thing; it is the doing of it.” What should that mean to modern Jews?

Rabbi David Saperstein from the Religious Action Center responds:

To many Jews, the “doing” of Torah remains the doing of the 613 commandments as prescribed by rabbinic law. To far more Jews, the doing of Torah is living their Jewish lives: working for Israel’s security; fighting anti-Semitism; engaging in the forms of worship of the various streams; strengthening Jewish learning; and engaging in social justice.

My own view is that as we stand at a crossroads of Jewish identity, we must embrace, celebrate and legitimize all these diverse expressions of doing Torah — using them as gateways to reach Jews where they are and bring them into the fuller Jewish community and Jewish life. To reduce doing Torah to observance of traditional mitzvoth and thereby delegitimize those КТО do Torah in these other ways, is to limit the future strength, vitality and robustness of Jewish life.

Rabbi Steinsaltz's View img fail

The mitzvoth (“commandments”) provide the content of what it means to be a Jew. Like the abundant, complex leaves and flowers of a tree, their manifold, seemingly disparate forms actually comprise a wondrous КТОle: the derech, or way, of Torah.

We can, and should, respect and encourage those engaged in a sincere search for the Divine no matter where it takes them. But I believe it’s an empty promise to suggest that any and all means can get them there. If everything is “doing Torah” then nothing is.

  • Poteaux


  • Poteaux

    Positive action.

  • Poteaux

    Through tradition.

  • Nathalie Thuillier

    For me doing torah is very difficult. It is first try to know to study, second not to do others what you dont want to do to us and it is difficult and praying


    John 5:39. and Heb.10:5-9, Psalm 40:7. Thanks.

  • Jossefperl

    I accept the view from Kabbalah that the 613 Mitzvoth are the “corrections” to the 613 parts of our desire, to acheive Dvekuth. Doing Mitzvoth is doing internal work not external actions.

  • Chaya Gross

    Torah is “instruction” on how to live, for all of humanity, not just for Jews. As Jews we have the responsibility to “spread the word”. The word being G-d’s instructions О НАС how to bring the world back into harmony, shalom(КТОleness). Torah is the law, and then there is the spirit in which we express the law. This is where individual style and creativity come into play.
    However we dare not try to change the laws as we are only the keepers, not the Creator. Once we begin to change the law, it and we become something else and division is ultimately the outcome. We are one nation, and Torah is the bottom line.

  • Michael sheber

    Expanding the definition of doing Torah is a good thing. Similiar to the differant ways we pray to God.


  • http://twitter.com/ruthschapira Ruth Schapira

    The expression “Doing Torah” assumes that there is a conscious choice to integrate Torah ideals into your life. That alone means that you’re aware of the connection between that activity, you, and mitzvot. Doing Torah assumes a mindfulness О НАС connecting yourself to all what Judaism has to offer: culture, tradition, history, Klal Yisrael. You can’t be a Doing Jew unless you’re a Choosing Jew.

  • Fig

    It is not just the leaves and the flowers of a tree, but the fruit that one creates that is important. It might be easy to be the spring leaf, early in the season. But can you stay the course, until you produce the chosen seed of Torah? A tree is made up of many parts. It must hold on through all seasons. When the winter chill takes all seeming life from the branches, one must wait. The sap will rise again. Life will come from the roots. Endure, Unite, Stand firm and together for right, and good and holy. The Master of the Universe is in control. Have faith in that.

  • Arikleiner

    Doing is to joint to Torah with the world of today

  • Baruch38

    Some of us without a true Torah background at least try Tikkun Olam in our life styles.

  • sunny abarbanell

    I would like Jews to work towards EQUAL Jusitice not Social Justice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Yoseph-Schreiber/100000483627021 Yoseph Schreiber

    A person must receive a radiance from above that will open their eyes to the beauty of faith. After that it must be nurtured by a humble search for truth. In the end they will find that the G-d of above is the G-d of providence here on Earth, the G-d of the conscience, and the G-d in the Five Books of Moses.

  • Norman Sider

    I think Torah, i.e.,instruction,is much more than the “the law” or “the mitzvot”. Were Torah no more than laws then Chumash could have been limited to a list of laws similar to compilations of secular laws. Certainly its narratives also instruct us how (and often how not) to live. The Talmud, too, (including Pirke Avot in the Mishnah as well as the numerous non-legal discussions of the Sages of the Gemara) should be part of every serious Jews curriculum,because this material as well can help us find the right way.

  • David

    I recently paroled from prison. I put myself there but G-d said, “While you’re out shopping I have a few errands I’d like you to do for me. A man came to my door last night and told me he had no food. I went back to bed thanking G-d for the opportunity of helping this man. I work with Christians КТО passionately want me get baptized. I am kind to them showing through example what it is to be a Jew without saying anything that will lessen their faith. I think the statement, “Lord of Hosts, Happy is the man КТО trusts in you” is very true. I know that even Jews КТО speak against Israel and other Jews are still Jews and one of us. I think the Torah is a gateway to transcendence, a gift, an invitation to a relationship with the Divine.

  • Linda

    I’m not smart enough to know the full definition of “doing Torah”. That’s what teachers are for. You need a teacher because when you’re on your path many will try to dissuade you and you need a teacher to bolster you in whatever you choose to do.

  • Richard Joachim

    I disagree with David, one is not a Jew irrespective of how one acts (that seems to me to be a Nazi definition of what constitutes a Jew. For me – Jew is as Jew does – and a non-faithful Jew is no Jew at all. Having just survived a category 5 hurricane (we call them cyclones here, we live in far north Queensland, Australia) the fiercest storm ‘nature’ can throw, I can tell you that our ‘faith’ sustained us through the event. I was saying Shema at the height of the storm in expectation of a storm surge which would have gone right over the top of our house. We were prepared for death as we had missed the evacuations. Outside the taped up window there was a curtain of lightning strikes and the constant noise of 250kms winds and the crashing of uprooted and broken trees as they crashed against the house along with dark sky and torrential rain. My mind immediately went to the description of Sinai and what we were experiencing was so like. The wind is low like a very extended shofar blast and the sea screams as it is churned, like a multitude of peoples in fear. (We live 200 metres from the ocean.) What could have been a time of great fear was, to my wife and I, a religious experience, and we are both post 60 not given to juvenile imaginings. We do our best to ‘live the Torah’ and that sustains us.

  • Poteaux

    I believe rabbi Steinsaltz says that the best way to fight evil is to promote good.

    When torah becomes easy, then possibly one is lost. Torah can be as simple as a smile to a passing stranger. Or perhaps a smile to yourself. Promote the good, inside and out. Thanks Nathalie

  • Judy Holzer

    To me, doing Torah is “La-Asok B’Divrei Torah”… to busy yourself with learning Torah, teaching Torah, doing appropriate things for Tikkun Olam, and reaching out to others. Moreover, allowing yourself to feel the spiritual connection in whatever you do connects each of us to ” Na-Aseh V’Nishma” (we will do and we will hear, or pay attention), which is what B’nai Yisrael said at Mount Sinai.
    Just the study of Torah is not enough to create Tikkun Olam (healing the world).
    Doing Torah also means action … could the sea have parted without Nachson ben Aminadav walking into it with faith?

  • Esther Sarah Evans

    Rabbi Gamliel also said that an antidote to sin is combining Torah study with an occupation and that all КТО exert themselves for the community should do so for the sake of Heaven. Rabbi Akiva emphasized the supreme importance of the abundance of good deeds. Likewise Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah explained the rootedness of one КТОse good deeds exceed his wisdom. The reference for what is good, though, is in the 613 Mitzvot, which include everything – The Torah is Etz Chaim – a Tree of Life to all КТО hang onto it – By this we can live and not die. The one КТО learns in order to practise (the verb is with “s” in prescriptive English) will, according to Rabbi Yishmael bar Rabbi Yose, be given the means to study, teach, observe and practise. It is a package deal, no matter how little or how much we can do. A Jewish life cannot be separated from HaShem, Torah Mitzvot or HaShem’s creation – human and otherwise. We aspire to as much as we can with HaShem’s help, and the best way to guarantee more scope is by living here in Eretz Yisrael and doing everything in our power to hasten the time when we again have a Beit HaMikdash and can live truly Torah lives. КТОever knows from the Gemara what miracles were performed for us and what privileges we enjoyed during the time of the First Beit HaMikdash and even the Second will understand that. As long as we observed and practised, our borders were also safe, and we had no need to fight wars. Judaism is not О НАС pluralism; it is О НАС peace and unity by observance, practice of what HaShem gave us in His Torah – and as He said, it is not over the sea, but very near to us within reach of each and every one of us. Let us start by observing Shabbos and being granted what we read every Shabbos at Shacharis. That way to peace is something only Jews can go – each and every one of us – all of us together – a light to ourselves and the КТОle wide world. Let’s DO IT – RIGHT NOW.

  • David

    Thanks for sharing such a moving experience. I don’t know where to draw the line in order to exclude fellow Jews. I hope you leave the door open for them to walk back in. You inspire me to live a more holy life.

  • Poteaux

    An individual needs to find their own path in torah, their part of the “tree”. It’s perhaps a quest for ones personal obligations towards community.

  • Richard Joachim

    Thank you for your kind words David, I’m not sure that we deserve such praise. Some have called me a fierce old man; when two years ago, I was honoured to be appointed a ‘judge of Israel’ – on the panel of 3 – and heard confessions of our fellow Jews, I took the role very seriously and didn’t just read the Siddur responses. A woman and her husband ‘confessed’ that they made money by reading Tarot and calling down ‘spirit guides’ in seances and telling fortunes. I told them they would not be forgiven until they had destroyed (not sold or given away) all their occult objects, cards etc., and they must approach any they had deceived and beg their forgiveness and make restitution wherever possible to those КТО’d paid them. I ordered them not to enter a synagogue or any Jewish religious assembly until they had done these things, otherwise they had disinherited themselves from the Community of Israel and, had I been a judge in Temple / Sanctuary times, I would have ordered them to be burnt to death – the penalty for occultism and ‘consulting the dead’. They did as I, and the mitzvot, required and they were welcomed back, chastened and humbled but now returned to a state of ‘holiness’. Another КТО turned up as our temporary Yom Kippur shul was a young Israeli soldier on leave. I noticed he had an obscene tattoo on his arm and he almost proudly said he had got it here in Australia during his leave. I pointed out to him that tattooing was forbidden to Jews and that he should have it removed – regardless of the tattooing, it was deeply offensive. He had thought it just a bit of silliness he did when drunk and was mortified when I pointed out the mitzvot to him. (Poorly Torah educated!) As a soldier, he said he would have the offending tattoo removed by his fellow squaddies when he got back to his unit, using the old-fashioned way of burning it off with a red-hot blade. Told him such painful action wasn’t necessary but he wanted to be faithful and punish himself for his stupidity – told him that self-harming was also discouraged in the Faith of Israel. That young soldier could have been my grandson.
    So David, it’s not that one is permanently excluded, but it’s up to them to ‘come back’ in a humble and contrite manner. HaSHEM hates excluding anyone, and that included goy as well as Jew. Our G*D wants all to live, and live in a fulfilling and joyous way. You can’t do that when (excuse the Australianism) living like a pig rolling around in sh*t.
    It’s one week now since the storm and our little house survived with minimal damage though there is destruction all around us and we currently have a sea of sewage beside us in what used to be a lagoon, and we see that as a metaphor for living a Torah life. G*D Bless and keep you, David – from an old Levite in the jungles of tropical Australia.

  • Yocheved52

    While we find truth in the above answers, you can also see the individuality in each comment. This brings me to a point: “To Do Torah”, may have a commonality to it, that we must strive to follow the Torah of course, all 613 Mitzvot, however, each person is a universe within the universe. Being so, each Jew will bring out the elemental factors of the Torah, that brings out the living of it, in expressions that only HaShem can give the intellect to that person, to accomplish within that particular individual what He desires to do within them for the world. This brings us together as ONE as the Jewish people, and the beauty of the Torah . So to say that any “one “, can do Torah completely, maybe not, but together we weave a tapestry of the Jewish story, that is still very much alive and well today. Thus, having accomplished Tikkun Olam for our generation, and the generation to come.

  • Joan

    Doing the Torah is very similar, if not the same thing, as the Christian being told by Messiah Jesus in the New Testament book of James 1:22-25 ” But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But КТОso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” In other words, it is one thing to read the Torah, but it is another to remember what you read and apply it to your life. This makes the Word come alive and active in your life and ultimately you will be blessed by God.

  • Shel Haas

    The Torah is the physical being of a direction man took in knowing God. Belief in God is mental first and then physical. It is a mental process through which you first express belief in the one God and in both sets of his commandments. All that is in the present Torah scroll was not originally there. If one studies only Torah, one cannot fathom that fact. If one reads the books of Joshua, Samuel, and Kings, that becomes clear. The Present Torah scroll presents a religious practice that evolved over the years. Mosaic Judaism is very different than Rabbinic Judaism. Under the guise of an Oral Law, additions and subtractions and changes were made in the Written Law. Rabbis through the ages have questioned this man-made version of Judaism. They, however, by threat of death or excommunication, have chosen silent obedience as their path. With today’s freedom of expression and the availability of multiple sources, one can determine the truth regarding the relationship between God and man. Despite the claims of the Sages, each generation that succeeded theirs has been smarter in so many ways than they predicted. Theirs was a limited knowledge. As great a Jew as Saadia HaGaon was, he stated that the earth was the center of the solar system!
    Are my fellow Jews aware that atonement can be made for the sum of one Shekel? Are they aware that Melchizedek was God’s first priest and that we know that his line of priests continued in King David’s time? Rabbinic Judaism seems to omit what is in the Torah! Study Torah along with the books of History and Prophecy and read what it really says not what someone interprets it to be.

  • Gulko

    Without, Heaven forefend, intending any disrespect to the learned Rabbis, what they postulate is somewhat daunting. I recall the comment: Loe baShamayim Hu” (or was it Hee)
    Each person can start the process of tikun ha-olam in the home – in the relationship between husband-wife. I suggest that if I can attain “coupleness” (a term I have coined) I have started the process of healing.
    A state of coupleness that is attained when two people each feels that her/his number one priority is the welfare, happiness and contentment of the other

  • Poteaux

    Thank you Rabbi Saperstein

  • Lopes

    There is just one Torah, and this words are the Words of YHWH. We must to do just one thing: obey. Not my own ideas, or yours ideas, but the Torah of YHWH. Shemah, Israel! all of Torah are shorted in two teachings: 1) Love YHWH above all, and 2) Love your neighbour like yourself. Do it all seconds in life. Yes, it was the teaching and real life´s exemple from the rabbi Yeshua from Nazareth. Simple to understand, impossible to meet by myself.

  • Lopes

    Thank you Chaya, it was very meaningful to me.

  • Shel Haas

    I wish people would stop speaking in generalities they have heard from others. The Torah contains the words of God and the early history of the Children of Israel. There were no Jews at the time. There is no instruction in the Torah regarding any other group but the Children of Israel. The Ten Commandments inscribed by the finger of God are specific to the Children of Israel. The Ethical Commandments delivered by Moses orally to the people are general in nature and can be applied to the general public, but there is no command to do so. It is amazing how generalities are used and specifics are negated through man’s interpretation of what he thinks the Torah means!

  • Jimmie

    I must acknowledge that I am somewhat disturbed as a student of Torah by the general orientation and direction of much of the discourse on this question; but at the same time I see great potential in the general idea being put forward IF it is approached from a TRULY Torah-based standpoint, the latter representing what ultimately distinguishes the Jewish people from all others. For instance, have we become so contented with the socio-historical results of the Jewish Emancipation and Haskalah—i.e. the Jewish Enlightenment—that we have forgotten how the so-called “Orthodox” Jewish lifestyle at one time not to long ago—a few hundred years—WAS Jewishness, at least as seen by the MAJORITY of Jews AS WELL AS outsiders to the Jewish community? Are we so comfortable with modern secularism that we have forgotten how that this distinctive way of life was the single most important social-historical contributor to Jewish survival by Hashem’s mercy and wisdom and for thousands of years BECAUSE it—the Halachah—kept the Jewish people and way of life from being culturally absorbed and assimilated into OBLIVION? It is one thing to express openly our feelings О НАС the problems and, hopefully, prospects of incorporating traditional Torah life and study into our more “mainstream”, “post-industrial” existence and quite another thing to trample on the very thing that preserved the community over thousands of years.
    To go further, I challenge ANYONE in this forum to read the entire Torah which you may interpret as consisting of, solely, the 5 books of Moshe and the Oral Torah OR by extension the entire TaNaKh and then pronounce that they did not find an ABUNDANCE of material ALREADY apparent on:

    1. Anti-Semitism—for example, refer to the entire Megilla and the passage on Moshe slaying the Egyptian.
    2. Israel’s Security—see, for example, the story of David and Goliath. David was not even a Soldier when he defied this giant heathen warrior.
    3. Strengthening Jewish learning—for example refer to the КТОle story of Ezra and Nehemiah’s leadership in instructing the people PUBLICLY in Torah.
    4. Engaging in the worship of various streams—see for example the story of the Rechabites and Hashem’s profound spiritual evaluation of them.
    5. Doing Torah as being limited to the 613—a must read, the first chapter of Isaiah which sadly is grossly misinterpreted by Christians.
    6. On Social Justice—there are an overwhelming number of places beginning with Father Avraham’s discourse with Hashem concerning his intentions regarding Sodom and Gomorrah.

    The point of all of this is to make clear that the Torah had ALREADY anticipated the need being expressed in this forum concerning the outreach to the multitude of streams of Jewishness and that the concept being advanced here is really not a new innovation but a principle of the Torah. The reforms and innovations of the Men of the Great Assembly is an historical example of how Jews in every generation have had to adapt the Torah to new and changing times. However, it is critical of all Jews not to trample on the profound distinctiveness of the Torah. If we sacrifice the UNIQUENESS of the Torah in order to achieve an EXPANSIVENESS—really Greek in orientation—that breaches its limits then we destroy it. How, for example can the following text have veracity if the Torah is made socially, ideologically, intellectually, etc., ALL INCLUSIVE?: “So that you may remember and perform all My commandments and be holy to your G-d”. The clear teaching of the Torah is that in manifold ways, when Israel keeps Hashem’s commandments they are in fact distinguished from all nations of the Earth for a purpose that involves every creature on Earth in service to the Creator.

    Finally, and I am out of time and space to get into this, it disturbs me how much of the language and rhetoric being used on this question is really Greek as opposed to a Hebrew sense and view of reality. In short, in the same way Christians ignorantly use terms like atonement, god, commandment, messiah, Bible, salvation etc., and assume in the discourse that the Jewish student is interpreting them in the same way that he or she is, it seems that many people in this forum are using Greek sense in the same way to talk Torah, without realizing the differences.


  • Petersundwall

    To Do Torah, I think is in the meeting between every man, In the human interaction.
    We have hundreds of mitzvots and rules to follow and no one is expected to follow the all. It´s all up to the understanding and wisdom of the singel man to behave in accordance with the Torah and the words of G-d.
    It is a challenge with amazingly rewards for the one КТО try.

  • Poteaux

    Some things are simple in form and difficult in practice. This can be especially true when emotions are at play. Possibly some things are difficult in form and easy in practice. So in this way, education (intellect) is key.

  • Poteaux

    The dictionary describes arrogance as exaggerating one’s own importance. If true, would it not mean that this person has no fear of God?
    And to correct one with no fear of God might one think that he has the power to do so?
    Is it true that only God can own his own power and might?
    So to correct an arrogant person would he not also be arrogant?

  • Fany Gerson Lipnizky

    We have to breakup two issues; ones we have the action of ” doing the Torah” and second ,the objects of this action.
    I consider that, “Doing the Torah” is a very complex topic.
    In one point of view, is a personal-intellectual experience and involves two actions: learning and teaching.
    Also, is a social experience; it develops in a “community of learning”, the RAB-MORE/ TALMIDIM/TORA gather in an interactive experience.
    Moreover, is a cultural experience; because is part of our Jews “masoret” of learning and teaching.
    We know that, there are different levels- methods in the experience of learning and teaching the Torah, “Pshat”, “Remes”, “Drash “ and “Sod”. The results of “Doing the Torah” will depend of the level of comprehension that each one will achieve in his /her community of learning.
    The objects of these actions are the Jewish LAW , the mitzvoth and how we apply them in the different cases of our daily life.
    I agree that “doing the Torah” is not only studying the Torah, it involves two actions, “lekabel” u “limsor” in an active way.

    In Avot, we learn… “Em (anshei kneset agdolá) ambru shlosha devarim: Evu metunim badin, beemidu talmidim arbe, veasu siag latora”…

    Shavua tov!

    Fany G. L, from Argentina

  • https://merseyme.wordpress.com/ Hadassah47

    To Me the Torah is a Daily walk with Yahweh. When Yahweh created us he gave us that innate desire to want relationship with him. When we arise in the morning we should ask; Yahweh what can I do today to please you?
    Torah is our daily instructions for how we live, how we treat each other, communing to see how he wants us to do our daily life and most of all to teach US КТОm we are in YHVH! I know that I am a woman, however Yahweh, my Elohim does commune with me in a very special way, then, I see him in a New and Precious way, each day of my walk in him, the Written TORAH (TENAKH)

  • Poteaux

    When the arrogant man is punished,the simple are the wiser;
    when the wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.

    He КТО corrects an arrogant man earns insult;
    and he КТО reproves a wicked man incurs opprobrium.

  • Shel Haas

    You should have a daily walk with God and that has nothing to do with the Torah. We are not on this earth to please God. God gave us the ability to think for ourselves. We decide our paths. We decide right from wrong. God gave us two tables of stone inscribed which contain the basics by which to live a perfect life. All the rest of Torah is history based on recollection! The first word of the Torah, if the vowels are placed differently than those of the Masorites means ” in my head”, which is ЗАЧЕМ it is written in the third person!

  • Petersundwall

    It´s through the Torah that we communicate with G-d, That is the plan for us Jews, the people of Israel.

  • ChaimSheiner

    without the beit hamikdash there wll be antisemitism and leftists КТО are worse than moslems. The rabbis are guilty for not building the beit hamikdas ait laasot laHashem heifeiru drabanan КТО say there are no authentic cohaneem, we cant give truma w/o para aduma and are not doing para aduma and КТО say we cant start a temporary beit hamikdash anywhere other than har habait.

  • Richard Joachim

    Since when did this become a ‘Christian’ and ‘Nilist’ site? I note that many of the comments here are not Jewish at all. You can bet your bottom dollar that Jewish comments (if there are any) are removed from ‘Christian’ web discussions. I find the ‘Christian’ religious imperialism quite offensive and there should be no place for it here.

  • Petersundwall

    I can´t see that there are that many unjewish notions on this forum. Instead I think that many jewish souls are in exile and it is very hard to grasp from their words wether they have any connection with their jewish souls or not. This I think is also the case with many “religious” jews. The level of ascent doesn´t differ that much between orthodox and secular jews it´s mostly the direction of interests and action in the world that gives it a different face.
    Believe me, for instance when I say that no jewish soul would give in to idolatry, He would rather die than surrender his Torah. And that is equal for religious as well as secular jews, irrespectively how little the spark is. That
    you should know living in the secular australian empire

  • Petersundwall

    I´m very suspicious О НАС people КТО judge КТО´s a jew and КТО´s not. It can´t be nothing else but a bitter old man with poorly understanding of human conditions and jewish conditions too, for that matter, КТО decides КТОm has a part in the jewish fold and hereafter. I e КТО many jews doesn´t judge his fellow man by his name means does his heritage go back to biblical times or has he changed his east european jewish name to something more acceptable in the western world, or i e are a jewish boy less jewish if he doesn´t have his penis circumsized. Forgive me but the jew themself are as prone to stereotypes and fixed images as the antisemites are. And I highly dislike when someone judge a fellow jew and even talk О НАС exclude Him.
    This is not the way of G-d, and this is not the way of the jew.

  • Petersundwall

    To do Torah, I think an easy access way to begin is to celebrate the shabbat. To learn how to seperate the shabbat from the weekdays. There are some easy steps as lightning of candles, reading the welcoming prayers for the shabbat and also on the shabbat day go through the sayings of our fathers, Pirke avot. It´s a beginning. By hand you learn what is appropriate and what is not.
    I would say that shabbat is a blessing and it´s a feeling of turning the skin insideout, whatever worries and trifles you have on the weekdays is now lifted from your shoulders and there is nothing to compare with the shabbat to describe the feeling of joy, to be a jew and to be one with G-d and his family.
    To beginn celebrating the shabbat I think is a beginning to do Torah.

  • Poteaux

    Thank you for your post. It is something of which I should pay more mind. Thank you. :)

  • Poteaux

    Thanks Chaya Gross…
    Shalom! :)

  • Poteaux

    Proverbs 19:8
    He КТО gains intelligence is his own best
    he КТО keeps understanding will be

  • Poteaux

    Education is key. A month’s worth of anti-depressive medication cost $4 US.
    Tardive Dyskinesia is a potential lifelong side-effect. Pray, pray, and pray some more.

  • Petersundwall

    I pray for you I know what you are talking О НАС. Still sometimes it takes alot to break the dullness of the heart, but don,t forget the joy to be a jew.

  • Poteaux

    I had marked your post as liked as per the joys of life. And there are advances in the history of mental illness treatment. Thanks.

  • Poteaux

    Without knowledge even zeal is not good;
    and he КТО acts hastily, blunders.
    A man’s own folly upsets his way,
    but his heart is resentful against the Lord.

  • Poteaux

    Proverbs: 18,20
    From the fruit of his mouth a man has his fill;
    with the yield of his lips he sates himself.

    Everyone must accept the consequences,of benefits or harm, which his words produce.
    Thanks Aleph Society and best wishes on the new format for this year. Hear, Oh Israel!

  • Leslie Fuchs

    If being a Jew means to be involved in more or less advanced mental masturbation, it might be of interest to charcters with that kind of needs. They can be seen in all religions, in political parties and other ideabased activities.
    Still: To do is important!
    But the dominating doers seem to be more or less dishonest, using the good values in religion as an alibi. Especially the Jews are very good in allowing themselves a life far from the very good Jewish values there are. Israel is only one example.
    Freedom is to be able to “Sei a Mensch”
    And of course is to “Sei a Mensch” in no contradiction to be a Jew, even though there are today serious conflicts among Jews.

    Maybe man is no better than a more relevant picture of reality shows.
    The more relevant picture can only be obtained with the necessary distance the engaged never have.

    Stockholm Sweden

  • Patrick R. Sweeney

    I think that what you call advanced mental masterbation is what I would call a need to percieve and yes we can find these people everywhere. Possibly this is more prevalent in Judaism but one must remember that Judaism is very much like a flowing river, one that doesn’t stop for the СОБЫТИЯ of the day.
    I believe that what we find in Rabbi Steinsaltz is a conscience of sympathy that leads to action, a brillient example of good in which emotion, not reason, leads to action.
    I hope he dosen’t mind me saying such a thing. I personally am almost all emotion and longing for people to know that they can show me their hearts. I am not alone in this, and neither are they.
    After being traumatized in life, trust is such a difficult thing. The Lord is One.

  • Patrick R. Sweeney

    Today is my birthday. I’m 48. Happy birthday to me! Thanks Aleph Society.

  • Patrick R. Sweeney

    I must say this, after going through the СОБЫТИЯ of my life as such an emotional man, had it not been my coming across the intellect and reasoning of Adin Steinsaltz I would be dead.  Of this I have no doubt.

  • Poteaux

    If it is true that emotion is the initiatory factor in action, whether right or wrong action, then taking anti-depression medications, which tamp emotions, leads to inaction, be it right or wrong.

  • Poteaux

    20:5 The intention in the human heart is like water far below the surface,
    but the man of intelligence draws it forth.

    20:6 Many are declared to be men of virtue:
    but КТО can find one worthy of trust?

    20:9 КТО can say,” I have made my heart clean, I am cleansed of my sin”?

  • Poteaux

    Should our Lord, Blessed be He, have placed the Torah into the hands of any other people than those with a need to percieve? It strikes me, dare I say, as nothing short of Divine.
    Thanks Aleph Society and friends.

  • Patrick R. Sweeney

    I feel it to be true that I am seeking a home, and it’s one that cannot exist, not in this world, at any rate.

  • Patrick R. Sweeney

    If a person would like to know what it is like to be emotionally Aware in this world today there are two words……..unmitigated horror. If you have any questions bring your checkbook.

  • Patrick R. Sweeney

    In case anyone is wondering I am Poteaux, that is my nickname. I was trying to protect myself against the wrath of these catholics that surround me. But I don’t feel good О НАС that, I’d rather die, standing alone in my truth. I have little doubt that they would rather kill than face their inner truth.
    I live in Louisiana, USA. Give it your best shot!

  • Patrick R. Sweeney

    Proverbs 27:3
    Stone is heavy, and sand a burden,
    but a fools provocation is heavier than both.

    Forgive me Rabbi Steinsaltz, I will return to my books.

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