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Category Archives: Why is Life Unfair?

The Unique Teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

Even if you are not Jewish, I highly recommend taking the time to read some of his teachings, because, although they were written in the middle of the 19th century, the message of Rabbi Nachman’s teachings are still applicable today.

If you want to skip this little introduction to who Rabbi Nacham is and why he is special…you can go directly to the first chapter that I have posted. “Easy Money, Chapter 1“…otherwise keep reading.

Rebbe Nachman, a great grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidic Judaism, breathed new life into the Hasidic movement by combining the esoteric secrets of Judaism (the Kabbalah) with in-depth Torah (Old Testament) scholarship. He attracted thousands of followers during his lifetime and his influence continues until today.  Rebbe Nachman’s religious philosophy revolved around closeness to God and speaking to God in normal conversation “as you would with a best friend”.

Rebbe Nachman lived at a time of controversy between Hasidim and more traditional Orthodox Jews, known as Misnagdim (opponents) for their opposition to hasidism. It was also a time of friction between Hasidim and proponents of Jewish emancipation.  During his lifetime, Rebbe Nachman also encountered opposition from within the Hasidic movement itself, from people who questioned his new approach to Hasidut.  Many within the Hasidic movement felt that Rabbi Nachman’s teachings deviated from classical Judaism and from the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov.

The reason that I chose to write about this particular Rabbi (spiritual leader) is because I feel that his influence set the stage for a different understanding of God and our relationship with Him.

In fact, the primary commandment (or mitzvah) that Rabbi Nachman stressed was the mitvah to be happy.

If you have read any of my other posts, you might know that I was once an “Orthodox Jew”, but because I felt that there was too much contradiction within the community and logic did not override ritual…I made a very difficult decision (which took a lot of guilt and pain to come to) to discontinue my affiliation with “Orthodoxy”.

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Easy Money, Chapter 1

Everyday, I am going to post a chapter from a publication that the Breslov community in Brooklyn puts out which is based on the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.  I will add my two cents on the bottom of the post and those of you who have a few more cents to add….please feel free.

Even though Rabbi Nachman was a Hasid, his teachings are applicable and potentially valuable to all of humanity

Visit my post “The Unique Teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov” for a little introduction to who Rabbi Nachman is and why he is special.

Easy Money, Chapter 1

“The ability to earn a good living, comfortably is determined by a person’s awareness of G-d.  Those who fail to recognize G-d’s decisive role in their destiny, including the realm of finances, senselessly overwork themselves, always in strenuous pursuit of another buck.

But when you feel a pervasive sense of G-d’s presence in your life, then you casually assume a relaxed attitude towards earning your livelihood.  You will attend leisurely to your business, confident in G-d’s generosity to provide, as He does universally for every creature lart or small.

When you’ve identified in your mind that it is solely G-d who determines a person’s financial status, irrespective of human device, then you’ll realize how needless it is to overly strain yourself to eke out a living, for aren’t there an infinite variety of ways that G-d can furnish Man with support?

G-d will shoulder your financial burden and you will never be lacking at His philanthropic hand, if you would just accept the reality of your utter reliance on Him for everything.”

My commentary:

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Calling All Atheists

Honestly, I am intrigued by how proclaimed atheists think

I understand that it is very hard to believe that we were sent to this earth to live in misery and then get punished some more afterwards by what religions call a “merciful” G-d.

I understand the need to feel that we have some of our own power and the opposition to putting all of one’s faith in a power other then themselves.

I understand the discrepancies that exist within organized religion that might make someone uncomfortable with the entire movement.

I understand the need to incorporate tangible reality, like science and history, into the concept of life as we know it as well as what is not known.

I understand the need to dismiss the idea of a Being that we can’t see that we are to be submissive to.

I understand the idea that it may appear that humans may have concocted the entire idea of a “God” in order to maintain control of the masses.

I understand that religions tend to dismiss obvious realities (dinosaurs, evolution, big bang theory, the age of the earth etc..) based on Biblical teachings and that just does not make sense.

But what I don’t understand is how atheists come to a solid conclusion that there is no such thing as The Life Force of the Universe…..

How can a person be so sure that there is not an original, a first and only one force (energy) in the Universe that ALL OF US came from.

This theory does not contradict reason in anyway.

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Should We Continue to Pressure our Kids to go to College?

I know that many people will disagree with me on this subject…..but I think it is time to stop putting so much pressure on our kids to go to college.

Yes, I do realize that college has the potential to increase the opportunities that our children have in their life, presuming that they do well, but college also has the potential to destroy their lives.

Even CUNY colleges are going to rack up about a $30,000 bill by your kid graduates….and college tuition is not a money back guarantee.

If your kid does not find a job in their chosen career, they will be in the same position as everyone who didn’t go to college is in…….having to find any source of work that will pay the bills.

The only difference would be that they had to invest at least $30,000 dollars to find this out.

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To Live a Purpose Driven Life – Part II

Cont from “To Live a Purpose Driven Life – Part !

………..So I wrote a book.

When I wrote the book, I did not have making money in mind.  In fact, I left it on a free website for about a year and forgot about it.  I figured to myself that there is no way I can convince anyone that they don’t have to listen to what other people tell them, I can only hope to provide an inspiring resource to others and if they choose to read it, then great….other than that, I can do nothing else.

One day I woke up and my desire to share my knowledge with others was overwhelming.  This desire was just as strong as my desire for to cheat on my husband when my husband was not fulfilling my need for love and acceptance.

I became “depressed” the same way as I became “depressed” when I felt unloved by my husband.  I needed to fulfill my desire and I couldn’t understand why I was not able to.  How was I going to get my words out?

I started by completing my E-book formatting so that it could be submitted for “premium distribution”, which means that it would be distributed to Barnes & Nobles, Sony, Apple, Amazon and some other outlets.  I also decided to charge a small fee, because I felt that I needed to consider it worth something and by charging money for my creation, I was putting value on it.

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To Live a Purpose Driven Life – Part I

How can we lead a purpose driven life if we don’t even know what are our purpose here is?

I, of course, cannot tell you what your purpose is.  Each of us have our own unique purpose.   But what I can do is express how it feels when you know that you have figured out what your purpose is and what it takes to fulfill it.

I did not know my purpose – or even think I had a unique purpose – until the age of 35.  At this point in my life, I ran into a wall and was unable to figure out why so many things seemed to be stacked against me – even though I really felt like I was doing everything the “right” way.

I was very responsible to my job and family and I was the kind of person that tried to be “good” all the time.  I was always helping others out and I had a strong fear of G-d.  I was afraid to do things “wrong” because I might get punished by G-d.

But……is there a person on this earth that doesn’t do something  that is “wrong”?

I ended up doing something very, very wrong……

I cheated on my first husband.

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Comments Off on To Live a Purpose Driven Life – Part I

Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Definition of "Sinning", How to Live a Purpose Driven Life, Knowing Yourself, Making Smart Choices, What is our Purpose?, Why is Life Unfair?

 

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What it Takes to Build a Marriage that Works

I ran into an interesting thought yesterday while perusing various blogs and reading lists….

“A woman needs to love her husband a little and understand him a lot..and a man needs to love his wife a lot and understand her a little..”

(You can read the rest of the post here: Boy Gets Fucked Throughout Life)

I thought about how true this statement is.

I can only judge based on my own relationship and I have no problem saying that in my case…this is very handy concept to understand and apply.  My husband figured it out early on that all he had to do to keep me loyal was pile on the unconditional love – despite the occasional “Crazy Triggers” (stole this term from a post called One Step Away from Crazy ).  He understood that he didn’t really have to understand me so well, because sometimes I don’t even understand my self that well, but that all he had to do was accept that I have my moments as a woman and keep on loving me.

Eventually, because he invested so much time into loving me, he eventually won my trust and then required me in return to understand him and his needs.

Which I was very willing to do in return for his love.

The only thing that I want to add to this thought is that the responsibility of establishing the quality of the relationship falls on the man.

In other words, since women must try to understand men in order to appreciate them and, thereby, respect them (which is ultimately what men want from us)…a men must first make sure that we trust them enough to try and understand them and respect them.

I love to compare modern day psychology to understandings from ancient text.  The creation story in Genesis gives us a hint that this dynamic exists when we think about the fact that Adam was created first and Eve was created for the benefit of Adam.

God created everything before Adam and then Adam was created to rule over the earth and all its inhabitants.  It also says that God created Adam in His image.

This concept has been a mystery since the beginning of time and much commentary has been written about this…..but I want to suggest another perspective.

I think when God created Adam in His Image, God wanted to create a being that could enjoy the feeling of giving.  Since God doesn’t have a physical “image”, the “image” that the Bible paints is that God is giving. It is a conceptual “image”.  Man became the physical form of that image.  Man is the giver.

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