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    The picture I have choosen..

    Sunday, July 13, 2008, 12:41 PM [General]

    Smile Obviously not me but a reminder of who I am and a way to communicate my love of Torah! Torah or the "Law of Truth" as communicated to the Hebrew's in the first 5 books of the Bible is filled with deep insight into our human condition and the reality of HaShem, which means "The Name". Torah can be found everywhere as G-d is not limited and His wisdom shouts silently to every soul. Torah challenges us to wake up to the reality of the Oneness of G-d, and gives us the laws we need to lead productive, ethical, and blessed lives. Torah proclaims the Kingship of HaShem over all His creation.

    Smile "Torah" is a word derived from the Hebrew word "hora ah" which means guidance. We believe the Torah was given to us as a guide for coming closer to our Creator. The historical and scientific wisdom of the ages really does not matter when considering Torah stories, because the main focus is on RELATIONSHIP WITH THE DIVINE, not on historical or scientific accuracy. We have a saying - human wisdom is found among all peoples, but possessing human wisdom does not necesarily influence us to change our behavior - "A person possesses wisdom; Torah possesses the person." To be possessed by Torah is to be possessed by G-d, whose Spirit is in His Words, which will not return to Him without accomplishing Their purpose. What is G-d's will or purpose for us collectively and individually? We find our answeres in Torah, in His quidance, in all of the Hebrew Scriptures.

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    The Torah I have learned from one of my favorite authors.

    Sunday, July 13, 2008, 12:11 AM [General]

    The Lama Surya Das, originally Jewish has written many books I have found to be so dog gone good I have become a fan. I became interested in Buddhist philosophy when I began to see the similarities between our two mystical traditions.
    Ours being Kabbalah, of course.Laughing I hope to keep the insights I have learned by writing them down and if anyone cares to read this and comment that is fine with me.

    I will try to do this without stealing the author's words to much - going by my notes.

    Generosity is defined beautifully in the book "Buddha is as Buddha Does" hehe - what a title!

    Lama S.D. defines generosity as: a freedom of spirit or "Liberality" that does not place any barriers between ourselves and others.  The most liberated spirit we see in our Scriptures is Abraham.  He willing offered his son to G-d!  What great generosity!  What a lesson for us!  Yes, papa Abe was obeying G-d's command in the test, but to do so I think required the kind of generosity that comes from being truly liberatedHow did papa Abe get so liberated?   I think when he left his fathers house and his then home land leaving behind an "idol"  filled place to know the Onenss of G-d was a grand step towards liberation!  Yeah Abe!  This story is also about attachment - being liberated from "attachment" gives us a heart that moves towards generosity and helps us experience that Oneness.  Abe was letting go of the ultimate attachment to all his son represented with trust that we are more than the physical.  This story is really not about the slaying of another human being at all.

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    Just what is "idolatry" anyway?

    Sunday, July 13, 2008, 12:03 AM [General]

    The dictionary describes idolatry as excessive devotion to or reverence for some person or thing. It has taken me years to see the little "golden calf" or "attachments" I have had in my life.

    It never dawned on me that self-seeking could be elevated to the point of idolatry. Addictions to food or shopping or anything that is turned to for comfort can be a "golden calf", or an attachment or a self destructive habit. Not that is is wrong to find comfort or joy in life. It's the attitude, the true intention behind the seeking of something outside of oneself that can be delusional and a false "god" used to replace or in place of a spiritual connection with the Divine.

    I am learning to turn to The Divine as my source instead of trying to produce my own "high on life" experience.  Joy in living happens when I am connected with the Source of my existence instead of worrying about what I think must be my needs and wants. It is not always easy - my greatest teacher has been my Autistic daughter! In other words I am learning to grow and practice acceptance and mindfulness and to put into action the compassion I feel.  My attitude determinds  the way my Karma unfolds. I can stay stuck or I can change. Not that I have completely arrived for sure. The journey has its own rewards and beauty IS everywhere and in everyone.

    Working on my own inner healing from years of childhood and adolescence abuse has been an amazing journey. I am learning to forgive. I am learning G-d is able to give me what I need through all the teachers He has sent me, many different experiences, trials and errors and praying through what I do not understand.

    I am letting myself embrace my Healer - HaShem (the Name) - my Father and my Creator, the King of the Universe. I am still learning the meaning of "teshuva" as a Baal Teshuva. (Returning Jew) I am finding a passion for life that is not dependant on "feeling good" because of this or that thing or this or that accomplishment or this or that compliment.

    People say to me - "I don't know how you do it" refering to the care my daughter needs. They say you are so loving and have so much patience. Yeah right - I know the truth. I am learning love. I am learning patience. I do not have any more love or any more patience than anyone one else. I am learning to access what is given to all of us. I know I may not be able to do this forever - age is placing its limitations - then I will be learning to let go - to trust the right path will be given to her. New learnings may be thrust upon me.

    Back to my thoughts about Abe: I am thinking about the kind of freedom Abraham must have had to so generously offer and so completely give his only son born of Sara to G-d. Now in modern times the thought of a human sacrifice is considered barbaric, let alone an animal sacrifice - sheesh - if the Temple sacrifices where to be instituted again the animal rights people would be up in arms to damn Israel! It is just unthinkable.

    Yet we humans can still kill each other in the name of a religion, if not physically kill,  emotionaly mame causing great harm. We extend the opposite of freedom in the guise of "righteousness" in an attempt to "control" people as if we ourselves were a "god".

    This story is also about "attachment" - to be willing to let go of a prized "posession" clears the way in the spiritual realm to experience the Oneness of G-d and our Oneness with the Divine, like the old saying, "whatever you hold onto to tightly will leave you and whatever you release from your grasp will return to you." (Maybe not in the same form.) We just need to be WILLING to step onto a different path of existance, (in releasing), and we can be as free as the Hebrews of old became leaving Egypt and guess what - our Creator will meet us there!

    When I speak of an excessive devotion or "attachment", this is not the same as bonding. Bonding is a normal and healthy way of living and living with compassion for our loved ones and our friends.  When bonding is done with humility, and faith we can let go of any negative control of our dear others.

    I suspect when Abraham left his own father's home and the land of his birth he was leaving behind that kind of conrol. This story is so much deeper than it appears to be at first, which is what I love about Torah - knowledge and insight continue to happen as deeper layers are discovered in the same stories repeated again and again. Baroch HaShem! (All Praise and Bessings and Thankfulness to the Divine)

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