My relationship seems to be moving ahead. We certainly love each other, and we have from the start, but we do have major differences. All my friends say as long as you love each other, nothing else matters. When you find love, everything else falls into place. Well I have found love - is that enough?
All you need to know about relationships you can learn from making model airplanes.
A common mistake when making a model airplane is to start by putting glue all over the parts. That just creates a mess. The wrong bits get stuck together, wings get stuck to the floor, windows stuck on your fingers. It only complicates things when you introduce the glue too early.
The way to build a model airplane is to first organise the parts. Make sure the pieces fit together and nothing is missing. Then gradually apply the glue, and join the various segments, piece by piece, until the structure starts to take shape.
The parts may not fit perfectly at first. You may have to shave off some rough edges, or bend some sections into shape before they click. Minor imperfections can be overlooked, a dollop of glue can fix them up. With a bit of work it all fits together.
But if you find that there are parts missing, or they simply don't fit together, then you don't have what it takes to make an airplane. You can't use glue to join mismatched pieces, and certainly not to replace missing parts. Don't even try, just look for a better model.
Your relationship is a model airplane. You and your partner are the pieces, and love is the glue that sticks you together. Without the binding power of love, two individuals could never become one. But the power of love, like glue, can get you into a sticky situation. It must be applied carefully, because it could stick just about anything together. You can love someone who is simply not for you.
Before opening our hearts, we must ensure we have the right pieces to build a relationship. The building blocks of a solid relationship are shared values and common purpose. Our priorities in life, beliefs and visions for the future must fit together. We can have different opinions, different tastes and different ways of expressing ourselves. As long as we can share those differences respectfully, we can become one. But if our values are not in sync, then we simply have different futures, we are not going in the same direction.
This all may sound pretty unromantic. Model airplanes are not exactly the stuff of poetry. But think what's better, romantic dating that gets sticky, or a sticking together for a lifetime of romance....
I am a little confused about when Shabbos starts. This week the advertised time for candle lighting in Sydney is 7:46pm, which is 18 minutes before sunset. But you start your Shabbos service at 6:30pm, ending before Shabbos begins! So what's the story? Can you say the Shabbos prayers when it isn't even Shabbos yet?
The Jewish day begins at sundown. This is based on Genesis' description of a day as "it was evening and it was morning" - night first, then day. And so the Shabbos, the seventh day, begins at sundown on Friday.
However, Jewish law allows us to bring in Shabbos early. We can extend the borders of holiness, and accept the Sabbath upon ourselves while it is still Friday afternoon. There is a certain window of time before dusk during which we can usher in the Shabbos, though the weekday sun still shines.
This has cosmic significance. The sages of old predicted that history as we know it will only last for six thousand years. The seventh millennia will usher in a new age, the times of Moshiach, a time of peace and spiritual awakening, when all the world will join forces to serve G-d and live in harmony. Just as the week is divided into the six working days and the seventh day of rest, so too history is divided into six millennia of work and effort, perfecting the world, vanquishing evil and promoting goodness, culminating in the seventh millennia, a world of Shabbos, when the hard work will have been done and the busy world will finally reach tranquility.
We are presently in the year 5774 from the creation of man, toward the end of the sixth millennia. It's late on the Friday afternoon of history. Now you can understand why the world is so crazy, why things change so quickly, and why there is so much traffic these days. We are in the middle of the frantic rush to get the world ready for Shabbos.
These are amazing times. As the era of peace approaches, there is a shift in the spiritual mood. We are edging toward a more spiritual way of living, where the soul is as obvious as the body, goodness is more tempting than evil, and the mysteries of life are solved.
But we need not wait until the seventh millennia to live on this higher plain. Just as we can bring in Shabbos early and accept it upon ourselves on Friday afternoon, so too we can start living a soulful life right now, on the Friday afternoon of history. Through studying Torah, particularly the deeper mystical teachings of Chasidism, we learn to see beyond the emptiness and superficiality of the material world, and connect to the Shabbos way of thinking.
Don't wait for Shabbos to come to you, bring it in early.
It seems that obscenity and foul language are becoming more and more acceptable. Swear words are used by politicians, sportsmen and even teachers, as if they have become a part of common speech. People don't even bother to write %#*#! any more. What is the Jewish view of dirty language?
Foul language is spiritually unhygienic. It is like scrubbing the toilet with your toothbrush, and then using it as a toothbrush. If you wouldn't do that, then you shouldn't use the same mouth for profanity that you use for words of friendship, love and prayer. Like pure water flowing through rusty pipes, even words of love, when coming from a dirty mouth, cannot help but become stained.
Speech is a powerful gift. When used correctly, the spoken word can build and strengthen relationships, give comfort and support, sometimes even save a life. Our words can lift a heavy heart and inspire a lost soul. Words of prayer can reach the heavens. Words of care can go even higher.
The words we say do not just disappear. They hover around us, forming the air we breathe and the atmosphere in which we live. Holy words create an aura of holiness around us. Words that are obscene, slanderous, abusive or untrue foul the air, like spiritual pollution. These toxic emissions are the most dangerous of all.
In your home, there are two distinct brushes, a toilet brush and a tooth brush. But you only have one mouth. Flush out profanities, and keep the air around you fresh and pure.