I have a problem with organised religion. Light candles, go to shul, eat this, don't eat that etc etc. What sort of G-d demands these things from us? Surely we can find our own path to G-d within ourselves without being told what to do. Why does it make someone better or worse by just following instructions? It all seems crazy to me...
I recently addressed a group of women on the topic of relationships. I told them that they should not be ashamed to tell their husbands exactly what makes them happy. Don't leave the guys guessing. If you do, they will never get it right.
A man cannot read a woman's mind. Even if he loves you deeply and is devoted to you with all his being, he needs to be told what you like. Women would prefer men to just take the initiative and do things spontaneously without being asked. But if you leave it up to him, he will do what he thinks a woman wants. And a man's view of what women want, without female input, is clouded by male thinking.
One woman said, "But my husband does do things for me without me asking, and he knows exactly what I want..."
I responded, "Your husband is a very kind man. But he only knows what you want because at some stage you have told him. Left to his own devices, he would give you many things and do many favours for you, but not necessarily what you wanted. Think back to the early stages of your marriage, before he learnt what makes you happy. Like the time he kindly put the washing away, not realizing the importance of folding the clothes before stuffing them into the drawers. And what about that surprise birthday gift he bought you. As sweet and unexpected as it was, a pet rodent was not really an ideal present."
If a man cannot read the mind of a woman, certainly a human being cannot read the mind of G-d. Unless we are told exactly what G-d wants from us, we are clueless. That is why we have mitzvos. A mitzvah is a command, a clear and direct instruction from G-d as to what He wants us to do and not do. Without it, our attempts to connect to G-d may be sincere and pure, but they don't reach beyond the limits of human experience. We are doing what we think G-d wants, and that is something we have no idea about.
When we do a mitzvah, no matter how small it seems in our eyes, we are doing what He asked us to do, and we are connecting to Him. Any other spirituality is a pet rodent - a lovely gesture, but a mitzvah is all He really wants from us.
Next week our cleaners have been instructed to take all clothing left in shul to a charity bin. If you may have left any personal belongings in shul, please look through the bags near the urn and remove anything that is yours by this Sunday.
I have been looking into the topic of angels and I have a question. Are there new angels being born every day, or were all angels created once by G-d and that's it?
Angels are not only made by G-d. You make them too. All the time.
Every action we do elicits a spiritual reaction. When a person does a good deed, a pocket of positive energy is released into the universe. An angel is born. My deed may have taken only a second, but the world is changed forever for the better, as the angel of my deed lives on.
But the same applies for bad deeds. When an evil act is committed, a bad angel is created. The sinful act becomes personified in a negative force that corrupts and taints the world, an angel of destruction.
These angels follow us around. We made them, so we bear them. Our good angels stay with us, protect us and help us do more good. And our bad angels haunt us, pollute our spiritual surroundings and pull us down.
But we need not be alarmed. We can rid ourselves of these spooky beings. If we truly regret our misdeeds, take responsibility by admitting our wrong, apologizing where needed, and resolve not to repeat them, we suck the life force out of those negative angels and they disappear. They can only survive if we let them.
Not so for the good angels. They live forever. Because evil is just a necessary evil, a conditional existence that is only there so we have free choice. It can be vanquished. But goodness is forever. Your good deeds can never be taken away, and your good angels stay with you for eternity. So what angels have you made today?
Tahnya & Jonathan Seifman..... 19 Cheshvan/ Sun 20 Nov
Michelle & Jeremy Saunders .... 23 Cheshvan/ Thurs 24 Nov
LONG LIFE TO
Anne Sarzin for her late husband Dr Barney Sarzin, Dov ben Zwi on 23 Cheshvan/ Thursday 24 Nov; late aunt Elise Kaplan, Elisheva bat Harav Avraham Halevi on 27 Cheshvan/ Monday 28 Nov and late uncle Dr Isidore Kaplan on 27 Cheshvan/ Monday 28 Nov.
Nefesh Shul, 54 Roscoe Street, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026 Australia