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Faith and Ethics

Exposure to the Hebrew extraordinary education project

What we all have in common is the understanding that “we are all sons of the same father,” meaning that we all had the same ancestor – Adam, and therefore, we possess the amazing ability to live together in harmony and peace here in our world.
Expose our secrets:
In order to do so, however, we must encounter several truths that were passed down secretly from person to person, from Adam down to our very days.

Why were these ideas keeping a secret until now?
Click on the picture to find out

With all my blessings and greetings

"Just be strong and very courageous..." [Joshua 1.7]

Shalom from the Land of Israel,

Rabbi Chaim Goldberg

Redemption

It’s very interesting to think about the following strange situation.
For hundreds of years, the western, Christian world, was sure that they were replacing the Jewish nation.

The eastern world also tried to draw values to live by from the Jewish people. millions of people over hundreds of years…
Learning the Bible and its stories. what is this important message that comes from Jerusalem?

What essentially IS the message that comes from the prophecy of the Jewish nation??

[Click on the picture]

Holy and Secular in the Redemption of Israel | Basic Tenets of Jewish Philosophy

The national rejuvenation of the Israel, which was expressed in a practical manner by the existence of the Zionist movement and the State of Israel, encompasses many different levels, which can be divided into two categories: bringing the secular to life and bringing the holy to life. Rejuvenation of the secular includes returning to all of the realms that we were unable to develop during the bitter days of the exile. This includes political, economic, and military existence, as well as our own culture and the arts.

In the early days of Zionism, religious people objected to having the Zionist Congress concern itself with culture and religion, fearing that this might inhibit cooperation between different sectors of the nation and interfere with achieving the desired political goal of establishing a viable country. Rav Kook was opposed to this approach, and he felt that it was not possible to have an authentic national awakening without a corresponding cultural rejuvenation. This means that it is necessary to become involved in culture in spite of the danger that this might force us to struggle in order to form its proper characteristics (Igrot Re’iyah, 158).

And what constitutes holy rejuvenation? We might have thought that it would consist of returning to traditional religious behavior, which is concerned only with the spiritual fate and the happiness of each individual and not with political rejuvenation – that is, that the nonreligious sector would repent and begin to observe the mitzvot. However, while it is certainly important for every Jew to observe all of the mitzvot, that is not the main focus of the “holy” rejuvenation.

The holy without the secular is weak, and it does not have the power to lift up the lives of the community and of all humanity. Secular living itself contains hidden within it a power of holiness which could not break through during the exile, the “sanctity of nature.” This will be revealed by the process of redemption (see Orot, page 45, and Orot Hakedusha Section 2, 23). This leads us to the conclusion that rejuvenation of the secular is in itself a form of renewal of sanctity and not merely a preliminary step towards the goal.

The denial by religious people of the value of the rebirth of the secular and the view of participation in the Zionist enterprise as a dangerous adventure which is liable to exact too high a price while at the same time raising the banner of religious isolation – all this will lead holiness to become weaker, since it cannot stand alone without the vitality of the secular life. Rav Kook writes:

“In religious circles on the other hand (that is: as opposed to the drying up of the holy sources by the academic secular sector), this can lead to a weakening of force, because of a lack of the secular influence... We must therefore reveal the program of unified spiritual force, since this is our unique secret which will never be revealed to any other nation.” [Igrot Har’iyah, 748].

Religious holiness, which Rav Kook describes as “regular holiness,” is no more than one aspect of true exalted holiness. Exposing the exalted form of holiness, which operates in all realms of life and appears in all its perfection through the combination of the various identities that make up the public face of Israel - religion, nationalistic feeling, and a cosmopolitan outlook (see Orot, pages 70-72) - is the mission of the generation of rejuvenation.

Source: “THE ROOTS OF FAITH: Basic Tenets of Jewish Philosophy” – a biweekly column in Shabbat B’Shabbato (Zomet Institute). See: http://www.zomet.org.il/eng – Korach 5777, issue 1678.

Reward and Punishment | Basic Tenets of Jewish Philosophy 

Can our relationship with the Creator be compared to a grocery accounts list connected to a mechanism for collecting debts? The entire system of reward and punishment in the Torah, which Rabbi Yosef Elbo sees as one of the three principle foundations of Judaism (see his book “Ikarim”), is a source of difficulty for any person who truly wants to cling in an ideal way to G-d. The idea of reward and punishment seems to diminish the Creator and to urge us to perform our labors in order to get a reward. However, by definition this is a way of performing the mitzvot which is not “for its own sake,” and is therefore at a relatively low level. Because of this difficulty, Rabeinu Yeshayah Halevi Horwitz discusses the matter. In his book “Shenai Luchot Habrit” (SHELAH), he describes a third principle of clinging to G-d as an alternative to the principle of reward and punishment. He writes that clinging to G-d is the real objective of the system of rewards.

However, we should note that the term the sages used to describe the concept in faith of rewards is not “reward and punishment” but rather “A reward that reflects the good deed” (mida keneged midah”­) – [Sanhedrin 90a]. In an expanded version this is, “A man is measured in the same way that he measures others” [Mishna Sotta 1:7]. This means that what we see is not really external punishment or reward for the act, rather our actions include within them the consequences, in the same way that our hand becomes wet when we put it in water or is burned by a flame. This is the in-depth meaning of the declaration, “The reward for a mitzva is a mitzva” [Avot 4:2].

Man himself is a vessel that measures the contents of a life, which can either fill it or leave it lacking. Therefore, even though in general it is good to give in to others, one who says, “The Holy One, Blessed be He, gives in to the people, will be forced to give up on his life” [Bava Kama 50a]. In the end, it is not the Holy One, Blessed be He, who gives a reward to a person – rather, the person provides his own reward. (See Nefesh Hachaim, Section 1, Chapter 12). That is the meaning of the statement in the Mishna: “All your actions are recorded in a book” [Avot 1:2]. The person himself is the book where all of his actions are recorded.

All of this means that the dilemma of evil that happens to a righteous person cannot be solved within the framework of “If you follow My decrees” [Vayikra 26:3]. This is in fact only one of the dimensions of Divine guidance, which the Ramchal calls “guidance of justice” as opposed to “guidance of uniqueness” (see “Da’at Tevunot”). The latter encompasses broad consideration of the goals of human history. It can very well happen that when a righteous person suffers it is not because of a specific sin but rather that he needs to modify his identity in order to be better integrated into historical changes taking place during his time. This is what happened to Job, who was made to suffer in spite of his absolute righteousness when the time came for him to join in Abraham’s righteous style (see Bava Batra 15b). The internal need for change can lead to changing experiences which can cause the person’s character to change. As the sages have written, “Suffering can cleanse a person’s entire body (that is, his identity)” [Berachot 5a].

Source: “THE ROOTS OF FAITH: Basic Tenets of Jewish Philosophy” – a biweekly column in Shabbat B’Shabbato (Zomet Institute). See: http://www.zomet.org.il/eng – Beha’alotecha 5777, issue 1676.

Torah from Heaven | Basic Tenets of Jewish Philosophy 

Two proofs are given to show that there is a Divine source for the Torah. But they must be understood in depth and not simply in accord with the folk approach – that millions of people would not lie about the description of an event, especially not to their children. This approach will not withstand objective criticism, and the only thing it can accomplish is to strengthen the conviction those who were already convinced beforehand. We will be able to find satisfactory answers by delving more deeply into the matter.

First of all, we must note that revelation is a formative event in the history of a nation. A national identity is not the result of a willful choice. Rather, it is born within the nation and it is in fact an element that is forced on the people. Every national identity is built up on a basis of collective psychology which stems from powerful events that leave a deep impression within the nation. If the event took place before the era of history began, it is clouded in doubt, and it may well be a myth spawned by imagination. This is not true of an event that took place after the national identity was formed, such as the story of the wars of Troy or the Exodus from Egypt and the giving of the Torah. In such cases we can verify that the event did indeed take place – not because there are witnesses but as a result of the strong impression it left on the public awareness.

In addition, the character of a story can by itself be an indication of the truth. This is especially true for a story that is beyond the limits of human imagination. While it is true that there are stories of individual or collective revelation in all cultures, such that they might indeed be the fruits of imagination, these stories always, without exception, involve an “immanent” deity who is internal to the world and not transcendental revelation by a G-d who created the world and is external to it. The only story where the revealed one is the Creator Himself is the one that is told by the Children of Israel. And in fact the written description of the event emphasizes that the people who experienced the revelation were wary of participating. Clearly, the interference of the Creator in the natural course of events can interfere with the spiritual stability of man, and it would never occur to mankind to invent such a story even with the goal of establishing a new religion. All others who developed a new religion spoke only of revelation by an entity that is part of creation, such that it did not undermine the foundation of existence.

We must also try to refine the concept of a Divine Torah, from heaven. Rav A.Y. Kook explains, a man can admit that the Torah came from heaven, but he might be referring to a very low level of heaven. This paints the one who gave the Torah as a pedantic accountant collecting the relative weights of mitzvot as compared to sins. And there are others who feel that they deny the Divine origin of the Torah while at the same time they search for a source of the Torah among the highest levels of human wisdom and morality. Such an approach is in fact very close to the true definition of Torah from heaven.

Source: “THE ROOTS OF FAITH: Basic Tenets of Jewish Philosophy” – a biweekly column in Shabbat B’Shabbato (Zomet Institute). See: http://www.zomet.org.il/eng – Bamidbar 5777, issue 1674.