Monday, January 4, 2016

Judaism is an Exact Science (continued)

Yesterday I posted that everything we do and say will either be completely perfect or less than perfect according to Hashem’s system. Hashem gave us the formulas to maximize our lives according to our own personal situation in life. He showed us that Jews have different requirements and obligations depending on our background, place of birth and overall life situation.

One example was seen this past Shabbos which gave us two Haftaros for Ashkenazi Jews and Sephardi Jews. I showed the summary of the Ashkenaz Haftarah from Isaiah. Now, I show the Artscroll summary of the Sephardi Haftarah from Jeremiah: 
Haftaras Shemos (Sephardic custom, Jeremiah 1:1-2:3)
Jeremiah, like Moses, was a reluctant prophet, who was convinced that he was unqualified to accept the great mission thrust upon him by G-d. And like Moses, he tried to refuse, though not nearly so strenuously or for so long. He, too, feared that the people would not accept him and might even harm him. The fact is that at one point in his prophetic career he was thrown into a dungeon for daring to tell Jerusalem what it did not wish to hear. Nevertheless, G-d commanded him to go and prophesy, and guaranteed that He would protect him from harm.
God showed Jeremiah prophetic symbols of his mission and sent him to tell the complacent citizens of Judah that their destruction would descend upon them from the "North," in the form of Nebuchadnezzar and his conquering Babylonian army, which indeed destroyed the Temple and exiled the people. 
But Jeremiah's first words to the Jewish people were an expression of Divine love that to this day is one of the most familiar prophetic utterances. G-d never forgets Israel's loyalty to Him since its first emergence as a nation. He may be forced to respond to its iniquities by punishments. but that necessity does not lessen His love, and thus Israel is assured that it will survive and prosper once again.

Everything in this world is measure for measure. What we accomplish in life is completely based on what we put into life’s system. The question is: what do you want for yourself?

Let’s say you weren’t feeling well, and you decided to go to a doctor. You have a choice of two family doctors; one who you know graduated medical school with honors, a 100% average at graduation.  The other squeaked by with a 70% average.  Which doctor would you choose (I made sure I spelled which correctly)? I know that is a ridiculous question since you would wonder if the 70% doctor didn’t happen to learn the ailment that bothers you; it is in the missing 30%.

Why would you choose to come out of this life with less than 100%? Which 30% of eternity are you willing to give up for you and your loved ones? Sounds silly to even ask, but yet you won’t find out until it is too late what you could have had as an eternity. Go for the best. Hashem has shown us how in His handbook of life, the Torah. It is not rocket science, but it is a perfect system – exactly what we need, and it is ours for the taking. Thank You, Hashem.


  1. It is amazing. For example, I am happy with the Yalkut Yosef, and yes, Yirmyiahu speaks more to my heart.
    Even the Birkat hamazon is different.
    Hashem gave us perfect instructions how to live that suits each of us to give us the choice to be truly happy because HE LOVES ALL OF HIS CHILDREN.
    Shavuah tov.

  2. Rav Menahem, Why do men and women have such different requirements when it comes to prayer? Is hitbodedut (personal conversation with Hashem) considered a form of prayer? I have a difficult time (not easy to keep the focus) repeating the same words from the siddur everyday. What happens to spontaneity and kavannah? Respectfully, Ms. AP

    1. I have talked about the fact that women are on a higher spiritual level than men. Why? Women can experience life growing within them. Ask Hashem for the details. I have had some readers who have taken offense to this (all men), but the proof is very conclusive. Women don't need as much prayer. Even the idea of a minion for men was a punishment for believing the spies in the desert, the women didn't believe the spies.

      Talking to Hashem is excellent and necessary, but as an addition to prayer, not a substitute. Prayer is perfect and when done correctly, gives you everything you pray for -- it works. If you don't believe that, you are doing it incorrectly, according to scriptures (according to Hashem).

      Why throw away such a gift from Hashem? Instead work hard to perfect it, and make life that much better for you, your loved ones and the world.

    2. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, Tape 412, True Modesty, 1:10:25

      Question: We see in the case of Rabbi Akiva that a woman can affect the man. How is the reverse and to what extent?

      Is the question can a man affect a woman? Certainly. Certainly. What do you think made Sarah great? Here Sarah became a great naviah. כֹּל אֲשֶׁר תֹּאמַר אֵלֶיךָ שָׂרָה, שְׁמַע בְּקֹלָה Avraham was told listen to Sarah. And Avraham is called a tefel b'navuah to Sarah. That doesn't mean Avraham was less. Avraham was a bigger navi. Only Avraham was always in the street arguing with people. And when you argue you get excited so the schinah is not always able to rest on you. Sarah was magayeres es hanashim in her own home . So Sarah lived a tranquil life and therefore the navuah could come upon her more frequently. But Sarah was the result of Avraham's tutelage. Avraham was her rebbe, no question.

    3. We see from the beginning of the Torah that is says Eve was Kenegdo Adam. Kenegdo really means "against" or "opposite" meaning more of an individual to keep him in place, keep him straight, more so than a helper, which is what is implied. We see it throughout the Torah and the rest of Tenach how men made mistakes and women corrected them.

      Read my post of 1 May 2012, Sexism in Scriptures and in Life,

  3. Thank you Rav Menahem for the clarifications. Heaven forbid that I should throw away a precious gift from Hashem! I will start my night prayers earlier in the evening and not wait until I am exhausted from my daily endeavours. Also,I will be more disciplined about turning in earlier. An extra 30 minutes in the morning means that i may not feel so rushed with the morning prayers and more focused instead of worrying that i could be late for work. Ms. AP

  4. Rav Soloveitchik
    “The Chumash in Bereishis says that when God created man בצלם אלקים ברא אתם . Man and woman were created in the Image of God. Equality was taken for granted. If two personae were created in the image of God, you cannot say one is superior to the other.” (The Rav Thinking Aloud on the Parsha, Sefer Bamidbar, pp. 142-3)

    1. Read my post mentioned above. We are not equal -- women are spiritually above men. Why? Because they can experience life growing within them.