Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Towards Greater Appreciation

This is the lead Torah Tidbits of the Orthodox Union from this past Shabbos:

At the end of his Hilchot T'shuva (10:6), Rambam writes that Ahavat HaShem, Love of Hashem, is proportional to one's Knowledge of Hashem. According to the knowledge will be the Love - if little, little; and if a lot, a lot.

Let's say, that the potential level of one's love for Hashem is commensurate with the level of one's knowledge of Him, His creation, His world - and let's include, His actions.

One more tweak: Love of Hashem includes one's appreciation of Hashem.

People who see stars at night and think of them as tiny lights hung in the black velvet of night can appreciate Hashem's Creation, but he who knows some of the astronomy involved can obtain a higher level of appreciation for Hashem's world.

Someone with a minimal and primitive understanding of how babies are conceived and born can certainly appreciate Hashem - but not as much as someone who is very knowledgeable about the intricacies of the biology and physiology involved.

And so on and so forth.

And so too with Chanukah.

The Greeks oppressed the Jews. The Chashmona'im fought against the Greeks and won. They then wanted to clean up and purify the Beit HaMikdash and get it into operation again, after years of dormancy. They wanted to light the Menorah but found only a one-day supply which miraculously lasted for eight days. Our Sages decreed an 8 day holiday called Chanukah. Sort of like a kindergarten level of what happened. And certainly there is appreciation of Hashem for the miracles of the victory and the oil. But we need to know more – to realize more. So that our appreciation (and love) of Hashem can grow and grow.

Ponder if and how you would observe Shabbat if doing so put your life at risk. Ponder what it is like that a girl cannot marry without first being used by the Greek governor or general for his pleasure. Ponder the decision one must make to have a Brit for his son at great risk to one's life, rather than facing the difficult choice of Holy Bagel or Waffle Bar. Ponder the sad fact that we were not just fighting the Greeks and their culture, but were plagued by a great split within our own people. Ponder that it wasn't just the Beit HaMikdash that was rededicated and the Avodah (the Temple service) that was resumed - it was Torah learning, the practice of mitzvot, in public and without fear that was restored. Chanukah's legacy was not only what happened over 2000 years ago, but every page of Torah we learn and every mitzvah we do today. Thank Hashem and Chanukah Sameach.


  1. Dear Rab, there is something that kind of throws me off balance. Since we are really close to Mashiaj, you can expect jewish people to get more closer to religion, I guess. But here where I live I see everyday just the opposite. I see some jewish people being more far away of tikun everyday. There are even some cases that, when a jewish person takes a step ahead to be closer to Tikun, he gets socially rejected by many other "jewish" people. It's like these people don't observe a single precept of the Torah, and they are really proud of that. Some of them do not celebrate any of the Jaguim, and they are proud of that.
    This gets me quite confused. I wonder why this is happening and what are the plans of Hashen for them in relation to Mashiaj.
    PS: Don't get me wrong, this is a select group of people, I'm not talking about every jew on here.

    1. I could write a book on your very interesting comment; actually I have written that book.

      First of all we are in a time when Hashem is sorting out who is Jewish, who is Erev Rav, who is a righteous non-Jew and who is a totally lost soul. We absolutely can't look at anyone and judge that individual, since they don't even know themselves who they are. We have had that comment recently from several sources that there are many who think they are Jewish, but they don't care, because in reality they are Erev Rav.

      Second, you just happen to be in the wrong place. There was an article recently in Arutz 7 talking about how much, much more observant the Jewish population is in America. With the youth, it is about 5 times as many as it was years ago.

      I myself experienced a great surge in Frumkeit when I was traveling a lot for the government. Places that I used to visit that I couldn't find Jews, all of a sudden there were Observant Torah Jewish communities living the Absolute Truth. I was amazed, but realized it is the end of days and Hashem is sorting it all out.

      If you want to see secular Jews who know that they are Jewish, move to Israel. The majority of Jews in Israel are secular, yet you should see the statistics. They recently showed that about 90% of the Jews owned or had spent some time in a Sukkah; about 90% of the Jews participated in a Pesach Seder; about 80 to 90% of the Jews light Shabbos candles (and observe other Shabbos laws as well). Over the years I have had secular Jews come to my house for repair work, from the electric company, the telephone company, the gas company, water filter replacement, air conditioner servicing, etc. Every time a worker finishes his work, I offer him a drink before he leaves. Most of the time they appreciate it and have something. Every time, this secular worker puts his arm over his head (the sleeve covering his head) and he says a blessing before drinking. Do you know that just about every public building one can visit, especially in Jerusalem (utilities, medical facilities, office buildings, stores, etc), there is always a Mezuzah on all the doors that are required Mezuzot?

      Do you know that there are thousands of non-Jews coming to Israel every year and converting? Yes, we are getting very close to Moshiach being introduced, and I can see it all around -- Hashem is sorting it all out.

    2. It's great to know that people are getting more observant all over the world. The things you said that happened in Israel, well, they can only happen in the great and beautiful land of Israel. However, that's not the case here. I don't know why (only Hashem does) but here Tikun does not seem to be attractive to the majority of the local jews. But well, I can only say that everything happens the way Hashem wants and that means it happens for the good.

    3. The answer you seek is in our history for thousands of years. When we are in other countries, our flawed human logic tell us that assimilation is the answer. That and the materialism that goes along with it (the building of the Golden Cafe) has been our downfall, and has made it very difficult to turn to Hashem completely.

      Hashem has told us for thousands of years that when Jacob studies Torah, Esau can't hurt him. When we go astray and make nice with the goyim, who really hate us, it never works and it has always caused us pain.

      For the first time in my life (for the past 13+ years) I am only surrounded by Observant Jews. It was so nice going through this holiday season and only seeing Chanukah, not pagan symbols and decoration. It is obvious what makes it easier to be Jewish in Israel than the rest of the world.

      When the worldwide redemption happens, the all the Jews and righteous non-Jews will only know the true world of Hashem, and no longer be plagued by made-up religion and cult activity. It will be great and it will be soon.

  2. Do you have any guesses as to how soon? We keep seeing signs, but some shiurim I have seen recently talk about how prophecies that we read on Succos lead one to believe that something is likely to happen then, but that's a bit far off. Also, whatever happened with that cosmic wave some of the online sites were predicting for Dec 25-26? And what of the summit that is supposed to take place on January 15, or the inauguration on the 20th? Do you think we are just going to be taken "by surprise" on a seemingly ordinary day very soon with nothing else outstanding about that day?

    1. I am not a prophet, and can only go by indicators that I have been watching.

      I found a new source of information that should give us clues to the "when." I am working on a new post that I expect to have finished and published on Yom Rishon, Sunday, B"N. It is a new scientific phenomenon to watch and what looks like a reliable source. Of course, if all occurs before Sunday, you won't need any more information.

      One thing that I have said many times: Hashem's ways are mysterious; don't expect what we expect, expect the unexpected. It will all be a surprise, including the miracles that will happen.

  3. Earthquakes today!
    two 5.7 quakes Nevada USA 8 hour ago followed by 3.6 Also 5.5 seven hour ago
    5.9 Daigo Ibarki Japan
    5.3 Papua New Guinea
    5.6 Romania,nereju
    5.4 South sandwich islands partial listing for more or
    For link See
    KOCHAV is being felt!!

  4. Nevada and California Swarm of Quakes today

    1. Another video of interest: