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+ 724 And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts.
Jaques, Act II, scene vii.
Hamlet (1600–1) William Shakespeare


+ 510 Men always want to be a woman’s first love. That is their clumsy vanity. We women have a more subtle instinct about these things. What (women) like is to be a man’s last romance. Oscar Wilde


+ 387 The Domain Name Server (DNS) is the Achilles heel of the Web. The important thing is that it's managed responsibly. Tim Berners-Lee


+ 307 I am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greek and Roman leave to us. Thomas Jefferson


+ 495 When Southern people tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery than we are, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists, and that it is very difficult to get rid of it in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do myself. If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do as to the existing institution. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land. But a moment's reflection would convince me that whatever of high hope (as I think there is) there may be in this in the long run, its sudden execution is impossible. If they were all landed there in a day, they would all perish in the next ten days; and there are not surplus shipping and surplus money enough to carry them there in many times ten days. What then? Free them all, and keep them among us as underlings? Is it quite certain that this betters their condition? I think I would not hold one in slavery at any rate, yet the point is not clear enough for me to denounce people upon. What next? Free them, and make them politically and socially our equals. My own feelings will not admit of this, and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of whites will not. Whether this feeling accords with justice and sound judgment is not the sole question, if indeed it is any part of it. A universal feeling, whether well or ill founded, cannot be safely disregarded. We cannot then make them equals. It does seem to me that systems of gradual emancipation might be adopted, but for their tardiness in this I will not undertake to judge our brethren of the South. Abraham Lincoln


+ 329 During my whole political life, I have loved and revered (Henry Clay) as a teacher and leader. Abraham Lincoln


+ 311 All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. Abraham Lincoln


+ 308 You've seen your birth, your life and death; you might recall all of the rest — (did you have a good world when you died?) — enough to base a movie on?


+ 281 I can only guess that, for guys in their 30s and 40s who watched me play, they understood that the score never mattered and my paycheck never mattered (in relation) to how I played. I played with Little League enthusiasm and professional flair. That's what fans are really looking for. Andy Van Slyke


+ 310 It came as a surprise to find that a professional society and journal (Econometrica) were flourishing, and I entered this area of study with great enthusiasm. Lawrence R. Klein


+ 460 The Message

For centuries, scholars have been debating the two main possibilities for the origin and meaning of life. Some aspire to a higher philosophical dimension, which they can't find in the theory of evolution, while others dismiss as irrational any reference to an almighty god.

But what if another theory, one both rational and with philosophical depth, were to be available?

This is what the “Message” proposes: Thousands of years ago, scientists from another planet came to Earth and created all forms of life, including human beings, whom they created in their own image. References to these scientists and their work can be found in the ancient texts of many cultures. Due to their highly advanced technology, they were considered as gods by our primitive ancestors and often referred to as 'Elohim' which in ancient Hebrew meant 'Those who came from the sky'.

Despite being a plural word, Elohim was mistranslated over time to the singular 'God' reference that appears in modern-day Bibles.

Nevertheless, these people who came from the sky (the Elohim) educated humanity through the ages with the help of various messengers (also called prophets) with whom they had made contact. Each messenger was given a message suitable for the level of understanding prevailing at the time, with the primary purpose of instilling basic principles of non-violence and respect. Once humanity reached a sufficient level of scientific understanding, the Elohim decided to make themselves more visible in UFO sightings and to conceive their final message. Rael was given two missions: spreading that last message on Earth and preparing an embassy to welcome the return of our creators.

The atheist 'Intelligent Design Theory' offers a rational solution to the age-old debate between God-believers and evolutionists. It’s compatible not only with today's scientific discoveries but also with the ancient historical accounts of all cultures.

International Headquarters:
Raelian Movement
P.O. Box 225
CH-1211 Geneva 8
Switzerland
www.rael.org


+ 457 We cannot describe how the mind is made without having good ways to describe complicated processes. Before computers, no languages were good for that. Piaget tried algebra and Freud tried diagrams; other psychologists used Markov Chains and matrices, but none came to much. Behaviorists, quite properly, had ceased to speak at all. Linguists flocked to formal syntax, and made progress for a time but reached a limit: transformational grammar shows the contents of the registers (so to speak), but has no way to describe what controls them. This makes it hard to say how surface speech relates to underlying designation and intent–a baby-and-bath-water situation. I prefer ideas from AI research because there we tend to seek procedural description first, which seems more appropriate for mental matters. Marvin Minsky, in "Music, Mind, and Meaning"


+ 478 The reciprocal relationship of epistemology and science is of noteworthy kind. They are dependent on each other. Epistemology without contact with science becomes an empty scheme. Science without epistemology is — insofar as it is thinkable at all — primitive and muddled. However, no sooner has the epistemologist, who is seeking a clear system, fought his way through to such a system, than he is inclined to interpret the thought-content of science in the sense of his system and to reject whatever does not fit into his system. The scientist, however, cannot afford to carry his striving for epistemological systematic that far. He accepts gratefully the epistemological conceptual analysis; but the external conditions, which are set for him by the facts of experience, do not permit him to let himself be too much restricted in the construction of his conceptual world by the adherence to an epistemological system. He therefore must appear to the systematic epistemologist as a type of unscrupulous opportunist: he appears as realist insofar as he seeks to describe a world independent of the acts of perception; as idealist insofar as he looks upon the concepts and theories as free inventions of the human spirit (not logically derivable from what is empirically given); as positivist insofar as he considers his concepts and theories justified only to the extent to which they furnish a logical representation of relations among sensory experiences. He may even appear as Platonist or Pythagorean insofar as he considers the viewpoint of logical simplicity as an indispensible and effective tool of his research. Albert Einstein


+ 294 A truly rational theory would allow us to deduce the elementary particles (electron,etc.) and not be forced to state them a priori. Albert Einstein


+ 460 The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. … For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them. Albert Einstein


+ 325 After ten years of reflection such a principle resulted from a paradox upon which I had already hit at the age of sixteen: If I pursue a beam of light with the velocity c (velocity of light in a vacuum), I should observe such a beam as a spatially oscillatory electromagnetic field at rest. However, there seems to be no such thing, whether on the bases of experience or according to Maxwell's equations. Albert Einstein


+ 235 Good Morning Friends :) Have a great day!


+ 333 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail. (Isaiah 51:6)


+ 322 It’s funny how when you’re a kid a day can last forever and now all these years seem like a blink. Hearts in Atlantis (2001)


+ 867 When I arrived in England I thought I knew English. After I'd been here an hour I realized that I did not understand one word. In the first week I picked up a tolerable working knowledge of the language and the next seven years convinced me gradually but thoroughly that I would never know it really well, let alone perfectly. This is sad. My only consolation being that nobody speaks English perfectly.

Remember that those five hundred words an average Englishman uses are far from being the whole vocabulary of the language. You may learn another five hundred and another five thousand and yet another fifty thousand and still you may come across a further fifty thousand you have never heard of before, and nobody else either. If you live here long enough you will find out to your greatest amazement that the adjective nice is not the only adjective the language possesses, in spite of the fact that in the first three years you do not need to learn or use any other adjectives. You can say that the weather is nice, a restaurant is nice, Mr Soandso is nice, Mrs Soandso's clothes are nice, you had a nice time, and all this will be very nice. Then you have to decide on your accent. You will have your foreign accent all right, but many people like to mix it with something else. I knew a Polish Jew who had a strong Yiddish-Irish accent. People found it fascinating though slightly exaggerated. The easiest way to give the impression of having a good accent or no foreign accent at all is to hold an unlit pipe in your mouth, to mutter between your teeth and finish all your sentences with the question: 'isn't it?' People will not understand much, but they are accustomed to that and they will get a most excellent impression.

I have known quite a number of foreigners who tried hard to acquire an Oxford accent. The advantage of this is that you give the idea of being permanently in the company of Oxford dons and lecturers on medieval numismatics; the disadvantage is that the permanent singing is rather a strain on your throat and that it is a type of affection that even many English people find it hard to keep up incessantly. You may fall out of it, speak naturally, and then where are you? The Mayfair accent can be highly recommended, too. The advantages of Mayfair English are that it unites the affected air of the Oxford accent with the uncultured flavour of a half-educated professional hotel-dancer.

The most successful attempts, however, to put on a highly cultured air have been made on the polysyllabic lines. Many foreigners who have learnt Latin and Greek in school discover with amazement and satisfaction that the English language has absorbed a huge amount of ancient Latin and Greek expressions, and they realize that
a) it is much easier to learn these expressions than the much simpler English words;
b) that these words as a rule are interminably long and make a simply superb impression when talking to the greengrocer, the porter and the insurance agent. Imagine, for instance, that the porter of the block of flats where you live remarks sharply that you must not put your dustbin out in front of your door before 7.30 a.m. Should you answer 'Please don't bully me,' a loud and tiresome argument may follow, and certainly the porter will be proved right, because you are sure to find a dause in your contract (small print, of last page) that the porter is always right and you owe absolute allegiance and unconditional obedience to him. Should you answer, however, with these words: 1 repudiate your petulant expostulations,' the argument will be closed at once, the porter will be proud of having such a highly cultured man in the block, and from that day onwards you may, if you please, get up at four o'clock in the morning and hang your dustbin out of the window. But even in Curzon Street society, if you say, for instance, that you are a tough guy they will consider you a vulgar, irritating and objectionable person. Should you declare, however, that you are an inquisitorial and peremptory homo sapiens, they will have no idea what you mean, but they will feel in their bones that you must be something wonderful. When you know all the long words it is advisable to start learning some of the short ones, too. You should be careful when using these endless words. An acquaintance of mine once was fortunate enough to discover the most impressive word notalgia for back-ache. Mistakenly, however, he declared in a large company: 'I have such a nostalgia.' 'Oh, you want to go home to Nizhne-Novgorod?' asked his most sympathetic hostess. 'Not at all,' he answered. 'I just cannot sit down.' . Finally, there are two important points to remember:
1. Do not forget that it is much easier to write in English than to speak English, because you can write without a foreign accent.
2. In a bus and in other public places it is more advisable to speak softly in good German than to shout in abominable English.
Anyway, this whole language business is not at all easy. After spending eight years in this country, the other day I was told by a very kind lady: 'But why do you complain? You really speak a most excellent accent without the slightest English.'
The Language by George Mikes


+ 280 My Momma always said you've got to put the past behind you before you can move on. Forrest Gump (1994)


+ 266 Why be afraid of tomorrow when today is all we have? Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)


+ 403 Well-matured and well-disciplined talent is always sure of a market, provided it exerts itself; but it must not cower at home and expect to be sought for. There is a good deal of cant, too, in the whining about the success of forward and impudent men, while men of retiring worth are passed over with neglect. But it happens often that those forward men have that valuable quality of promptness and activity, without which worth is a mere inoperative property. A barking dog is often more useful than a sleeping lion. Endeavor to make your talents convertible to ready use, prompt for the occasion, and adapted to the ordinary purposes of life; cultivate strength rather than gracefulness; in our country it is the useful, not the ornamental, that is in demand. Washington Irving, letter to Pierre Paris Irving (nephew), 1824 December 7th


+ 298 In Hebrew, the word shmonah (eight) has the same exact letters as hashemen (the oil), and neshama (soul). The number eight is also associated with the revelation of Mashiach – the Messiah. This is reflected in the Talmud which states, “the harp of the era of Mashiach will be of eight strands.”


+ 300 But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. Benjamin Franklin, Letter to Jean Baptiste Le Roy (1789)


+ 257 Creditors have better memories than debtors. Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac (1758)


+ 287 I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Voltaire, (Attributed); originated in "The Friends of Voltaire", 1906, by S. G. Tallentyre (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)


+ 286 There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts. Voltaire, Dialogue, XIV, "Le Chapon et la Poularde" (1766)


+ 274 The man who leaves money to charity in his will is only giving away what no longer belongs to him. Voltaire, Letter (1769)


+ 250 We rarely think people have good sense unless they agree with us. Francois de La Rochefoucauld, Maximes (1678)


+ 191 Have a healthy life :)


+ 291 A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a “mental” construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual. (R.C. Henry, “The Mental Universe” ; Nature 436:29,2005)


+ 319 Muhammad was a great man, an intrepid soldier; with a handful of men he triumphed at the battle of Bender (sic); a great captain, eloquent, a great man of state, he revived his fatherland and created a new people and a new power in the middle of Arabia. Napoleon


+ 362 ZOHAR [To Deut. 6:4]: Hear O Israel: HaShem our G-d, HaShem is One. Why is there a need of mentioning the Name of G-d three times in this verse? The First HaShem is the Father above. The Second is the Stem of Jesse, the Messiah Who is to come from the family of Jesse through David. And the Third One is the Way which is below [meaning the Holy Spirit Who shows us the way] and These Three are One (Zohar quotes from Amsterdam Version).


+ 330 The mashiach will bring about the political and spiritual redemption of the Jewish people by bringing us back to Israel and restoring Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). He will establish a government in Israel that will be the center of all world government, both for Jews and gentiles (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 42:1). He will rebuild the Temple and re-establish its worship (Jeremiah 33:18). He will restore the religious court system of Israel and establish Jewish law as the law of the land (Jeremiah 33:15).


+ 328 The mashiach will be a great political leader descended from King David (Jeremiah 23:5). The mashiach is often referred to as "mashiach ben David" (mashiach, son of David). He will be well-versed in Jewish law, and observant of its commandments (Isaiah 11:2-5). He will be a charismatic leader, inspiring others to follow his example. He will be a great military leader, who will win battles for Israel. He will be a great judge, who makes righteous decisions (Jeremiah 33:15). But above all, he will be a human being, not a god, demi-god or other supernatural being.


+ 247 Once he is King, leaders of other nations will look to him for guidance. (Isaiah 2:4)


+ 268 The whole world will worship the One God of Israel (Isaiah 2:11-17)


+ 262 He will be descended from King David (Isaiah 11:1) via Solomon (1 Chronicles 22:8-10, 2 Chronicles 7:18)


+ 250 The "spirit of the Lord" will be upon him, and he will have a "fear of God" (Isaiah 11:2)


+ 236 He will include and attract people from all cultures and nations (Isaiah 11:10)


+ 259 All Israelites will be returned to their homeland (Isaiah 11:12)


+ 232 The Jewish people will experience eternal joy and gladness (Isaiah 51:11)


+ 245 The peoples of the world will turn to the Jews for spiritual guidance (Zechariah 8:23)


+ 265 He will take the barren land and make it abundant and fruitful (Isaiah 51:3, Amos 9:13-15, Ezekiel 36:29-30, Isaiah 11:6-9)


+ 297 (Sanhedrin 98b): Rav said If he [Mashiach] is from the living, [then he is] like Rabbeinu Hakadosh [Rabbi Yehuda hanasi]; if he is from the dead, [then he is] like Daniel, the delightful one. (See also Rashi's commentary and commentary of Maharsha).


+ 268 Zoharic statement (III, 71b), "When a tzaddik departs he is to be found in all the worlds more than during his lifetime".


+ 249 May my lord King David live forever! (Kings I 1:31)


+ 274 Every Jew feels a certain connection to some aspect of being Jewish – Chesed (kindness), prayer, helping others, visiting the sick, treating guests well, etc.


+ 271 When you do Teshuva (returning to the path of God), it has to be real regret.
When you really feel you’ve been forgiven, you feel true joy.


+ 231 To hear the Shofar on the first day of Tishrei (Rosh Hashanah) — Num. 9:1


+ 209 The widow must not remarry until the ties with her brother-in-law are removed (by halizah) — Deut. 25:5


+ 262 Not to put frankincense on her meal offering (as usual) — Num. 5:15


+ 306 A Kohen must not marry a zonah (a woman who has had a forbidden sexual relationship) — Lev. 21:7


+ 233 A Kohen must not marry a chalalah ("a desecrated person") (party to or product of 169-172) — Lev. 21:7


+ 205 To cover the blood (of a slaughtered beast or fowl) with earth — Lev. 17:13


+ 223 Carry out the laws of interdicting possessions (cherem) — Lev. 27:28


+ 215 A chalalah (party to #s 169-172 above) must not eat Terumah — Lev. 22:12


+ 229 To set aside Ma'aser (tithe) each planting year and give it to a Levite — Num. 18:24


+ 232 To set aside the second tithe (Ma'aser Sheni) — Deut. 14:22


+ 231 Not to work the soil during the fiftieth year (Jubilee) — Lev. 25:11


+ 221 The Kohen Gadol 's (High Priest) breastplate must not be loosened from the Efod — Ex. 28:28


+ 226 To bring additional offerings on Rosh Chodesh (" The New Month") — Num. 28:11


+ 233 To follow the procedure of Yom Kippur in the sequence prescribed in Parshah Acharei Mot ("After the death of Aaron's sons...") — Lev. 16:3


+ 212 To celebrate on these three Festivals (bring a peace offering) — Ex. 23:14


+ 239 Every person must bring a sin offering (in the temple) for his transgression — Lev. 4:27


+ 261 Bring an asham talui (temple offering) when uncertain of guilt — Lev. 5:17-18


+ 204 Bring an asham vadai (temple offering) when guilt is ascertained — Lev. 5:25


+ 253 Bring an oleh v'yored (temple offering)(if the person is wealthy, an animal; if poor, a bird or meal offering) — Lev. 5:7-11


+ 245 A metzora (one having a skin disease) must bring an offering (in the Temple) after going to the Mikveh — Lev. 14:10


+ 215 Carry out the procedure of the Red Heifer (Para Aduma) — Num. 19:2


+ 260 Observe the laws of impurity caused by a man's running issue (irregular ejaculation of infected semen) — Lev. 15:3


+ 240 Observe the laws of impurity caused by the eight shratzim (insects) — Lev. 11:29


+ 239 Observe the laws of impurity of a seminal emission (regular ejaculation, with normal semen) — Lev. 15:16


+ 242 Not to put a stumbling block before a blind man (nor give harmful advice) — Lev. 19:14


+ 256 Not to leave others distraught with their burdens (but to help either load or unload) — Deut. 22:4


+ 219 A Kohen must not defile himself (by going to funerals or cemeteries) for anyone except relatives — Lev. 21:1


+ 305 He (Hillel) would also say: If I am not for myself, who is for me? And when I am for myself, what am 'I'? And if not now, when? Pirkei Avot 1:14


+ 316 He (Hillel) would also say: One who increases flesh, increases worms; one who increases possessions, increases worry; one who increases wives, increases witchcraft; one who increases maidservants, increases promiscuity; one who increases man-servants, increases thievery; one who increases Torah, increases life; one who increases study, increases wisdom; one who increases counsel, increases understanding; one who increases charity, increases peace. One who acquires a good name, acquired it for himself; one who acquires the words of Torah, has acquired life in the World to Come. Pirkei Avot 2:7


+ 343 Rabbi Yochanan said to them: Go and see which is the best trait for a person to acquire. Said Rabbi Eliezer: A good eye. Said Rabbi Joshua: A good friend. Said Rabbi Yossei: A good neighbor. Said Rabbi Shimon: To see what is born out of one's actions. Said Rabbi Elazar: A good heart. Said He to them: I prefer the words of Elazar the son of Arach to yours, for his words include all of yours. He said to them: Go and see which is the worst trait, the one that a person should most distance himself from. Said Rabbi Eliezer: An evil eye. Said Rabbi Joshua: An evil friend. Said Rabbi Yossei: An evil neighbor. Said Rabbi Shimon: To borrow and not to repay; for one who borrows from man is as one who borrows from the Almighty, as is stated, "The wicked man borrows and does not repay; but the righteous one is benevolent and gives" (Psalms 37:21). Said Rabbi Elazar: An evil heart. Said He to them: I prefer the word of Elazar the son of Arach to yours, for his words include all of yours. Pirkei Avot 2:10


+ 363 Rabbi Eliezer would say: The honor of your fellow should be as precious to you as your own, and do not be easy to anger. Repent one day before your death. Asked his disciples: Does a man know on which day he will die? Said he to them: So being the case, he should repent today, for perhaps tomorrow he will die; hence, all his days are passed in a state of repentance. Indeed, so said Solomon in his wisdom (Ecclesiastes 9:8): 'At all times, your clothes should be white, and oil should not lack from your head'" (Talmud, Shabbat 153a). Pirkei Avot 2:10


+ 318 Ben Zoma would say: Who is wise? One who learns from every man. As is stated (Psalms 119:99): "From all my teachers I have grown wise, for Your testimonials are my meditation." Who is strong? One who overpowers his inclinations. As is stated (Proverbs 16:32), "Better one who is slow to anger than one with might, one who rules his spirit than the captor of a city." Who is rich? One who is satisfied with his lot. As is stated (Psalms 128:2): "If you eat of toil of your hands, fortunate are you, and good is to you"; "fortunate are you" in this world, "and good is to you" in the World to Come. Who is honorable? One who honors his fellows. As is stated (I Samuel 2:30): "For to those who honor me, I accord honor; those who scorn me shall be demeaned." Pirkei Avot 4:1


+ 396 Rabbi Shimon the son of Gamliel would say: By three things is the world sustained: law, truth and peace. As is stated (Zachariah 8:16), "Truth, and a judgement of peace, you should administer at your [city] gates.'' Pirkei Avot 1:18


+ 350 Rabban Yochanan the son of Zakkai had five disciples: Rabbi Eliezer the son of Hurkenus, Rabbi Joshua the son of Chananya, Rabbi Yossei the Kohen, Rabbi Shimon the son of Nethanel, and Rabbi Elazar the son of Arach. He would recount their praises: Rabbi Eliezer the son of Hurkenus is a cemented cistern that loses not a drop; Rabbi Joshua the son of Chananya---fortunate is she who gave birth to him; Rabbi Yossei the Kohen---a chassid (pious one); Rabbi Shimon the son of Nethanel fears sin; Rabbi Elazar ben Arach is as an ever-increasing wellspring. Rabbi Yochanan used to say: If all the sages of Israel were to be in one cup of a balance-scale, and Eliezer the son of Hurkenus were in the other, he would outweigh them all. Abba Shaul said in his name: If all the sages of Israel were to be in one cup of a balance-scale, Eliezer the son of Hurkenus included, and Elazar the son of Arach were in the other, he would outweigh them all. Pirkei Avot 2:9


+ 324 Rabbi Yochanan said to them: Go and see which is the best trait for a person to acquire. Said Rabbi Eliezer: A good eye. Said Rabbi Joshua: A good friend. Said Rabbi Yossei: A good neighbor. Said Rabbi Shimon: To see what is born [out of ones actions]. Said Rabbi Elazar: A good heart. Said He to them: I prefer the words of Elazar the son of Arach to yours, for his words include all of yours. He said to them: Go and see which is the worst trait, the one that a person should most distance himself from. Said Rabbi Eliezer: An evil eye. Said Rabbi Joshua: An evil friend. Said Rabbi Yossei: An evil neighbor. Said Rabbi Shimon: To borrow and not to repay; for one who borrows from man is as one who borrows from the Almighty, as is stated, ``The wicked man borrows and does not repay; but the righteous one is benevolent and gives'' (Psalms 37:21). Said Rabbi Elazar: An evil heart. Said He to them: I prefer the word of Elazar the son of Arach to yours, for his words include all of yours. They would each say three things: Rabbi Eliezer would say: The honor of your fellow should be as precious to you as your own, and do not be easy to anger. Repent one day before your death.** Warm yourself by the fire of the sages, but be beware lest you be burned by its embers; for their bite is the bite of a fox, their sting is the sting of a scorpion, their hiss is the hiss a serpent, and all their words are like fiery coals. Pirkei Avot 2:10


+ 315 Rabbi Shimon would say: Be meticulous with the reading of the Shma and with prayer. When you pray, do not make your prayers routine, but [an entreaty of] mercy and a supplication before the Almighty, as is stated ``For He is benevolent and merciful, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness, and relenting of the evil decree'' (Joel 2:13). And do not be wicked in your own eyes. Pirkei Avot 2:13


+ 337 Rabbi Chanina, deputy to the kohanim, would say: Pray for the integrity of the government; for were it not for the fear of its authority, a man would swallow his neighbor alive. Rabbi Chanina son of Tradyon would say: Two who sit and no words of Torah pass between them, this is a session of scorners, as is stated, "And in a session of scorners he did not sit" (Psalms 1:1). But two who sit and exchange words of Torah, the Divine Presence rests amongst them, as is stated, "Then the G-d-fearing conversed with one another, and G-d listened and heard; and it was inscribed before Him in a book of remembrance for those who fear G-d and give thought to His name" (Malachi 3:16). From this, I know only concerning two individuals; how do I know that even a single individual who sits and occupies himself with the Torah, G-d designates reward for him? From the verse, "He sits alone in meditative stillness; indeed, he receives [reward] for it" (Lamentations 3:28). Pirkei Avot 3:2


+ 319 Rabbi Shimon would say: Three who eat at one table and do not speak words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten of idolatrous sacrifices; as is stated, "Indeed, all tables are filled with vomit and filth, devoid of the Omnipresent" (Isaiah 28:8). But three who eat at one table and speak words of Torah, it is as if they have eaten at G-d's table, as is stated, "And he said to me: This is the table that is before G-d" (Ezekiel 41:22). Pirkei Avot 3:3


+ 340 Rabbi Chalafta the son of Dosa of the village of Chanania would say: Ten who sit together and occupy themselves with Torah, the Divine Presence rests amongst them, as is stated: "The Almighty stands in the congregation of G-d" (Psalms 82:1). And from where do we know that such is also the case with five? From the verse, "He established his band on earth" (Amos 9:6). And three? From the verse, "He renders judgement in the midst of the tribunal" (Psalms 82:1). And two? From the verse, "Then the G-d-fearing conversed with one another, and G-d listened and heard" (Malachi 3:16). And from where do we know that such is the case even with a single individual? From the verse, "Every place where I have My name mentioned, I shall come to you and bless you" (Exodus 20:21). Pirkei Avot 3:6


+ 317 Rabbi Elazar of Bartosa would say: Give Him what is His, for you, and whatever is yours, are His. As David says: "For everything comes from You, and from Your own hand we give to You" (I Chronicles 29:14). Rabbi Yaakov would say: One who walks along a road and studies, and interrupts his studying to say, "How beautiful is this tree!", "How beautiful is this ploughed field!"---the Torah considers it as if he had forfeited his life. Pirkei Avot 3:7


+ 367 Rabbi Dusta'i the son of Rabbi Yannai would say in the name of Rabbi Meir: Anyone who forgets even a single word of this learning, the Torah considers it as if he had forfeited his life. As is stated, "Just be careful, and verily guard your soul, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen" (Deuteronomy 4:9). One might think that this applies also to one who has forgotten because his studies proved too difficult for him; but the verse goes on to tell us "and lest they be removed from your heart, throughout the days of your life." Hence, one does not forfeit his life unless he deliberately removes them from his heart. Pirkei Avot 3:8


+ 319 Rabbi Elazar of Modi'in would say: One who profanes the kodoshim ("holy things" consecrated for the service of G-d in the Holy Temple), degrades the Festivals, humiliates his friend in public, abrogates the covenant of our father Abraham (i.e., circumcision), or who interprets the Torah contrary to its true intent---although he may possess Torah knowledge and good deeds, he has no share in the World to Come. Pirkei Avot 3:11


+ 372 He would also say: Beloved is man, for he was created in the image [of G-d]; it is a sign of even greater love that it has been made known to him that he was created in the image, as it is says, "For in the image of G-d, He made man" (Genesis 9:6). Beloved are Israel, for they are called children of G-d; it is a sign of even greater love that it has been made known to them that they are called children of G-d, as it is stated: "You are children of the L-rd your G-d" (Deuteronomy 14:1). Beloved are Israel, for they were given a precious article; it is a sign of even greater love that it has been made known to them that they were given a precious article, as it is stated: "I have given you a good purchase; My Torah, do not forsake it" (Proverbs 4:2). Pirkei Avot 3:14


+ 347 Rabbi Eliezer the son of Azariah would say: If there is no Torah, there is no common decency; if there is no common decency, there is no Torah. If there is no wisdom, there is no fear of God; if there is no fear of God, there is no wisdom. If there is no applied knowledge, there is no analytical knowledge; if there is no analytical knowledge, there is no applied knowledge. If there is no flour, there is no Torah; if there is no Torah, there is no flour. He would also say: One whose wisdom is greater than his deeds, what is he comparable to? To a tree with many branches and few roots; comes a storm and uproots it, and turns it on its face. As is stated, "He shall be as a lone tree in a wasteland, and shall not see when good comes; he shall dwell parched in the desert, a salt land, uninhabited" (Jeremiah 17:6). But one whose deeds are greater than his wisdom, to what is he compared? To a tree with many roots and few branches, whom all the storms in the world cannot budge from its place. As is stated: "He shall be as a tree planted upon water, who spreads his roots by the river; who fears not when comes heat, whose leaf is ever lush; who worries not in a year of drought, and ceases not to yield fruit" (ibid., v. 8). Pirkei Avot 3:18


+ 326 Ben Zoma would say: Who is wise? One who learns from every man. As is stated (Psalms 119:99): "From all my teachers I have grown wise, for Your testimonials are my meditation." Who is strong? One who overpowers his inclinations. As is stated (Proverbs 16:32), "Better one who is slow to anger than one with might, one who rules his spirit than the captor of a city." Who is rich? One who is satisfied with his lot. As is stated (Psalms 128:2): "If you eat of toil of your hands, fortunate are you, and good is to you"; "fortunate are you" in this world, "and good is to you" in the World to Come. Who is honorable? One who honors his fellows. As is stated (I Samuel 2:30): "For to those who honor me, I accord honor; those who scorn me shall be demeaned." Pirkei Avot 4:1


+ 315 Rabbi Ishmael the son of Rabbi Yossei would say: One who learns Torah in order to teach, is given the opportunity to learn and teach. One who learns in order to do, is given the opportunity to learn, teach, observe and do. Rabbi Tzaddok would say: Do not separate yourself from the community. Do not act as a counselor-at-law (when serving as a judge). Do not make the Torah a crown to magnify yourself with, or a spade with which to dig. So would Hillel say: one who make personal use of the crown of Torah shall perish. Hence, one who benefits himself from the words of Torah, removes his life from the world. Pirkei Avot 4:5


+ 309 Samuel the Small would say: "When your enemy falls, do not rejoice; when he stumbles, let your heart not be gladdened. Lest G-d see, and it will displeasing in His eyes, and He will turn His wrath from him [to you]" (Proverbs 24:17-18). Pirkei Avot 4:19


+ 299 Ten miracles were performed for our forefathers in Egypt, and another ten at the sea. Ten afflictions were wrought by G-d upon the Egyptians in Egypt, and another ten at the sea. With ten tests our forefathers tested G-d in the desert, as is stated (Numbers 14:22), "They tested Me these ten times, and did not hearken to My voice." Pirkei Avot 5:4


+ 386 There are four types of people: One who says, "What is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine" is a boor. One who says "What is mine is mine, and what is yours is yours" - this is a median characteristic; others say that this is the character of a Sodomite. One who says, "What is mine is yours, and what is yours is yours" is a chassid (pious person). And one who says "What is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine" is wicked. Pirkei Avot 5:10


+ 291 Any dispute that is for the sake of Heaven is destined to endure; one that is not for the sake of Heaven is not destined to endure. Which is a dispute that is for the sake of Heaven? The dispute(s) between Hillel and Shamai. Which is a dispute that is not for the sake of Heaven? The dispute of Korach and all his company. Pirkei Avot 5:17


+ 328 One who causes the community to be meritorious, no sin will come by his hand. One who causes the community to sin, is not given the opportunity to repent. Moses was meritorious and caused the community to be meritorious, so the community's merit is attributed to him; as is stated, "He did God's righteousness, and His laws with Israel" (Deuteronomy 33:21). Jeroboam the son of Nebat sinned and caused the community to sin, so the community's sin is attributed to him; as is stated, "For the sins of Jeroboam, which he sinned and caused Israel to sin" (I Kings 15:30). Pirkei Avot 5:18


+ 385 Whoever possesses the following three traits is of the disciples of our father Abraham; and whoever possesses the opposite three traits is of the disciples of the wicked Balaam. The disciples of our father Abraham have a good eye, a meek spirit and a humble soul. The disciples of the wicked Balaam have an evil eye, a haughty spirit and a gross soul. What is the difference between the disciples of our father Abraham and the disciples of the wicked Balaam? The disciples of our father Abraham benefit in this world and inherit the World To Come, and as is stated, "To bequeath to those who love Me there is, and their treasures I shall fill" (Proverbs 8:21). The disciples of the wicked Balaam inherit purgatory and descent into the pit of destruction, as is stated, "And You, G-d, shall cast them into the pit of destruction; bloody and deceitful men, they shall not attain half their days. And I shall trust in you" (ibid., 55:24). Pirkei Avot 5:19


+ 387 The sages expounded in the language of the Mishnah (blessed is He who chose them and their learning): Rabbi Meir would say: Whoever studies Torah for Torah's sake alone, merits many things; not only that, but [the creation of] the entire world is worthwhile for him alone. He is called friend, beloved, lover of God, lover of humanity, rejoicer of God, rejoicer of humanity. The Torah enclothes him with humility and awe; makes him fit to be righteous, pious, correct and faithful; distances him from sin and brings him close to merit. From him, people enjoy counsel and wisdom, understanding and power, as is stated (Proverbs 8:14): "Mine are counsel and wisdom, I am understanding, mine is power." The Torah grants him sovereignty, dominion, and jurisprudence. The Torah's secrets are revealed to him, and he becomes as an ever-increasing wellspring and as an unceasing river. He becomes modest, patient and forgiving of insults. The Torah uplifts him and makes him greater than all creations. Pirkei Avot 6:1


+ 325 Said Rabbi Joshua the son of Levi: Every day, an echo resounds from Mount Horeb (Sinai) proclaiming and saying: "Woe is to the creatures who insult the Torah." For one who does not occupy himself in Torah is considered an outcast, as is stated (Proverbs 11:22), "A golden nose-ring in the snout of a swine, a beautiful woman bereft of reason." And it says (Exodus 32:16): "And the tablets are the work of God, and the writing is God's writing, engraved on the tablets"; read not "engraved" (charut) but "liberty" (chairut) - for there is no free individual, except for he who occupies himself with the study of Torah. And whoever occupies himself with the study of Torah is elevated, as is stated (Number 21:19), "And from the gift to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to The Heights." Pirkei Avot 6:2


+ 350 One who learns from his fellow a single chapter, or a single law, or a single verse, or a single word, or even a single letter, he must treat him with respect. For so we find with David, king of Israel, who did not learn anything from Achitofel except for two things alone, yet he called him his "master," his "guide" and his "intimate," as is stated (Psalms 55:14), "And you are a man of my worth, my guide and intimate friend." Surely we can infer a fortiori: if David, king of Israel, who learned nothing from Achitofel except for two things alone, nevertheless referred to him as his master, guide and intimate, it certainly goes without saying that one who learns from his fellow a single chapter, a law, a verse, a saying, or even a single letter, is obligated to revere him. And there is no reverence but Torah, as is stated (Proverbs 3:35; 28:10), "The sages shall inherit honor" "and the integral shall inherit good"; and there is no good but Torah, as is stated (ibid. 4:2), "I have given you a good purchase; My Torah, do not forsake it." Pirkei Avot 6:3


+ 303 Such is the way of Torah: Bread with salt you shall eat, water in small measure you shall drink, and upon the ground you shall sleep; live a life of deprivation and toil in Torah. If so you do, "fortunate are you, and good is to you" (Psalms 128:2): fortunate are you in this world, and it is good to you in the World To Come. Pirkei Avot 6:4


+ 611 Torah is greater than the priesthood or sovereignty, for sovereignty is acquired with thirty virtues, the priesthood with twenty-four, and Torah is acquired with forty-eight qualities. These are: study, listening, verbalizing, comprehension of the heart, awe, fear, humility, joy, purity, serving the sages, companionship with one's contemporaries, debating with one's students, tranquility, study of the scriptures, study of the Mishnah, minimizing engagement in business, minimizing socialization, minimizing pleasure, minimizing sleep, minimizing talk, minimizing gaiety, slowness to anger, good heartedness, faith in the sages, acceptance of suffering, knowing one's place, satisfaction with one's lot, qualifying one's words, not taking credit for oneself, likableness, love of God, love of humanity, love of charity, love of justice, love of rebuke, fleeing from honor, lack of arrogance in learning, reluctance to hand down rulings, participating in the burden of one's fellow, judging him to the side of merit, correcting him, bringing him to a peaceful resolution [of his disputes], deliberation in study, asking and answering, listening and illuminating, learning in order to teach, learning in order to observe, wising one's teacher, exactness in conveying a teaching, and saying something in the name of its speaker. Thus we have learned: One who says something in the name of its speaker brings redemption to the world, as is stated (Esther 2:22), "And Esther told the king in the name of Mordechai." Pirkei Avot 6:6


+ 308 Great is Torah, for it gives life to its observers in this world, and in the World To Come. As is stated (Proverbs 4:22): "For they are life to he who finds them, and a healing to all his flesh." And it says (ibid. 3:8): "It shall be health to your navel, and marrow to your bones." And it says (3:18): "She is a tree of life for those who hold fast to her, and happy are those who support her." And it says (1:9): "For they shall be a garland of grace for your head, and necklaces about your neck." And it says(4:9): "She shall give to your head a garland of grace, a crown of glory she shall grant you." And it says (9:11): "With me, your days shall be increased, and years of life shall be added to you." And it says (3:16): "Long days in her right hand; in her left, wealth and honor." And it says (3:2): "For long days, years of life and peace, they shall add to you." Pirkei Avot 6:7


+ 330 Rabbi Shimon the son of Judah would say in the name of Rabbi Shimon the son of Yochai: Beauty, strength, wealth, honor, wisdom, sageness, old age and children are becoming to the righteous and becoming to the world. As is stated (Proverbs 16:31): "Old age is a crown of beauty, to be found in the ways of righteousness." And it says (ibid. 20:29): "The beauty of youths is their strength, and the glory of sages is their age." And it says (ibid., 17:6): "The crown of sages are their grandchildren, and the beauty of children their fathers." And it says (Isaiah 24:23): "And the moon shall be abashed and the sun shamed, for the Lord of hosts has reigned in Zion, and before his elders is glory." Rabbi Shimon the son of Menasia would say: these seven qualities enumerated by the sages for the righteous were all realized in Rabbi [Judah HaNassi] and his sons. Pirkei Avot 6:8


+ 348 Said Rabbi Yossei the son of Kisma: Once, I was traveling and I encountered a man. He greeted me and I returned his greetings. Said he to me: "Rabbi, where are you from?" Said I to him: "From a great city of sages and scholars, am I." Said he to me: "Rabbi, would you like to dwell with us in our place? I will give you a million dinars of gold, precious stones and pearls." Said I to him: "If you were to give me all the silver, gold, precious stones and pearls in the world, I would not dwell anywhere but in a place of Torah. Indeed, so is written in the book of psalms by David the king of Israel: `I prefer the Torah of Your mouth over thousands in gold and silver' (Psalms 118:72). Furthermore, when a person passes from this world neither silver, nor gold, nor precious stones, nor pearls accompany him, only Torah and good deeds, as is stated (Proverbs 6:22): `When you go it will direct you, when you lie down it will watch over you, and when you awaken it shall be your speech.' `When you go it will direct you' - in this world; `when you lie down it will watch over you' - in the grave; `and when you awaken it shall be our speech' - in the World To Come. Also it says (Chaggai 2:8): `Mine is the silver and Mine is the gold, so says the L-rd of Hosts.' " Pirkei Avot 6:9


+ 376 God acquired five acquisitions in his world. These are: one acquisition is the Torah, one acquisition are the heavens and the earth, one acquisition is Abraham, one acquisition is the people of Israel, and one acquisition is the Holy Temple. The Torah, as it is written (Proverbs 8:22), "God acquired me as the beginning of His way, before His works of yore." The heavens and the earth, as it is written (Isaiah 66:1), "So says God: The heavens are My throne and the earth is My footstool; what house, then, can you build for Me, and where is My place of rest?"; and it says (Psalms 104:25), "How many are your works, O God, You have made them all with wisdom; the earth is filled with Your acquisitions." Abraham, as it is written (Genesis 14:19), "And he blessed him, and said: Blessed be Abram to God Most High, acquirer of heavens and earth." Israel, as it is written (Exodus 15:16), "Till Your nation, O God, shall pass, till this nation You have acquired shall pass"; and it says (Psalms 16:3), "To the holy who are upon earth, the noble ones, in whom is all My delight." The Holy Temple, as it is written (Exodus 15:17), "The base for Your dwelling that you, God, have achieved; the Sanctuary, O Lord, that Your hands have established"; and it says (Psalms 78:54), "And He brought them to His holy domain, this mount His right hand has acquired." Pirkei Avot 6:10


+ 315 Everything that God created in His world, He did not create but for His glory. As is stated (Isaiah 43:7): "All that is called by My name and for My glory, I created it, formed it, also I made it." And it says (Exodus 15:1): "God shall reign forever and ever." Pirkei Avot 6:11


+ 368 Grand Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch of the Eda Charedit, a great grandson of the Gaon of Vilna osb"m, said this past week that the times of the Mashiach are here. His source is the Vilna Gaon himself. Rav Shternbuch received a closely guarded secret that came to him from Rabbi Yitzchak Chever zatza"l, who received it from Rabbi Chaim of Volozhyn zatza"l, who received it from the Gaon of Vilna himself, who revealed it shortly before his death: “When you hear that the Russians have captured the city of Crimea, you should know that the times of the Messiah have started, that his steps are being heard. And when you hear that the Russians have reached the city of Constantinople (today’s Istanbul), you should put on your Shabbat clothes and don’t take them off, because it means that the Messiah is about to come any minute.” According to the above, we owe a note of thanks to Russian president Vladimir Putin for helping to bring Mashiach a step closer.


+ 326 Rabbi Eliezer says that we shouldn't delay doing teshuva (see tractate Shabbat 153a), for one never knows if he or she will get another chance. The three commodities that we all need to stock up on today are teshuva (penitence), emuna (faith), and kedusha (holiness) - once Mashiach comes, everything else will be worthless.


+ 311 I will insist the Hebrews have [contributed] more to civilize men than any other nation. If I was an atheist and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations ... They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their empire were but a bubble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the globe and have influenced the affairs of mankind more and more happily than any other nation, ancient or modern. John Adams, Second President of the United States (From a letter to F. A. Van der Kemp [Feb. 16, 1808] Pennsylvania Historical Society)


+ 360 If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky way. properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality? Mark Twain (“Concerning The Jews,” Harper’s Magazine, 1899 see The Complete Essays of Mark Twain, Doubleday [1963] pg. 249)


+ 267 “Ani ma’amin be-emunah shelemah” (“I believe with perfect faith”) – Rendition of Maimonides’ thirteen-point version of the Jewish principles of faith


+ 325 “Never before have Arabs made a capital in a kind of holy city. Take Saudi Arabia. They have Mecca, Medina, to build their capital there. They took a village called Riyadh and turned it into a capital. The Jordanians had Jerusalem, but they built a capital in Amman and not Jerusalem. I think the Arabs have — the Muslims have great rights in Jerusalem and they must be safeguarded to the tiniest little bit, as the rights of other Christians ... We were there a little earlier. In another four or five years, we celebrate 3,000 years since David the King came and made his capital of the Jewish Kingdom in Jerusalem. When we came back to a unified city after the Six-Day War, we were attacked, we drove them away, the city became one. We didn't touch any of the holy places. We gave freedom of access and freedom of prayer, of course, and freedom of education to every one of the many groups in the city.” Teddy Kollek; Mayor of Jerusalem (1967-1993)


+ 327 “For three thousand years, Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish hope and longing. No other city has played such a dominant role in the history, culture, religion and consciousness of a people as has Jerusalem in the life of Jewry and Judaism. Throughout centuries of exile, Jerusalem remained alive in the hearts of Jews everywhere as the focal point of Jewish history, the symbol of ancient glory, spiritual fulfillment and modern renewal. This heart and soul of the Jewish people engenders the thought that if you want one simple word to symbolize all of Jewish history, that word would be ‘Jerusalem.’” Teddy Kollek; Mayor of Jerusalem (1967-1993) Jerusalem, (DC: Washington Institute For Near East Policy, 1990), pp. 19-20.


+ 276 Through a historical catastrophe — the destruction of Jerusalem by the emperor of Rome — I was born in one of the cities in the diaspora. But I always deemed myself a child of Jerusalem, one who is in reality a native of Jerusalem. S.J. Agnon; Nobel Literautre Prize Laureate Nobel Prize Ceremony (1966)


+ 270 Without Jerusalem, the land of Israel is as a body without a soul. Elhanan Leib Lewinsky; Hebrew writer & Zionist leader (1857-1910)


+ 433 Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where—as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen—even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their meetings.

I still haven't submitted that expenses claim. The misgivings I had were of two types, both of them ineradicable. The first and the simplest was the encounter with everyday injustice: by all means the traffic cops were Jews but so, it turned out, were the colonists and ethnic cleansers and even the torturers. It was Jewish leftist friends who insisted that I go and see towns and villages under occupation, and sit down with Palestinian Arabs who were living under house arrest—if they were lucky—or who were squatting in the ruins of their demolished homes if they were less fortunate. In Ramallah I spent the day with the beguiling Raimonda Tawil, confined to her home for committing no known crime save that of expressing her opinions. (For some reason, what I most remember is a sudden exclamation from her very restrained and respectable husband, a manager of the local bank: 'I would prefer living under a Bedouin muktar to another day of Israeli rule!' He had obviously spent some time thinking about the most revolting possible Arab alternative.) In Jerusalem I visited the Tutungi family, who could produce title deeds going back generations but who were being evicted from their apartment in the old city to make way for an expansion of the Jewish quarter. Jerusalem: that place of blood since remote antiquity. Jerusalem, over which the British and French and Russians had fought a foul war in the Crimea, and in the mid-nineteenth century, on the matter of which Christian Church could command the keys to some 'holy sepulcher.' Jerusalem, where the anti-Semite Balfour had tried to bribe the Jews with the territory of another people in order to seduce them from Bolshevism and continue the diplomacy of the Great War. Jerusalem: that pest-house in whose environs all zealots hope that an even greater and final war can be provoked. It certainly made a warped appeal to my sense of history.
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir


+ 307 All questions of right to one side, I have never been able to banish the queasy inner suspicion that Israel just did not look, or feel, either permanent or sustainable. I felt this when sitting in the old Ottoman courtyards of Jerusalem, and I felt it even more when I saw the hideous 'Fort Condo' settlements that had been thrown up around the city in order to give the opposite impression. If the statelet was only based on a narrow strip of the Mediterranean littoral (god having apparently ordered Moses to lead the Jews to one of the very few parts of the region with absolutely no oil at all), that would be bad enough. But in addition, it involved roosting on top of an ever-growing population that did not welcome the newcomers. Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir


+ 350 Jerusalem was capital of southern Israel, known then as Judah. Isn't it true that there's always a rivalry between north and south? North and South Korea, North and South Vietnam, Northern and Southern Ireland, Yankees and Rebels, uptown and downtown. Somebody please tell me why that is? Maybe southerners get too much sun, like Mr. Sock over there, frying his threads, and northerners don't get enough (although I hardly think northern Israel a cool spot in the shade), but southern peoples--tropical and downtown types--always seem to lean toward decadence, whereas uptown, in the north, progress is favored. Decadence and progress obviously are at odds. Tom Robbins, Skinny Legs and All


+ 320 One of the questions asked by al-Balkhi, and often repeated to this day, is this: Why do the children of Israel continue to suffer? My grandmother Dodo thought it was because the goyim were jealous. The seder for Passover (which is a shame-faced simulacrum of a Hellenic question-and-answer session, even including the wine) tells the children that it's one of those things that happens to every Jewish generation. After the Shoah or Endl?sung or Holocaust, many rabbis tried to tell the survivors that the immolation had been a punishment for 'exile,' or for insufficient attention to the Covenant. This explanation was something of a flop with those whose parents or children had been the raw material for the 'proof,' so for a time the professional interpreters of god's will went decently quiet. This interval of ambivalence lasted until the war of 1967, when it was announced that the divine purpose could be discerned after all. How wrong, how foolish, to have announced its discovery prematurely! The exile and the Shoah could now both be understood, as part of a heavenly if somewhat roundabout scheme to recover the Western Wall in Jerusalem and other pieces of biblically mandated real estate.

I regard it as a matter of self-respect to spit in public on rationalizations of this kind. (They are almost as repellent, in their combination of arrogance, masochism, and affected false modesty, as Edith Stein's 'offer' of her life to expiate the regrettable unbelief in Jesus of her former fellow Jews.) The sage Jews are those who have put religion behind them and become in so many societies the leaven of the secular and the atheist. Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir


+ 316 Jerusalem was capital of southern Israel, known then as Judah. Isn't it true that there's always a rivalry between north and south? North and South Korea, North and South Vietnam, Northern and Southern Ireland, Yankees and Rebels, uptown and downtown. Somebody please tell me why that is? Maybe southerners get too much sun, like Mr. Sock over there, frying his threads, and northerners don't get enough (although I hardly think northern Israel a cool spot in the shade), but southern peoples--tropical and downtown types--always seem to lean toward decadence, whereas uptown, in the north, progress is favored. Decadence and progress obviously are at odds. Tom Robbins, Skinny Legs and All


+ 362 One of the questions asked by al-Balkhi, and often repeated to this day, is this: Why do the children of Israel continue to suffer? My grandmother Dodo thought it was because the goyim were jealous. The seder for Passover (which is a shame-faced simulacrum of a Hellenic question-and-answer session, even including the wine) tells the children that it's one of those things that happens to every Jewish generation. After the Shoah or Endl?sung or Holocaust, many rabbis tried to tell the survivors that the immolation had been a punishment for 'exile,' or for insufficient attention to the Covenant. This explanation was something of a flop with those whose parents or children had been the raw material for the 'proof,' so for a time the professional interpreters of god's will went decently quiet. This interval of ambivalence lasted until the war of 1967, when it was announced that the divine purpose could be discerned after all. How wrong, how foolish, to have announced its discovery prematurely! The exile and the Shoah could now both be understood, as part of a heavenly if somewhat roundabout scheme to recover the Western Wall in Jerusalem and other pieces of biblically mandated real estate.

I regard it as a matter of self-respect to spit in public on rationalizations of this kind. (They are almost as repellent, in their combination of arrogance, masochism, and affected false modesty, as Edith Stein's 'offer' of her life to expiate the regrettable unbelief in Jesus of her former fellow Jews.) The sage Jews are those who have put religion behind them and become in so many societies the leaven of the secular and the atheist. Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir


+ 359 There's a certain amount of ambiguity in my background, what with intermarriages and conversions, but under various readings of three codes which I don’t much respect (Mosaic Law, the Nuremberg Laws, and the Israeli Law of Return) I do qualify as a member of the tribe, and any denial of that in my family has ceased with me. But I would not remove myself to Israel if it meant the continuing expropriation of another people, and if anti-Jewish fascism comes again to the Christian world—or more probably comes at us via the Muslim world—I already consider it an obligation to resist it wherever I live. I would detest myself if I fled from it in any direction. Leo Strauss was right. The Jews will not be 'saved' or 'redeemed.' (Cheer up: neither will anyone else.) They/we will always be in exile whether they are in the greater Jerusalem area or not, and this in some ways is as it should be. They are, or we are, as a friend of Victor Klemperer's once put it to him in a very dark time, condemned and privileged to be 'a seismic people.' A critical register of the general health of civilization is the status of 'the Jewish question.' No insurance policy has ever been devised that can or will cover this risk. Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir


+ 232 Sarucha (age 8): "Look, down there, I recognize it, ciudad de Jerusalen (the city of Jerusalem)! Jerusalen!, Jerusalen!" she exclaimed.” Sipporah Joseph, Spirit Tale Five: Teacher of Knowledge


+ 315 The government system we have now is set up just like that of Rome and is changing into a system I call Corpocracism (Babylon, United States). Corpocracism is a word derived from some entities of feudalism, democracy, capitalism, classism, and corporatism to form a government system into a dictatorship and police state. This system is being brought about by a group of people in our own government, corporations, financial institutions and foreign entities. It is an ideology of hypocrisy that is leading to an JerUSAlem (America) that will sale off every aspect of its nations people to be captive to foreign entities such as corporations, governments, lawyers, financial institutions, banks, individuals and groups of individuals. Brian David Mattson, JerUSAlem and the Blood of Jesus


+ 327 Jerusalem was only destroyed because its inhabitants desecrated the Shabbat, they refrained from reciting the Morning and Evening Shema, the children in the Torah day schools wasted their learning time, because they were not shame faced (to sin), because they made the minors equal to the adults, because one did not rebuke another, because they embarrassed Torah Scholars. Talmud, Shabbat 119b


+ 208 There are three gates to Gehinam (purgatory) — one of them is in Jerusalem. Talmud, Eruvin 19a


+ 349 “If there is a hard, high wall and an egg that breaks against it, no matter how right the wall or how wrong the egg, I will stand on the side of the egg. Why? Because each of us is an egg, a unique soul enclosed in a fragile egg. Each of us is confronting a high wall. The high wall is the system which forces us to do the things we would not ordinarily see fit to do as individuals . . . We are all human beings, individuals, fragile eggs. We have no hope against the wall: it's too high, too dark, too cold. To fight the wall, we must join our souls together for warmth, strength. We must not let the system control us -- create who we are. It is we who created the system. (Jerusalem Prize acceptance speech, JERUSALEM POST, Feb. 15, 2009)” Haruki Murakami


+ 294 Every day of our lives and in every season of the year (not just at Easter time), Jesus asks each of us, as he did following his triumphant entry into Jerusalem those many years ago, ‘What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?’ (Matt. 22:42.) We declare that he is the Son of God, and the reality of that fact should stir our souls more frequently. I pray that it will, this Easter season and always. Howard W. Hunter


+ 324 Jerusalem (1804)

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green
And was the holy lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen

And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark Satanic mills

Bring me my bow of burning gold
Bring me my arrows of desire
Bring me my spears o'clouds unfold
Bring me my chariot of fire

I will not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Til we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land
William Blake


+ 300 It goes without saying that in order for me to buy a teapot at the Oneida, Ltd., outlet store at the Sherrill Shopping Plaza, the second coming of Jesus Christ had to have taken place in the year 70 A.D. To the Oneida Community, 70 A.D., the year the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, marks the beginning of the New Jerusalem. Which means we’ve all been living in heaven on earth for nearly two thousand years. Everyone knows there is no marriage in heaven (though one suspects there’s no shortage of it in hell). So, the Oneidans said, we’re here in heaven, already saved and perfect in the eyes of God, so let’s move upstate and sleep around. (I’m paraphrasing.) Sarah Vowell, Assassination Vacation


+ 292 Jerusalem was capital of southern Israel, known then as Judah. Isn't it true that there's always a rivalry between north and south? North and South Korea, North and South Vietnam, Northern and Southern Ireland, Yankees and Rebels, uptown and downtown. Somebody please tell me why that is? Maybe southerners get too much sun, like Mr. Sock over there, frying his threads, and northerners don't get enough (although I hardly think northern Israel a cool spot in the shade), but southern peoples--tropical and downtown types--always seem to lean toward decadence, whereas uptown, in the north, progress is favored. Decadence and progress obviously are at odds. Tom Robbins, Skinny Legs and All


+ 287 What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?" asked the Christian theologian Tertullian... Having received the revealed thruth via Christ, "we want no curious disputation." Well that was then. Today science is so powerful that theologians can't casually dismiss secular knowledge. For most... Athens and Jerusalem must be reconciled or Jerusalem will fall off the map. Philo's thoughtful answer is 'Logos') Robert Wright, The Evolution of God


+ 269 What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds. Steve Jobs — Memory and Imagination: New Pathways to the Library of Congress (1991)


+ 245 I'm the only person I know that's lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year…. It's very character-building. Steve Jobs — Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company (2004) by Owen W. Linzmayer


+ 280 The meaning of her whole name, Amaterasu-omikami, is "the great august kami (God) who shines in the heaven".


+ 269 Where the questions of religion are concerned people are guilty of every possible kind of insincerity and intellectual misdemeanor. Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion (The Standard Edition)


+ 347 The evidence from anthropology concurs with history in refuting the popular belief in a Jewish race descended from the biblical tribe. From the anthropologist's point of view, two groups of facts militate against this belief: the wide diversity of Jews with regard to physical characteristics, and their similarity to the Gentile population amidst whom they live. Both are reflected in the statistics about bodily height, cranial index, blood-groups, hair and eye colour, etc. Whichever of these anthropological criteria is taken as an indicator, it shows a greater similarity between Jews and their Gentile host-nation than between Jews living in different countries. ...The obvious biological explanation for both phenomena is miscegenation, which took different forms in different historical situations: intermarriage, large-scale proselytizing, rape as a constant (legalized or tolerated) accompaniment of war and pogrom. The Thirteenth Tribe (1976). Arthur Koestler


+ 230 First Wave Indigos, in their heart of hearts, know this to be true, and long for a “soul mate” …one they love and trust to explore “the God/Goddess within” and become “one” with their partner. Magick happens when two people become one …..one heart….one soul…and if you know how to command and conduct orgone energy, (the power of the Orgasm…..the power of life itself) you can change your reality and the matrix of the entire hologram! Orgone energy laced with Divine Love is THE MOST POWERFUL ENERGY/FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE! It is the power to create ANYTHING and also can be used for destruction!


+ 186 The man said, Now this is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh. She shall be called Woman (Ishah) because she was taken from man (ish). Bereshit 2:23


+ 207 Adam knew his wife again, and she gave birth to a son. She named him Seth - Because God has granted (shath) me other offspring in place of Abel, whom Cain had killed. Bereshit 4:25


+ 187 He created them male and female. He blessed them and named them Man (Adam) on the day that they were created. Bereshit 5:2


+ 201 That he may give me the Machpelah (double) Cave, which belongs to him, which is at the end of his field; for a full price let him give it to me in your midst for burial property. Bereshit 23:9


+ 154 Once again she bore a son, and she named him Shelah, and he (Judah) was in Chezib when she gave birth to him. Bereshit 38:5


+ 213 And it came about when she gave birth, that he (the infant) stretched out his hand. So the midwife took and bound a crimson thread on his hand, saying, This one came out first. Bereshit 38:28


+ 168 And Joseph found favor in his eyes, and he served him, and he (Potiphar) appointed him over his house, and all he had he gave into his hand. Bereshit 39:4


+ 159 The warden of the prison did not inspect anything that was in his (Joseph's) hand, for the Lord was with him, and whatever he did the Lord made prosper. Bereshit 39:23


+ 180 Then the man brought the men (the brothers) into Joseph's house, and he gave them water, and they washed their feet, and he gave fodder to their donkeys. Bereshit 43:24


+ 148 And now, when I come to your servant, my father, and the boy is not with us since his soul is attached to his (the boy's) soul, Bereshit 44:30


+ 95 Throughout the first half of the nineteenth century, the (Rothschild) brothers conducted important transactions on behalf of the governments of England, France, Prussia, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Naples, Portugal, Brazil, various German states and smaller countries. They were the personal bankers of many of the crowned heads of Europe. They made large investments, through agents, in markets as distant as the United States, India, Cuba and Australia. G. Edward Griffin


+ 114 “What is it that dies? A log of wood dies to become a few planks. The planks die to become a chair. The chair dies to become a piece of firewood, and the firewood dies to become ash. You give different names to the different shapes the wood takes, but the basic substance is there always. If we could always remember this, we would never worry about the loss of anything. We never lose anything; we never gain anything. By such discrimination we put an end to unhappiness. (118-119)” ? Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras


+ 145 Unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life are common themes in the American culture today. Folks sometimes mistake my meaning when I say, “You have the freedom of choice and the ability to create your best life”, because they all too often rush to drop everything that is weighing them down. They quit the job, ditch the unhappy marriage, cut out negative friends and family, get out of Dodge, etc. I do not advocate such hastiness; in fact, I believe that rash decision-making leads to more problems further down the road. Another unsatisfying job manifests; another unhappy relationship results. These people want a new environment, yet the same negative energy always seems to occupy it. This is because transformation is all about the internal shift, not the external. Any blame placed on outside sources for our unhappiness will forever perpetuate that unhappiness. Pointing the finger is giving away your power of choice and the ability to create our best life. We choose: “That person is making me unhappy” vs. “I make myself happy.” When you are in unhappy times of lack and feelings of separation – great! Sit there and be with it. Find ways to be content with little. Find ways to be happy with your Self. As we reflect on the lives of mystics past and present, it is not the things they possess or the relationships they share that bring them enlightenment – their light is within. The same light can bring us unwavering happiness (joy). Love, Peace, Joy – these three things all come from within and have an unwavering flame – life source – that is not dependent on the conditions of the outside world. This knowing is the power and wisdom that the mystics teach us that we are all capable of achieving. When I say, “You have the freedom of choice and the ability to create your best life”, I am not referring to external conditions; I am referring to the choice you have to look inward and discover the ability to transform the lead of the soul into gold. Transformation is an inner journey of the soul. Why? Because, as we mentioned above, wherever we go, ourselves go with us. Thus, quitting the job, dumping relationships, etc. will not make us happy because we have forgotten the key factor that makes or breaks our happiness: ourselves. When we find, create, and maintain peace, joy, and love within ourselves, we then gain the ability to embrace the external world with the same emotions, perspective, and vibration. This ability is a form of enlightenment. It is the modern man’s enlightenment that transforms an unsatisfying life into one of fulfillment. Alaric Hutchinson, Living Peace


+ 161 And I realize the unbearable anguish of insanity: how uninformed people can be thinking insane people are "happy," O God, in fact it was Irwin Garden once warned me not to think the madhouses are full of "happy nuts." (p. 200) Jack Kerouac, Big Sur


+ 161 Wanna know the fastest way to unhappiness? Spend your time judging other people's reasons for happiness! That way, you'll quickly lose your own! The next time you look back at yourself (when you've taken a break from judging others) you'll think "Oh! Where did MY happiness go?" because you were too busy thinking that gay people shouldn't be happy... or, you know, something like that. C. JoyBell C.


+ 152 When one forgets the essence of one’s own soul, when one distracts oneself from attending to the substantive content of their own inner life, everything becomes confused and uncertain. The primary role of teshuva/return/penitence…is for the person to return to themselves, to the root of their soul…It is only through the great truth of returning to oneself that the person and the people, the world and all the worlds, the whole of existence, will return to their Creator, to be illuminated by the light of life. Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook - (Orot HaTshuva/Lights of Return 15:10)


+ 117 Life is for love, this is the message of the Torah, the essence of life is love. For this we are called to build a world of connection through our Torah and Mitzvot. Love is the entire Torah. Rebbe Elazar Ben Azarya (Talmudic Sage)


+ 201 Angel. Communicating With Your Spirit Guides

Are you frustrated because all your friends are communicating with their Guides, Angels, or Oracles, but you get nothing? The remedy may be simpler than you’ve ever imagined. Here’s how it works.

Everyone has Guides. You don’t have to be “special” or “psychic.” Nor do you “earn” their assistance by something you do. If you’re here on Earth, you’ve got Invisible Assistants at your side.

So who are these Invisible Assistants and why do they help you? Guides are highly evolved discarnate entities who know you and love you. They are indeed your best friends. They know your goals for this life. And they will be at your side throughout all your adventures here to help you have the experiences you came to life to have.

Before you enter a body on this planet, you, like everyone else, works out “rules” with your Guides governing how much, when, and what kind of assistance and guidance you want to receive. This is why some Guides can break into their charge’s awareness at any time, while others are limited to only giving brief answers to specific questions, and still others can bring up any subject they deem useful once a conversation begins. The rules are different for everyone because YOU make the rules.

But there’s one requirement that’s part of everyone’s arrangement: your Guides cannot make First Contact. Once the Inbound Processing into your new earthly body is complete, it is up to you to contact them before any guidance can begin.

Just when that First Contact occurs depends upon many factors: the degree of “Forgetting” you achieved during your inbound processing, your soul’s particular “style” or temperament, and the level of its spiritual evolution and awareness. It’s also greatly influenced by the culture and religious environment you entered, the challenges you face, and, last, but definitely not least, the arsenal of beliefs, behaviors and defenses that your new ego uses to help it stay alive and find love here.

First Contact may occur with the almost-newborn infant’s pre-verbal, psychic longing for relief as it struggles through its mother’s birth canal. Or, it may come in a stricken soldier’s, “Oh, God, help me…” as he lies dying on a battlefield. Or at any time in between. For some, it never happens at all. Many live their entire lives unaware of the love and assistance that’s waiting for them.

It also doesn’t matter who that First Contact is addressed to. You can call out to God, The High Mother, Allah, Aphrodite, Shiva, St. Teresa, the Blessed Ancestors, Kali, Buddha, Jesus, Pachamama—or any other name given to Divinity by the many cultures and religions on this planet. Whatever name you use to call out to the Spirit realm, your Guides will answer.

This is not to say that the face of Divinity you called out to will not also answer. It’s just that now, because you’ve called, your Guides can answer. Those are the rules. (For a full discussion of Guides, Oracles, Angels, and other Invisible Assistants, see the article, The Truth About Oracles at WomanSpiritOracles.com.)

Ideally, we’d live our lives here on Earth in such complete communion with our spirits, souls and bodies that we’d need no assistance from beyond the Veil. We’d feel our spirit’s joy. We’d pay attention to our bodies and heed the messages it sends us about its needs. We’d feel the longings of our souls and act on them, following the soul’s signals to turn ourselves away from pain and toward those things that bring us even more Joy. We’d be faced with challenges, of course—this Game of Life we come here to play would be boring without them—but because we’d be so attuned to the soul, we’d quickly and happily overcome them.

Yes, well, that’s how it’s supposed to work. But here’s what happens when things aren’t working quite that well.

First, your soul will alert your Guides that it requires some assistance in accomplishing its goals. You—the ego, the persona you’ve developed in this life—may be miserable or ignoring soul’s desires or doing things that limit your body (which is your soul’s vehicle here). Whatever the reason, your soul is frustrated because it’s not having the experiences it came to have.

If First Contact has NOT occurred, your Guides can offer no direct assistance. The best they can do—and they can only do it if your agreement allows—is to manipulate your environment in such a way as to prompt you to feel the need to call for help. Some have described this as getting a “cosmic smacked upside the head.” And yes, your ego is highly unlikely to regard this new life crisis as “help.” But your soul will. In its view, you’re on the wrong track; you’re wasting its life and it will welcome whatever it takes to get you back on Right Path.

If First Contact has already occurred—or, if the “Cosmic” is successful, once it does—your Guides will immediately begin communicating with you. They know your real goals, what will really make you happy. They’ve observed your ego’s needs, motives, hopes and fears, and—appearances not withstanding—they’re not completely unsympathetic to its feelings. They will choose the best strategy and most efficient mode of communication for you, the easiest way for you to “get” what you need to know.

They’ll use dreams, music, colors, “coincidences,” oracles, pendulums, bodily sensations, other people, animals, Nature, automatic handwriting, visions, psychics, even plain words if all else fails—they’ll use whatever works.

You may suddenly notice the words to a song running through your head over and over. Or awaken with a dream that feels “important” in an odd way. Or emerge from meditation with a sudden Insight. Or encounter a stranger who makes an offhand remark that’s just what you needed to hear. You might feel drawn to journal or draw or paint. Or to walk in Nature and suddenly see something in a tree’s shape or river’s bend that perfectly illustrates what’s really happening in your life. Or you may be suddenly struck by bodily sensations impossible to ignore. Or you may be drawn to Oracles or other divinatory tools to clarify the assistance you seek.

Your Guides may, if nothing else works, even “talk” to you in your native language. But unless you’ve become very skilled at channeling, this avenue is usually a last resort because the ego can so easily garble or deliberately obscure their message. Be open to any avenue because they’ll use Whatever Works.

IN5D.COM


+ 344 Just for fun I recently asked Erin, “Now that the kids are in summer school, don’t you think it’s about time you went out and got yourself a job?  I hate seeing you wallow in unemployment for so long.” She smiled and said, “Wow.  I have been unemployed a really long time.  That’s weird…  I like it!”

Neither of us have had jobs since the ’90s (my only job was in 1992), so we’ve been self-employed for quite a while.  In our household it’s a running joke for one of us to say to the other, “Maybe you should get a job, derelict!” It’s like the scene in The Three Stooges where Moe tells Curly to get a job, and Curly backs away, saying, “No, please… not that!  Anything but that!” It’s funny that when people reach a certain age, such as after graduating college, they assume it’s time to go out and get a job.  But like many things the masses do, just because everyone does it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.  In fact, if you’re reasonably intelligent, getting a job is one of the worst things you can do to support yourself.  There are far better ways to make a living than selling yourself into indentured servitude.

Here are some reasons you should do everything in your power to avoid getting a job:

1. Income for dummies.

Getting a job and trading your time for money may seem like a good idea.  There’s only one problem with it.  It’s stupid!  It’s the stupidest way you can possibly generate income!  This is truly income for dummies.

Why is getting a job so dumb?  Because you only get paid when you’re working.  Don’t you see a problem with that, or have you been so thoroughly brainwashed into thinking it’s reasonable and intelligent to only earn income when you’re working?  Have you never considered that it might be better to be paid even when you’re not working?  Who taught you that you could only earn income while working?  Some other brainwashed employee perhaps?

Don’t you think your life would be much easier if you got paid while you were eating, sleeping, and playing with the kids too?  Why not get paid 24/7?  Get paid whether you work or not.  Don’t your plants grow even when you aren’t tending to them?  Why not your bank account? Who cares how many hours you work?  Only a handful of people on this entire planet care how much time you spend at the office.  Most of us won’t even notice whether you work 6 hours a week or 60.  But if you have something of value to provide that matters to us, a number of us will be happy to pull out our wallets and pay you for it.  We don’t care about your time — we only care enough to pay for the value we receive.  Do you really care how long it took me to write this article?  Would you pay me twice as much if it took me 6 hours vs. only 3?

Non-dummies often start out on the traditional income for dummies path.  So don’t feel bad if you’re just now realizing you’ve been suckered.  Non-dummies eventually realize that trading time for money is indeed extremely dumb and that there must be a better way.  And of course there is a better way.  The key is to de-couple your value from your time. Smart people build systems that generate income 24/7, especially passive income.  This can include starting a business, building a web site, becoming an investor, or generating royalty income from creative work.  The system delivers the ongoing value to people and generates income from it, and once it’s in motion, it runs continuously whether you tend to it or not.  From that moment on, the bulk of your time can be invested in increasing your income (by refining your system or spawning new ones) instead of merely maintaining your income.

This web site is an example of such a system.  At the time of this writing, it generates about $9000 a month in income for me (update: $40,000 a month as of 10/31/06), and it isn’t my only income stream either.  I write each article just once (fixed time investment), and people can extract value from them year after year.  The web server delivers the value, and other systems (most of which I didn’t even build and don’t even understand) collect income and deposit it automatically into my bank account.  It’s not perfectly passive, but I love writing and would do it for free anyway.  But of course it cost me a lot of money to launch this business, right?  Um, yeah, $9 is an awful lot these days (to register the domain name).  Everything after that was profit. Sure it takes some upfront time and effort to design and implement your own income-generating systems.  But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel — feel free to use existing systems like ad networks and affiliate programs.  Once you get going, you won’t have to work so many hours to support yourself.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be out having dinner with your spouse, knowing that while you’re eating, you’re earning money?  If you want to keep working long hours because you enjoy it, go right ahead.  If you want to sit around doing nothing, feel free.  As long as your system continues delivering value to others, you’ll keep getting paid whether you’re working or not.

Your local bookstore is filled with books containing workable systems others have already designed, tested, and debugged.  Nobody is born knowing how to start a business or generate investment income, but you can easily learn it.  How long it takes you to figure it out is irrelevant because the time is going to pass anyway.  You might as well emerge at some future point as the owner of income-generating systems as opposed to a lifelong wage slave.  This isn’t all or nothing.  If your system only generates a few hundred dollars a month, that’s a significant step in the right direction.

2. Limited experience.

You might think it’s important to get a job to gain experience.  But that’s like saying you should play golf to get experience playing golf.  You gain experience from living, regardless of whether you have a job or not.  A job only gives you experience at that job, but you gain “experience” doing just about anything, so that’s no real benefit at all.  Sit around doing nothing for a couple years, and you can call yourself an experienced meditator, philosopher, or politician.

The problem with getting experience from a job is that you usually just repeat the same limited experience over and over.  You learn a lot in the beginning and then stagnate.  This forces you to miss other experiences that would be much more valuable.  And if your limited skill set ever becomes obsolete, then your experience won’t be worth squat.  In fact, ask yourself what the experience you’re gaining right now will be worth in 20-30 years.  Will your job even exist then?

Consider this.  Which experience would you rather gain?  The knowledge of how to do a specific job really well — one that you can only monetize by trading your time for money — or the knowledge of how to enjoy financial abundance for the rest of your life without ever needing a job again?  Now I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have the latter experience.  That seems a lot more useful in the real world, wouldn’t you say?

3. Lifelong domestication.

Getting a job is like enrolling in a human domestication program.  You learn how to be a good pet.

Look around you.  Really look.  What do you see?  Are these the surroundings of a free human being?  Or are you living in a cage for unconscious animals?  Have you fallen in love with the color beige? How’s your obedience training coming along?  Does your master reward your good behavior?  Do you get disciplined if you fail to obey your master’s commands?

Is there any spark of free will left inside you?  Or has your conditioning made you a pet for life? Humans are not meant to be raised in cages.  You poor thing…

4. Too many mouths to feed.

Employee income is the most heavily taxed there is.  In the USA you can expect that about half your salary will go to taxes.  The tax system is designed to disguise how much you’re really giving up because some of those taxes are paid by your employer, and some are deducted from your paycheck.  But you can bet that from your employer’s perspective, all of those taxes are considered part of your pay, as well as any other compensation you receive such as benefits.  Even the rent for the office space you consume is considered, so you must generate that much more value to cover it.  You might feel supported by your corporate environment, but keep in mind that you’re the one paying for it. Another chunk of your income goes to owners and investors.  That’s a lot of mouths to feed. It isn’t hard to understand why employees pay the most in taxes relative to their income.  After all, who has more control over the tax system?  Business owners and investors or employees? You only get paid a fraction of the real value you generate.  Your real salary may be more than triple what you’re paid, but most of that money you’ll never see.  It goes straight into other people’s pockets. What a generous person you are!

5. Way too risky.

Many employees believe getting a job is the safest and most secure way to support themselves. Morons.

Social conditioning is amazing.  It’s so good it can even make people believe the exact opposite of the truth. Does putting yourself in a position where someone else can turn off all your income just by saying two words (“You’re fired”) sound like a safe and secure situation to you?  Does having only one income stream honestly sound more secure than having 10?

The idea that a job is the most secure way to generate income is just silly.  You can’t have security if you don’t have control, and employees have the least control of anyone.  If you’re an employee, then your real job title should be professional gambler.

6. Having an evil bovine master.

When you run into an idiot in the entrepreneurial world, you can turn around and head the other way.  When you run into an idiot in the corporate world, you have to turn around and say, “Sorry, boss.”

Did you know that the word boss comes from the Dutch word baas, which historically means master?  Another meaning of the word boss is “a cow or bovine.”  And in many video games, the boss is the evil dude that you have to kill at the end of a level.

So if your boss is really your evil bovine master, then what does that make you?  Nothing but a turd in the herd. Who’s your daddy?

7. Begging for money.

When you want to increase your income, do you have to sit up and beg your master for more money?  Does it feel good to be thrown some extra Scooby Snacks now and then?

Or are you free to decide how much you get paid without needing anyone’s permission but your own?

If you have a business and one customer says “no” to you, you simply say “next.”

8. An inbred social life.

Many people treat their jobs as their primary social outlet.  They hang out with the same people working in the same field.  Such incestuous relations are social dead ends.  An exciting day includes deep conversations about the company’s switch from Sparkletts to Arrowhead, the delay of Microsoft’s latest operating system, and the unexpected delivery of more Bic pens.  Consider what it would be like to go outside and talk to strangers.  Ooooh… scary!  Better stay inside where it’s safe.

If one of your co-slaves gets sold to another master, do you lose a friend?  If you work in a male-dominated field, does that mean you never get to talk to women above the rank of receptionist?  Why not decide for yourself whom to socialize with instead of letting your master decide for you?  Believe it or not, there are locations on this planet where free people congregate.  Just be wary of those jobless folk — they’re a crazy bunch!

9. Loss of freedom.

It takes a lot of effort to tame a human being into an employee.  The first thing you have to do is break the human’s independent will.  A good way to do this is to give them a weighty policy manual filled with nonsensical rules and regulations.  This leads the new employee to become more obedient, fearing that s/he could be disciplined at any minute for something incomprehensible.  Thus, the employee will likely conclude it’s safest to simply obey the master’s commands without question.  Stir in some office politics for good measure, and we’ve got a freshly minted mind slave. As part of their obedience training, employees must be taught how to dress, talk, move, and so on.  We can’t very well have employees thinking for themselves, now can we?  That would ruin everything. God forbid you should put a plant on your desk when it’s against the company policy.  Oh no, it’s the end of the world!  Cindy has a plant on her desk!  Summon the enforcers!  Send Cindy back for another round of sterility training!

Free human beings think such rules and regulations are silly of course.  The only policy they need is:  “Be smart.  Be nice.  Do what you love.  Have fun.”

10. Becoming a coward.

Have you noticed that employed people have an almost endless capacity to whine about problems at their companies?  But they don’t really want solutions — they just want to vent and make excuses why it’s all someone else’s fault.  It’s as if getting a job somehow drains all the free will out of people and turns them into spineless cowards.  If you can’t call your boss a jerk now and then without fear of getting fired, you’re no longer free.  You’ve become your master’s property.

When you work around cowards all day long, don’t you think it’s going to rub off on you?  Of course it will.  It’s only a matter of time before you sacrifice the noblest parts of your humanity on the altar of fear:  first courage… then honesty… then honor and integrity… and finally your independent will.  You sold your humanity for nothing but an illusion.  And now your greatest fear is discovering the truth of what you’ve become.

I don’t care how badly you’ve been beaten down.  It is never too late to regain your courage.  Never!

Still want a job?

If you’re currently a well-conditioned, well-behaved employee, your most likely reaction to the above will be defensiveness.  It’s all part of the conditioning.  But consider that if the above didn’t have a grain of truth to it, you wouldn’t have an emotional reaction at all.  This is only a reminder of what you already know.  You can deny your cage all you want, but the cage is still there.  Perhaps this all happened so gradually that you never noticed it until now… like a lobster enjoying a nice warm bath. If any of this makes you mad, that’s a step in the right direction.  Anger is a higher level of consciousness than apathy, so it’s a lot better than being numb all the time.  Any emotion — even confusion — is better than apathy.  If you work through your feelings instead of repressing them, you’ll soon emerge on the doorstep of courage.  And when that happens, you’ll have the will to actually do something about your situation and start living like the powerful human being you were meant to be instead of the domesticated pet you’ve been trained to be.

Happily jobless

What’s the alternative to getting a job?  The alternative is to remain happily jobless for life and to generate income through other means.  Realize that you earn income by providing value — not time — so find a way to provide your best value to others, and charge a fair price for it.  One of the simplest and most accessible ways is to start your own business.  Whatever work you’d otherwise do via employment, find a way to provide that same value directly to those who will benefit most from it.  It takes a bit more time to get going, but your freedom is easily worth the initial investment of time and energy.  Then you can buy your own Scooby Snacks for a change. And of course everything you learn along the way, you can share with others to generate even more value.  So even your mistakes can be monetized.

One of the greatest fears you’ll confront is that you may not have any real value to offer others.  Maybe being an employee and getting paid by the hour is the best you can do.  Maybe you just aren’t worth that much.  That line of thinking is all just part of your conditioning.  It’s absolute nonsense.  As you begin to dump such brainwashing, you’ll soon recognize that you have the ability to provide enormous value to others and that people will gladly pay you for it.  There’s only one thing that prevents you from seeing this truth — fear.

All you really need is the courage to be yourself.  Your real value is rooted in who you are, not what you do.  The only thing you need actually do is express your real self to the world.  You’ve been told all sort of lies as to why you can’t do that.  But you’ll never know true happiness and fulfillment until you summon the courage to do it anyway.

The next time someone says to you, “Get a job,” I suggest you reply as Curly did:  “No, please… not that!  Anything but that!”  Then poke him right in the eyes.

You already know deep down that getting a job isn’t what you want.  So don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise.  Learn to trust your inner wisdom, even if the whole world says you’re wrong and foolish for doing so.  Years from now you’ll look back and realize it was one of the best decisions you ever made.

Final thoughts

While I wouldn’t recommend starting an online business for everyone, for many people it’s one of the best ways to generate income without a job. It has certainly worked disgustingly well for me. If you’re interested in learning more about this option, please check out Build Your Own Successful Online Business for details.

About the author:

Steve Pavlina calls himself “the most intensely growth-oriented individual you will ever meet.” While sitting in a jail cell at age 19, Steve decided to dedicate his life to the pursuit of personal growth. Passionate about sharing what he learned with anyone who desires self-improvement, he has written more than 700 articles and has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, and Self Magazine. As a result of giving away all his best ideas for free, Steve’s Website quickly became the most popular personal development site in the world, receiving more than 2 million visitors per month.


+ 219 Sex and Aural Energy

Pay attention to whom you share your intimate energy with. Intimacy at this level intertwines your aural energy with the aural energy of the other person. These powerful connections, regardless of how insignificant you think they are, leave spiritual debris, particularly within people who do not practice any type of cleansing, physical, emotional or otherwise. The more you interact intimately with someone, the deeper the connection and the more of their aura is intertwined with yours. Imagine the confused aura of someone who sleeps with multiple people and carries around these multiple energies? What they may not realize is that others can feel that energy which can repel positive energy and attract negative energy into your life.

“I always say, never sleep with someone you wouldn’t want to be” - Lisa Chase Patterson We are all physical beings, but we are also so much more than that, including ‘energetic beings’. When you get intimate with anyone you merge with their energy. It doesn’t matter if it is OBE (astral) sex, physical sex, or oral sex — anytime you are intimate with another person (or people) you absorb some of their energy and they absorb some of your energy.

If you have sex with positive, loving, uplifting people – that wonderful energy is absorbed and uplifts you. If you have sex with negative, pessimistic, unstable, depressive people – that energy will have you crashing down and uninterested in day-to-day life. (Among other ways. We are all unique after all) Keep in mind that if this person sleeps with a variety of people, they absorb their energy. A married man or woman has absorbed their spouses energy and will mix it with your energy if you are the other man or woman. It’s vice versa.

So the next time you jump into bed with someone or want to hook up for OBE sex – keep in mind that unless they cleanse their energy on a regular basis, you will be getting intimate with whomever they have been intimate with.

Here is some information I have found about Aura Cleansing and Healing :

As we accumulate unwanted energies in daily life, regular aura cleansing supports health and well-being. Like psychic dust bunnies, we go around collecting debris on our aura, until we finally do something to cleanse it… It is the same with personal hygiene. If you do not bathe, your body will become dirtier and dirtier. Gradually the smell becomes unbearable. Eventually, your body even becomes a breeding ground for disease and bacteria. If you do not cleanse your aura, your spiritual energy system will also become ‘dirtier and dirtier’. Eventually you become unpleasant for others to be around (though they may not consciously understand why). Your energy system then begins to attract lower vibrations which are also unhealthy for you and others.

In modern culture, we expect people to take care of their personal hygiene by bathing regularly, if not daily. But we are not yet so spiritually evolved!

Cleansing your Aura

Just like washing your hands cleans one part of your body and washing your face takes care of another… different approaches to aura cleansing will support you in clearing different aspects of your energy system. Some aura clearing approaches are more lightweight–in terms of personal hygiene– like changing your clothes, or putting on deodorant. They are still useful, but they can’t replace bathing! Other methods of aura cleansing go much deeper–equivalent to having a good scrub-down, or going for a detoxifying spa treatment.

Bathing with Epsom Salts

Water helps wash away dirt, both physically and energetically. Adding Epsom Salts to your bath stimulates the flow of your own energy and also draws minor psychic debris out of your aura.

Swimming

Submerging yourself in water helps cleanse your aura. As ocean water contains salt and minerals, it is especially useful for drawing minor psychic debris out of your aura.

Sunlight

Gentle exposure to sunlight stimulates the flow of your own energy. Some lower vibrations cannot exist with exposure to bright light.

FOUR MOST POWERFUL APPROACHES TO AURA CLEANSING :

1. Aura Meditation

Even basic meditation helps you relax and release. Aura meditation works directly with releasing unwanted energies through grounding, clearing your aura, energy channels and chakras. One of the most powerful ways to cleanse and care for your aura is energy-based aura meditation.

2. Aura Healings

In an aura healing, the healer supports you in cleansing unwanted energies out of your system. The healer assists you in grounding out psychic debris, releasing blocks and helps you get your own energy flowing. If you’d like to find out more about Aura Healing, I highly recommend you research Reiki. If you’d like to experience it yourself, I recommend you look for a Reiki healer in your area)

3. Aura Readings

Often we confuse other people’s energy with our own energy. When we mistake foreign energy for our own, we do not want to release it. We hold on to it because we think it is us! In a clairvoyant aura reading, a reader can help you identify your own energy and discern foreign energy. When you recognize an energy is not you, it is much easier to release.

4. Feeling your Emotions

When your emotional energy is blocked, it creates congestion and back-up throughout your spiritual energy system. This makes it easy to get stuck with unwanted energies. Allowing yourself to feel hidden emotions creates a release of energy. This movement and flow supports you in cleansing psychic debris.

Other Options for Aura Cleansing :

Wind

Standing with an open body posture in a strong wind supports you in releasing unwanted energies. As sea breezes contain moisture, salt and minerals, ocean winds are especially beneficial for aura cleansing.

Gardening or Being in Nature

Through gardening and being in Nature, you come in direct contact with the earth. This helps you get grounded and release unwanted energies out of your system.

Creativity

Creating something you’re enthusiastic about gives you a ‘creative high’. These surges of creative energy stimulate the flow of your own energy and support you in releasing blocks and unwanted energies.

Here is the source of the information on Aural Cleaning. If you’d like to find out more about aura healing, energy healing, and distant healing, I highly recommend you check out the rest of the website.

Aura Cleansing and more

www.themindunleashed.org


+ 136 Rabbi Akiva's favorite principle was “Love your fellow as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18)


+ 123 Torah Learning for the Creative Individual

Outstanding people who are involved in Torah and who have a talent and inner predilection for ethical and poetic studies, for high thoughts and exalted wisdom, may not suppress or nullify that great desire.

They must broaden it and make it great. They must every day engage in Torah learning that is broad and that transmits knowledge, wisdom and ability.

Such people must dedicate most of their talent to such learning. They should not worry that this dedication may force them to curtail their practical Torah learning, leading them to satisfy themselves with learning that is easy, short and straight, allowing them to simply know the halachah and its reasoning clearly, and allowing them to simply clarify everything in its time with the calm learning of breadth of knowledge in (a) halachah, (b) the basic Talmud discussions and (c) the various approaches of the sages.

This will not keep them from being sharp. True Torah sharpness is naturally born of this learning [mentioned above] of itself, and appears when it is needed.

One does not need to work hard and spend a great deal of time on pilpul. As it is, most pilpul is intended for those [who, not being poetic,] turn to it to fulfill the thirst of their soul for the breadth of Torah and powerful intellectual freedom.

A little pilpul is always good, even for those who are mostly involved in very spiritual matters; but the basic concern of these sensitive souls must be “to open the eyes of the blind; to bring the prisoner out of the jail; to take the man sitting in darkness out of his cell” (Is. 42:7).

Eder Hay’kar, p. 140


+ 105 The Two Companions

The oral Torah draws sustenance in a hidden manner from the heavenly, and in a revealed manner from the earthly.

The land of Israel must be built up, with all the people of Israel dwelling upon it in a well-ordered manner: with the Temple and a kingdom, with cohanim and prophecy, with judges and officers and all their accouterments. Then the oral Torah will live in all the glow of its beauty. It will flower and bloom. With its entire measure, it will connect to the written Torah.

In exile, these twins were separated. The written Torah rose to the heights of holiness, and the oral Torah descended to the very depths. Nevertheless, [the oral Torah] receives a silent sustenance from the light of the written Torah, from its past uncultivated growth, which suffices to allow it to exist, [although] with a constrained life.

Every day, [the oral Torah] descends and falls. But one day the breeze will blow and the light of life will arrive from the treasury of eternal redemption. Then Israel will grow strong. We will be planted upon our land and improve in all the magnificence of our structure. Then the oral Torah will begin to blossom, from the depth of its root. It will rise higher and higher. The light of the written Torah will shine the rays of its light upon it anew: “new for the morning.” Then these companions will unite in the realm of their bridal chamber.

And the light of the soul of God, the Life of worlds, which is revealed in the revival of Israel (when our horn is lifted), will shine with the light of the seven days of the light of the sun and the light of the moon combined.

Then their light will be straight and penetrating, connecting one extremity to the other. It will respond to the land and the nation in every manifestation of life. The light of the moon will be like the light of the sun. And the light of the sun will shine sevenfold, like the light of the seven days, on the day that God binds the fracture of His nation and heals the illness of its wound.

Orot Hatorah 1:3


+ 135 Torah Scholars Whose Learning Is Their Occupation

Torah scholars whose learning is their occupation must see to it that their path lies correctly before them and that their goal is clear, so that their spirit may be strong and their mind quiet, calm and settled.

How great is the exalted principle, “You are not required to finish, yet neither are you absolved of the work.” Therefore, there is not such a great need to visualize self-encouragement in your Torah-learning service that involves embracing the totality of its knowledge.

This can calm your heart, so that you may learn every topic with a confident and quiet spirit, undisturbed by other things or by worrying in general about attaining total knowledge, which is impossible. Instead, you find your own personal service acceptable.

Nevertheless, you must pave a path for yourself upon which you can still see the complete circumference of the Torah.

In ideology, you must gain clarity about your purpose and the purpose of your desire in your Torah-learning service of God. Also, in practical learning, you must yearn to encompass and incorporate the complete sum of the entire practical teachings that are in the Torah’s practical aspect—as far as you can.

People customarily say that the Torah has no end. In regard to its practical aspect, that is true only within certain parameters—for really, it is possible, when a person goes on a straight path, to attain a total and clear embrace of the entire practical aspect of the Torah.

Those who are great need no explanation for this. But those of middle rank need help, after they arrive at the measure of competent understanding of the depth of halachah, in knowing the form of halachah in a straight and proper way, [which they gain] by serving Torah scholars in correct measure, until they know how to study any Talmudic discussion properly, and how to question and answer in accordance with the path of Torah in the give and take of halachah. Then their main effort must be, first and foremost, to encompass all the halachos of the Rif in their simple meaning, with competent breadth of knowledge. The attainment of this is made much easier by a calm steadfastness.

This service is very sweet in itself, as well as a pleasurable vision that is close to the goal of total encompassing , knowing the complete sum of all the halachos—according to how very close [their study is] to their source in the Talmud in general. Only through the gathering of all the details will the great beauty of the glorious building of the entire practical Torah stand before your eyes.

When you proceed in this fashion every day, continuously, you will add study-times dedicated to an overall mastery of the written Torah, and you will spend set aside times every day for acquiring the wisdom of the aggadah, midrash, ethical works, philosophy and Kabbalah, in proper proportion, and a breadth of time for independent thought, in order to broaden good sensibilities, as well as your set time for learning Talmud quickly every day, and as well as occasional times for clarifying the depth of halachah broadly and engaging in sharp analysis of various topics, in order to broaden your mind and study in-depth, which is crucial for all those who seek the Torah.

When you acquire an encompassing expertise in the halachos of the Rif, there will be born within you the desire to know the halachos clearly. You will learn a great deal of Talmud (Babylonian and Jerusalem), Toseftas and all the words of the Sages, out of an inner recognition of the need for breadth and clarity. The essence of your service must always be in broad learning of the foundations of the halachos and the essentials of the words of Torah, until the perfection of knowledge in all the areas and details will make your awareness whole in all other matters that a person needs. And at that point, people will be inspired by your advice and counsel.

When you proceed in this way, you will also be able to set fixed times for acquiring the wisdom and knowledge that are useful to a person in this world, which broaden the circumference of your knowledge and give you the courage to face the necessities of life. Then you will be pleasing to others and you will find grace in the eyes of God and man.

Orot Hatorah 9:3


+ 116 To Expel Coarseness

It is an established principle that if you see that your success lies in the Torah’s spirituality and mystical teachings, and if you find learning halachah in depth difficult, your inner obligation is to set aside the majority of your time to that study that fits your spirit.

Similarly, if you see that learning the secrets of the Torah is sanctifying you, is raising your spirit and bringing you close to holiness with a feeling in your heart and inner mind, and you do not see this desirable fruit from your exoteric studies—and, more than that, they do not suffice to expel from you the coarseness of your proclivities that you sense in your spirit—this is a definite sign that your rectification lies in learning your portion of the inner light of the Torah’s mysticism.

When you feel within yourself such a clarity and purity that the exoteric learning will also support you in [rising in] holiness, you will be able to expand your boundary until you will fulfill your purpose well and come back to gain more pleasure in the teachings of the supernal secrets “for sustenance, for satiety and for fine garments” (Isaiah 23:18). When everything is for the sake of heaven, with pure intent, “He does not despise the suffering of the impoverished” (Psalms 22:25).

Orot Hatorah 10:3


+ 169 Dark Alleys Shine

Once we learn much hidden Torah, whatever we understand and learn from the revealed Torah shines with a precious light.

Then the hidden Torah, with its special quality, appears in all those topics that the revealed Torah discusses.

This is found in the Jerusalem Talmud: since its authors were pious, their Torah was “blessed.” In contrast, the words of the Babylonian Talmud are merely “kept.” It seems that the Jerusalem Talmud deals with more elevated, pious people. Because of them, the Torah grows and becomes glorious. This is due to the appearance of attainments of holiness, starting from a small beginning and developing into great and powerful rivers. These people attain the light of Torah by prayer and deep study, as well as before and after learning. Such people constitute the body of Torah and the soul of Torah.

In this regard, there is a difference between the air of the land of Israel (where the holy spirit can flow upon the content of Jewish law) and elsewhere (where the holy spirit can spread openly only in aggadah, whereas Jewish law is judged by human intellect).

“‘In the dark places, You have placed me’ (Eichah 3:6)—this is the Babylonian Talmud” (Sanhedrin 24a). But from the midst of darkness, great light will sprout: “The nation that walks in darkness has seen a great light, those who dwell in a land of the shadow of death—light has shone upon them” (Is. 9:1). [“These are masters of the Talmud, who have seen great light, for the Holy One, blessed be He, illumines their eyes with what is forbidden and allowed, what is ritually unclean and clean” (Midrash Tanchuma Noach).]

In this way, these people bring down to the lowly avenues of life the illumination of God’s supernal Presence. In this way, they cause multitudinous dark alleys to shine. This aids numbers of those who are distant come, approach and connect to the supernal light of the glow of Torah in its might, the Torah of the land of Israel: “‘The gold of that land is good’ (Bereishis 2:12)—there is no Torah like the Torah of the land of Israel, and no wisdom like the wisdom of the land of Israel” (Bereishis Rabbah 16).

Orot Hatorah 13:1


+ 142 The Prayerbook and the Villager

by Shai Agnon

Shai Agnon (winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature) told:

One time, a number of us—myself, Chaim Nachman Bialik, Eliezer Meir Lifshitz, Rabbi Simchah Asaf, Binyamin and others—entered the presence of the great Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen Kook and discussed the problems of the generation and how to rectify it.

One of the group made a speech in praise of the Torah, which ended by criticizing the many additional laws enacted by the rabbis in every generation. Rabbi Nachman rose in pain, and appeared angry. But he immediately overcame his anger, as was his holy way, and answered quietly: Hearing this has brought to mind a story.

There was once a great rabbi who happened to pass through a village. Night fell, and he had to stay there overnight. He asked the villager at whose house he was staying for a volume of the Talmud, but the villager didn’t have one. He asked for a mishnah—the villager didn’t have. He asked for an Ein Yaakov—the villager didn’t have that either.

Finally, he asked the villager, “Do you have a prayerbook?” The villager brought him an old prayerbook, which contained a commentary that the rabbi read the entire night, and which he enjoyed greatly.

The next day, the rabbi offered to pay a good price for the prayerbook, but the villager refused. The rabbi persisted: “I’ll trade it for a new prayerbook with a fine binding.” But the villager still refused.

“Why?” asked the rabbi.

The villager replied, “Rabbi, every morning when I get up I like to drink something hot, and I warm up the kettle. To make the fire catch quickly, I light a piece of paper and put it under the tinder. Since I don’t have much paper in the house, I rip a page out of the prayerbook and light that. And also, every time I want to smoke my pipe, I rip a page out of the prayerbook to light it.

“I am already an old man, but because there is so much commentary, I still haven’t come to the prayers. All the pages I’ve ripped out really aren’t the prayerbook.”

Malachim Kivnei Adam, pp. 363-65


+ 115 Sustaining the World

by Avraham Shoar

In his youth, the writer, Avraham Shoar, was the chavruta (study partner) of Rav Kook in the beis medrash of Lutzin. He tells that young Avraham Yitzchak’s diligence was extraordinary. If a short amount of time passed without learning Torah, he felt real anguish: a actual physical pain:

One day (tells Avraham Shoar), he told me: “I have decided that two nights a week, we should learn mishmar (extended learning). Two nights a week, let us learn until dawn.”

I remember one such mishmar night, typical of the character of this extraordinary man. We were learning Chulin from the Talmud together. We were engaged in halachic dispute. I stood my ground, and we argued at length until we at last came to a shared understanding.

It was late. We were learning at the bimah. Around us was silence. In the adjoining dormitory, all the students were already asleep. Before us, burning above the holy ark, was the ner tamid—the eternal light. And we took a short rest from our toil and sat and conversed.

He said to me in a secretive voice: “Do you know, perhaps just the two of us are now sustaining the entire world. Perhaps the Holy One, blessed be He, is judging the world right now. And mankind’s sins are being considered, and they outweigh the good.

“Now the angel Michael, the one defender out of a thousand, picks up the words of our Torah learning and places them on the scale, and our words of Torah help outweigh the other side. If so, we have merited to sustain the entire world. And we are still just children. This is the first year that I am wearing tefillin, and as for you, you are not even bar mitzvah.”

As he spoke, I was lifted to the highest worlds. I could see, almost with my own eyes, the heavenly host: the fiery scale, the angels and cherubim. They were weighing the acts of humanity, and behold, they placed upon the scale the page of Chulin that we were learning, with the commentaries of Rashi, Tosafot and the Maharsha. And this page gave merit to the entire world.”

As I sat, submerged in my visions, Avraham Yitzchak’s voice continued. I heard him say with great simplicity: “A day will come when and I will be great in Torah. And then...” He touched me so that I would turn to him, and I saw his face burning, his eyes brilliant and sparkling like fiery coals set in milk. And he whispered: “I will go to the land of Israel, to the holy city of Jerusalem, and I will found a yeshiva there, like Kerem Beyavneh. And students from all over the world will gather there, and ‘from Jerusalem will come forth Torah.’”

These were the youthful dreams of Rav Kook.

These were his desires and yearnings when he had just become bar mitzvah.

Malachim Kivnei Adam, pp. 4-5


+ 114 Horses of Fire

“‘Horses of fire’ refers to the letters of the Torah” (Introduction, Tikunei Zohar).

Sometimes an idea is so powerful that a person cannot grasp it with his own strength. But his inspiration is magnified when he bonds with the letter in the Torah. And that capability rises much beyond his own strength, like the swift and certain passage of a chariot.

There is a type of person who travels only by foot. He makes his way using the might of his deep study of the Torah in a general fashion. He is not aided in understanding matters by means of the letters of the Torah.

There is another type of person who lacks the strength to walk. Instead, he travels exclusively upon the letters of the Torah, [‘the horses of fire’]—even in those matters that are simple, where a healthy man should travel by foot, using his own ability.

And there is another type of person. He goes by foot whenever he can. And when he does utilize the letters of the Torah, it is not out of weakness. Rather, he is like a man riding gloriously upon a horse, lending a crown to [the Torah] that he is involved with, or riding to a place that he could not have reached with his own ability, but only, in addition, by means of seeking out the letters of the Torah.

Orot Hatorah 5:4


+ 127 Enriching the Community of Israel

One way of learning Torah for its own sake is [to do so in order] to enrich the Community of Israel with great spiritual powers.

The more that the light of Torah increases, so that with one heart the people of Israel appreciate and respect it, the more that the fundamental power of our nation gains strength and firmness.

And the individual soul of the person who brings about this universal blessing itself grows and gains glory, gains completion and beauty, with a multitude of fresh branches. And it sends forth a multitude of powerful roots, through which it takes root amidst the roots of the Tree of true life. To the degree of its purity and might, this soul recognizes and feels the depth of the pleasantness of the good taste of a fulfilled life.

“Your palate is like good wine. It goes directly to my beloved. It causes the lips of the sleeping to murmur” (Shir Hashirim 7:10).

Orot Hatorah 2:4


+ 113 I have seen it written that the prohibition from Above to refrain from open study in the wisdom of truth was only for a limited period, until the end of 1490, but from then on the prohibition has been lifted and permission was granted to study the Zohar. Since 1540 it has been a great Mitzva (commandment) for the masses to study in public, old and young... and that is because the Messiah will come because of that and not because of any other reason. Therefore, we must not be negligent. Rabbi Abraham Ben Mordechai Azulai, Introduction to the book, Ohr HaChama, Light of the Sun


+ 92 There is an old Yiddish folk-saying "Bei Yidden es is nishto kein seder." There is no seder (order) amongst Jews. They no sooner embark on the seder (order), and the child asks "Why is this night different?"


+ 124 So the Synagogue got really fed up with its Rabbi. The Executive Committee met and ne-too-reluctantly, concluded that they'd have to let him go. Trouble was - who'd want to take him - especially if it got out that he'd been fired? So the Executive Committee decided to give him a glowing letter of recommendation. It compared the Rabbi to Shakespeare, Moses and even G-d Himself. The recommendation was so warm that within six weeks the Rabbi succeeded in securing himself a pulpit in a major upwardly-mobile Synagogue 500 miles away, at twice his original salary and with three junior Rabbis working under him. Needless to say, in a couple of months the Rabbi's new employers began to observe some of his imperfections. The President of the Rabbi's new pulpit angrily called the President of the old Synagogue charging "We employed this man mostly on the basis of your recommendation. How could you possibly compare him to Shakespeare, Moses and even G-d Himself, when he can't string together a correct sentence in English, when his knowledge of Hebrew is worse than mine and that on top of everything else, he's a liar, a cheat and an all-round low-life?" "Simple," answered his colleague. "Like Shakespeare he has no Hebrew or Jewish knowledge. Like Moses, he can't speak English, and like G-d Himself - 'Er is nisht kan mentch (He's not a human being!).


+ 63 Man was created with the will to receive self-pleasure, called “the will to receive for one’s own benefit.” We are told that one has to nullify that will to receive and acquire a new Kli [vessel], called “the will to bestow.” Not every person is rewarded with it, meaning with the ability to acquire Kelim [vessels] suitable for the Upper Light to reside in. For one to attain the will to bestow, our sages said (Kiddushin 30), “I have created the evil inclination, I have created for it the Torah as a spice,” meaning that specifically through the Torah, one can achieve the Kelim of bestowal. Rabash, The Rungs of the Ladder, “The Importance of Faith”


+ 68 How one can achieve complete equivalence of form, so all one’s actions are to give to others, while man’s very essence is only to receive for oneself? By nature, we are unable to do even the smallest thing to benefit others... Indeed, I admit that this is a very difficult thing. One cannot change the nature of one’s own creation, which is only to receive for oneself, much less invert one’s nature from one extreme to the other, meaning to not receive anything for oneself, but rather act only to bestow. Yet, this is why the Creator gave us Torah and Mitzvot, which we were commanded to do only in order to bestow contentment upon the Creator. Had it not been for the engagement in Torah and Mitzvot Lishma (for Her Name), to bring contentment to the Creator with them, and not to benefit ourselves, there would have been no tactic in the world that could help us invert our nature. Baal HaSulam, “A Speech for the Completion of The Zohar”


+ 52 Through the natural remedy of the engagement in Torah and Mitzvot Lishma, which the Giver of the Torah knows, as our sages wrote (Kidushin 30b), “The Creator says, ‘I have created the evil inclination, I have created for it the Torah as a spice.’” Thus, that creature develops and marches upward in degrees of the above spoken exaltedness, until he loses all remnants of self-love and all the Mitzvot in his body rise, and he performs all his actions only to bestow, so even the necessity that he receives flows in the direction of bestowal, so he can bestow. Baal HaSulam, Matan Torah [The Giving of the Torah], Item 12


+ 64 Thus, we see that the main work we must do, to achieve the purpose for which the world was created—to do good to His creations—is to qualify ourselves to acquire vessels of bestowal. This is the correction for making the King’s gift complete, so they will feel no shame upon reception of the pleasures. And all the evil in us removes us from the good that we are destined to receive. We were given the remedy of Torah and Mitzvot so as to achieve those Kelim. This is the meaning of what our sages said (Kidushin, 30), “The Creator says, ‘I have created the evil inclination, I have created for it the spice of Torah,’ by which he will lose all the sparks of self-love within him and will be rewarded with his desire being only to bestow contentment upon his Maker.” Rabash, The Rungs of the Ladder, “What Is the Substance of Slander and Against Whom Is It?”


+ 58 Our sages said, “I have created the evil inclination, I have created the Torah as a spice” (Babba Batra, 16). The matter of the spice is as our sages said, “If only they left Me and kept My Torah, the Light would reform them” (Yerushalmi, Hagiga, 6b). Thus, that there is a power in the Torah to reform a person, referring to the evil within man, meaning to make the will to receive be in order to bestow. Rabash, The Rungs of the Ladder, “Man Is Created in the Torah”