Daily Archives: May 3, 2011

How not to confuse selfishness with selflessness

Most people confuse selfish goodness, with selfless goodness.

The heart is a reactive machine, hence it cannot decipher between truth.

The famous story is told about three great sages in ancient Israel discussing Roman construction in Israel; One praised their bathhouses aqueducts etc. (which are still visible,) the second was silent not wanting to offend Rome, and the third, the great and holy Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Author of the Zohar, the primary text of Kabbalah) said “They build bathhouses so they can bath themselves and they build brides to collect taxes etc.”

In other words, the first sage was under the false impression that what feels good to the heart is altruistically made, while Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was able to decipher where the Romans true heart lies, namely in self gratification which in retrospect and 20/20 hindsight we all know Rome didn’t conquer to help the less fortunate, but the other way around.

So how do we overcome our hearts stupidity? How can we decipher right and wrong, altruistic and selfish, goodness and in fact evil motivations?

The answer is that we cant; however each and everyone of us must arrive at the level were we feel no dependence on fellow man for we know that fellow man is only – to borrow a mystical term – like a hammer in the hand of the builder, a tool used by G-d to bestow his love or his rebuke upon us.

Understanding the root of terrorism

Understanding the root of terrorism

What makes someone with great fortune estimated at 300,000,000 million US dedicate his life to killing people

The sad conclusion is that he belonged to a religion which has as a basic tenet jihad.

Now what is jihad.

The following I took from a Muslim website which is merely a part of an entire book spelling out the legitimacy of jihad and it speaks for itself.

B- Unconditional verses about Jihad 

I said that some of the Quranic instructions about jihad against kufar (disbelievers) are unconditional, which means they state only this: “O Prophet Fight with the Kufar and the hypocrites.” Or, in the case the verse pertaining to which we recited, after a period which is given to the polytheists (four months), if they have not adopted Islam or haven’t migrated, then they are to be killed. (Does it mean in the surroundings of Mecca and around the sanctuary or every place? This question (must be discussed later.) Or that verse with which we began our discussion and which is about the People of the Book.

«And fight those who have not faith in God nor in the Hereafter and (who) forbid not what God and His Prophet have forbidden, and who are not committed to the religion of truth.» (9:29).

or another verse:

«O Prophet, Fight the kufar (disbelievers) and hypocrites and be stern against them.» (9:73).

If we were to pay attention only to this verse, we would say that Islam fully instructs the Muslims to fight against kufar and hypocrites and they (Muslims) must never be in a state of peace with them, that Muslims must fight them, as vehemently as they can. They must fight them. And if we speak like this we will come to believe that the Quran unconditionally tells us to fight the non-Muslims.

Decisions, right wrong and maybe

Decisions based on fear are always wrong.

Decisions based on love are sometimes right.

Decisions based on compassion, concern, and identification are always right if guided by G-d’s wisdom.

water cooler conversations

The lesson from the water cooler

Water cooler conversations

Yep that’s what this article is about

You see today the water cooler really irritated me

How come there is no water

And then I remembered

Have I been grateful to you for all the countless times you have given me water?

How about my dear father in heaven

Boy sometimes he bugs the … out of me

But then I think, how about all those times you have always sustained, loved, inspirired me!