One Universal Ethical Basis For Us All

בסיעתא דשמיא

The world's existence is preserved through 3 things;Torah study, Prayer & Kind Deeds. For society to flourish mankind as a whole must come to appreciate the importance of, Truth, Justice & Peace & conduct itself accordingly. Within the great Family of Man, each individual has his or her path within a path. Yet there is ONE Universal ethical basis for us all. Accept upon yourself the responsibility for peace & oneness in our world - world peace as a value goal. That will herald in a new era & a renewed world. A world of truth, wisdom, harmony & peace!

"If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it ."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Life's Challenges, Choices And Free Will

There are many ladders in life; each person is given his or her own. The ladders present themselves as life's challenges and difficult choices. The tests you face are the ladders that elevate you to great heights—the greater the challenge, the higher the ladder.

"God sometimes gives us difficult test because He believes we can overcome it, and has endowed us with the ability to do so. Few are presented a ladder as challenging as our own individua life path.

Life is a series of choices and decisions. We're always making choices. Every moment in time is a fork on our life path.  All the roads to an easy life lead a different way. No matter what we choose in life, there will be struggles. But God has given us an invaluable gift: free will. We can suffer for nothing or struggle for something. The choice is ours.

As we go through life we make decisions, and those decisions, in turn, make us. Large decisions, small decisions. Matters of great importance and the details of daily life

However, good versus evil is not the only decision we make in life. There's another sort of free choice too: Good versus better. Obstacles give us excitement. They provide us with a drive for life. It is up to us to make the right decisions and propel ourselves forward. One only need to use will and freedom of choice to decide just how high we want to soar.

The essence of humanity is free will. Free will is the "image of God" in which Adam and Eve were created.

The Source of All has defined absolute moral and conceptual principles. Living a life that expresses these principles is the definition of goodness. At every juncture, however, we are completely free to reject such a mode of life. This freedom gives substance and meaning to our choice when we "choose life".

On rare occasion we are given a glimpse of the truth just so that we know what it is that we seek. But freedom of choice can only truly exist in an environment of natural ignorance that demands discernment and intelligence to overcome. We must live in a world where neither Creator nor creation is obvious. We are then given the ability to use our powers of intelligent analysis and discernment to recognize that this magnificent mural has an Artist, and that our being painted into this mural means that our presence is of fundamental necessity for the entire enterprise of creation to be whole.

We can of course deny the beauty and purpose of the painting and remain in the state of ignorance we are born into. We can, and alas often do, use the beautiful mural of our lives merely to wrap old fish heads before throwing them into the trash. We can use our incredible powers of discernment and intelligence to attain the superficial and ephemeral, all the while making each other miserable in 101 ingenious ways.

If we saw the process of creation and the presence of the Godly in everything, if we saw the flow of energy from the Infinite Source into everything, bringing it into being at every moment, we would have no free choice in choosing the good, it would be obvious.

God expects us to make wise decisions, but ultimately these wise decisions are manipulated and guided by God, who orchestrates the circumstances to ensure that we follow the path which He planned for us. Yet we rightfully pride ourselves in being creatures that possess freedom of choice. But this choice is relegated to the arena of right and wrong, ethics and morals.

Ultimately, our choices in these areas will be our lasting legacy - because in reality they are our only real and un-influenced choices.

So, on which choices will we focus? The "big" ones, over which we have no control, or the "small" ones, which are entirely in our hands?

As is it turns out, it is the small choices which impact the world.
[Shlomo Yaffee/Yanky Tauber]

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

For Money We Lust - The World Economy & Financial Crisis

With all the discussion on the causes of the current financial crisis I can’t help but wonder if there aren’t additional reasons going on behind the scenes. Can you offer any insight into this aspect of the crisis?

Contrary to popular belief, I am not a prophet. Nor do I wish to be apocalyptic. However, God runs the world, and that things that happen are often directly related to what people do, there might be a connection between our attitude toward money and wealth and what’s happened with the world economy.

Of course, there are real, tangible reasons and explanations for what’s happened. And as you say, that’s what everyone is talking about. Also, in considering the possible spiritual reasons behind the scenes, the key is to view them as what you correctly label “additional” reasons (although they might still be primary). This means one should not be divorced from the reality of the situation, nor should one loose touch with the human element, and should have empathy for those who have lost.

That being said, the Torah position on money is that wealth is a gift from God independent of one’s effort or economic acumen. One person may be very original, astute and hard working and never amass much wealth, whereas another might not have much of these talents yet be very successful. Regardless, a person must view his financial success (or lack thereof) as coming from God. The corollary of this is that the wealth which one has must be used according to the will of the One who bestowed it. For this reason people are expected to be charitable, provide for the needy and in some cases give up to 20 percent of their net income to charity.

In our modern, materially oriented world, global obsession with wealth and financial success may have blinded mankind to the purpose of wealth, namely to be cognizant of God, express our gratitude to Him and to generously share wealth with the less fortunate. Not to proclaim, “By my strength and through the power of my own hands have I acquired all this”, but rather “To God is the glory, the grandeur, the success, and the splendor”. We must view the act of giving as a privilege, an honor and even as a gift itself – “the gift of giving”.

It is my (perhaps naïve) opinion that the early founders of America had all this in mind with the decision to inscribe “In God We Trust” on the money of the United States. The point is clear: Despite America’s wealth of natural resources and the resourcefulness of the early American spirit, it was stated unabashedly with the intention to inculcate to all – it is to God whom we pray and in God whom we place our trust for financial success.

Unfortunately, over time, in the United States and internationally, we have lost sight of this humble yet very powerful creed which has greatly been replaced with egotistical consumption, vice and greed. Perhaps the root of the crisis, then, is God’s repudiation of our trust in money rather than in Him. Perhaps in replacing the motto “In God We Trust” with “For Money We Lust”, by indulging in unnecessary luxuries while others lack the bare necessities, we have forfeited His blessing such that the money upon which we lean has started to crumble. Maybe we need to feel more acutely the precariousness of the needy, to give more to others and to put our mouths where our money is by sincerely proclaiming: In God We Trust! []

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Time Is The Most Valuable Thing A Man Can Spend

Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.Time is more valuable than money, you can get more money, but you cannot get more time. As every thread of gold is valuable, so is every moment of time. Realize that now, in this moment of time, you are creating. You are creating your next moment. That is what's real.

The first creation was Time. It began and it will end and then it will be no more. Each breath, each tick, each beat of the heart comes only once. None will ever repeat itself precisely. Every instant of life is a raw but precious stone, beckoning, saying, "Unleash my potential, unlock my secret, do with me something to reveal my purpose of being! For I am here only this one time, and then never again."

And so that is our primary mission: To elevate time and make it holy.

When you take control of your life, the first place to start is with Time: Where have you placed the hours of your day? You cannot control Time until you first take control of yourself:

Where have you placed your heart, your mind and your soul? What is important to you? Why have you entered this world?

When your time for study, time for prayer, time for family, time for the world are anchored with all your being, then all the winds of the world cannot budge them.

In every point of time, all of time is there. After all, at every moment, as the previous moment and all its history is cancelled into naught, He must regenerate the entire cosmos anew out of the void. And so He must renew along with this moment all of its past and all of time from its beginning to its end. If so, He has rendered us masters of all of time in a single moment, of the present, of the future, and of the past as well. Wherever we steer this moment now, there rushes all of time.

Take care of the minutes, for the hours will take care of themselves.

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.

Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.

Those who know the value of time use it in prepration for eternity. Time is the life of the soul.

Make time for God, and He'll make time for you.