In a world that is filled with much animosity, the concept of universal love has become a famous and much discussed topic. We are taught that only when all people begin loving each other equally will our multitude of problems be solved and universal peace prevail. Any discrimination whereby we love some people more than others will lead to hatred, jealousy and more problems. We live for love. We are prepared to give up anything to experience it. But we should never forget that love means preference.
Few prayers are more perplexing than the one called “Ein Keloh-einu.” This famous song is chanted at the end of the morning prayers. But it makes little sense. In fact, it seems more than just odd. We first sing “Ein Keloh-einu” (There is nobody like our God), and then we ask “Mi-Keloh-einu” (Who is like […]
To be truly alive is only possible when one lives for some supreme goal. The ultimate question regarding our lives is whether there is anything worth dying for. If the answer is no, then we must ask ourselves whether there is anything to live for. For most thinking people there is more to life than our physical survival or having a great time. It is about the exaltation of existence and the ability to hear a perpetual murmur emitted by the waves beyond the shore of worldliness, which gives us the feeling that life is of utmost significance.
As I watch some of my friends entering retirement, I realize how dangerous it is to “take it easy” and fall into the pit of idleness, thinking that one is at the peak of one’s life while one may very well be at its lowest point. Retirement can be a real killer, and surviving its hazards is an art. For most people, old age and retirement often arrive with a jolt. We are not ready. There are no official classes in our youth to prepare us for this stage of our lives. As a result, many stop dreaming and are devoid of any ambition. Some even start apologizing that they are still alive.
We all have urges that make us do things we are ashamed of. That is only human. But “the true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.” (Andre Gide) Hypocrisy is a state of constant self-deception. Similarly, hiding one’s vices behind religious texts or garments, talmudic knowledge and frequent visits to houses of prayer desecrates the name of God and disparages genuine religion.