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Monthly Archives

June 2019

Seeing vs Listening

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In relationships, there’s a big difference between “seeing” and “listening.”

When we see someone, we do no get to know them for who they are, we just see their beauty. And although beauty is exiting and enjoyable, there is not connection.  But when we listen to someone, we hear them, without distraction.
This is why at Mount Sinai, when the Jews demanded to see God, God refused. God insisted on speaking to them people. He was saying: “I don’t want to impress you with my glory, i want you to listen to me!”
This is how God has taught us to live. This is why the Torah tells us to dress in ways that stimulate listening, instead of seeing.

What significance do we have in the eyes of God?

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What significance do we have in the eyes of God? After all, His is the only opinion that really matters.
 
God gave us life. God gave us our existence. God continues to sustain and support us. Does that mean that we are significant? If God created us, then surely we must be important.
 
But the truth is, God giving us life doesn’t give us our ultimate importance, although it does give us some importance.
 
When someone gives a gift to another, they shows how important the other is to him/her. But when someone gives as a gift something which is already precious to them, that is the real compliment. They are showing the other that they are more important to them than something which is very precious to them.
 
What is most precious to God are the Mitzvot.
 
When God gives us life, he signals our importance to an extant. But when he gives us his precious Mitzvot, that is the real compliment. He is showing us that we are more dear to him than anything.

Help Your Spouse Keep Secrets

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It is very healthy for couples to respect each other’s privacy.

One of the most important duties of a spouse, is to help his/her spouse protect his/her dignity. Part of that is helping the spouse protect his/her secrets.

There will inevitably be things that a spouse will feel uncomfortable sharing. Our job is to protect that sensitive area, and help our spouse keep it private.

People put up psychological curtains to hide and protect certain sensitive information and emotions. Tearing down your partners curtains is wrong. It is not right to poke around where we are not invited.

Our responsibility to each other is to be sensitive to each other’s sensitivities, not to try to fix them. To fix them is a therapist’s job, not a spouse’s.

When we marry someone, we marry all of them, including theirs masks, curtains, and sensitivities.

How Can Selfish Humans Have A Relationship?

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Humans are selfish beings by nature, we all look after ourselves, we are constantly protecting ourselves. We get offended, and we offend easily. So what makes relationships possible?

The Tanya says that we have two souls, a Godly Soul, and an Animal Soul. The Godly Soul is eternal and holy. The Animal Soul is mortal and unholy.
Because the Animal Soul is mortal, it is insecure. It knows it’s existence will end, and even while it does exist, it’s existence is limited and empty, unlike the Godly Soul which is literally a part of God. This is why we get offended so easily. Any time we are made light of and are not taken seriously, our reaction is exaggerated by our Animal Soul’s constant insecurity.
But in truth, it’s even worse. Not only does an insult awaken fear and insecurity in our Animal Soul, the very existence of another offends our Animal Soul, because it highlights the limits to the Animal Soul’s existence.
The only way the Animal Soul can have a relationship with another is if the other becomes a satellite of, and is dominated by, us. But that is a toxic relationship that will make both worse.
How then are relationships possible?
The only way we can have a real relationship, is if we value our own Godly Soul more than our Animal Soul. If we value the immortal part of ourselves more than our mortal part, then we won’t be threatened by others, and only then we can have a relationship.
In other words, if we value the eternal and holy values that we have over the earthly and mortal parts, we can have a real relationship.

In order to have relationships, we must raise our spiritual values above the material. And that is what Judaism is all about.