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Why Should We Want To Go To Heaven, When God Wants To Come To Earth?

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All religions throughout the world have one thing in common, they all are meant to serve the worshiper. Whether its to give the worshiper greater spiritual enlightenment or access to heaven, the purpose is the same. They use religion to extract favor from God.

But in the end, if the purpose of religion is for God to give us goodies, then who is serving whom? Is the purpose of God to serve us?

The purpose of Judaism is not to help us achieve something, the purpose of Judaism is for us to help God achieve something. After all, he created us.

What God intends to achieve, is a world where he can “fit in” comfortably. It is true that if we’re good, we go to heaven when we die, but getting to heaven is not the point.

When people say that a loved one who passed is “in a better place,” its only partially true, yes, heaven is a place were we experience the ultimate pleasures, but there is not where God is.

After all, why should we want to go to heaven, when God wants to come to earth?

Freed

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When Moses came to Pharaoh to demand that the Jews be set free, he said “So said the Lord God of Israel, ‘Send out My people, and let them sacrifice to Me in the desert.’ “

Though it may not seem as dramatic as we might have imagined, Moses’s statement is the best response to slavery.

Moses did not speak of human rights or the suffering of the Jewish people, he simply said, “The Jews cannot serve you, or any human being, because they were created to serve God, and God needs them to serve him.”

This applies to all people. Every person was created by God for a purpose, and until that mission is fulfilled, we are simply unavailable to serve anyone else. No human being can be a slave to another human because we all were created by God, for God’s purpose, to serve God’s needs.

This does not only apply to literal slavery. It applies to anything that might have a hold on us or “enslave” us in our lives. Everyone has challenges in their lives that they are enslaved to, the trick is to tell them that we are unavailable to serve them at the moment, because we have been entrusted with a mission from the creator of heaven and earth. Then we have true freedom: the freedom to do what we were created to do.

To Hurt God

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We all know that God loves us. Its basic Judaism. It even says it in the Torah. But what does it mean?

How can God love us if God is perfect and can’t be hurt?

If you love someone, but it doesn’t hurt you when they don’t respond to you, is that love?

If you say “I love you, but what you do with that piece of information doesn’t matter to me,” the love is a lie.

If you say, “I love you, but if you don’t love me, I don’t care,” the love is a lie. There cannot be love without vulnerability.

The truth is, God is vulnerable. When we don’t reciprocate his love, it hurts him immensely.

What we do matters to him, because God has a purpose in creation, and if we stand in the way of his purpose for the world, it hurts him, because his purpose is real.

We can hurt him, which is why his love for us is real.

Don’t Work Too Hard

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A Rabbi asked one of his congregants “do you have time to study Torah?”

“No,” said the congregant.

“Why?” asked the Rabbi.

“I need to make money to send my kid to school!” said the man.

“You know,” said the Rabbi, “everyone I talk to tells me the same thing, and I don’t understand, who is this kid everyone is trying to send to school?? And when that kid grows up, is he going to tell me that he can’t study Torah because he has to send his kid in Yeshiva??”

We need to work to earn our livelihood, but if we work so hard that we don’t have time to live, what’s the point of working?

When we come home, its not to rest up and prepare for another day of work, its because we spent the day working so that we can come home.

We need to remember what we work for. We work so that we can live, not the other way around.

King David Was Right

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כְּאַיָּ֗ל תַּֽעֲרֹ֥ג עַל־אֲפִיקֵי־מָ֑יִם כֵּ֚ן נַפְשִׁ֨י תַֽעֲרֹ֖ג אֵלֶ֣יךָ אֱלֹהִֽים

King David writes in psalms: As a deer cries longingly for streams of water, so does my soul cry longingly to You, O God.

Is this an exaggeration? Is King David refereeing to his own feelings only? How are we meant to understand a statement like this, which doesn’t seem to reflect reality for most of us?

We all have done things that we are ashamed of, and we would never let anyone know about them. We have all thought things that we are ashamed of, and we all have said things that we are ashamed of.

How can we live with it? How do we live ashamed of our thoughts, our words, and our actions?

In truth we need godliness, goodness, innocence, and beauty. And we need as much as a thirsty animal needs water, if not more.

This is King David’s message. That every person has a soul that yearns for God, and the fact that we feel shame is proof that we know goodness, and desire it more than anything.

How To Save Lives

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When the Freidiker Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Shneerson, was a boy, he asked his father why we have two eyes. His father responded by asking the young boy what is the difference between the Hebrew letters “Shin” and “Sin,” which the Freidiker Rebbe was then being taught in school. The Freidiker Rebbe answered that the stronger ”Shin” has a dot on the right side, and the weaker “Sin” has a dot on the left. So too, his father said, we have a stronger eye for looking at a fellow Jew, and a weaker eye for looking at candies and toys and things that are unimportant. The Freidiker Rebbe writes in his diary about the tremendous impact this conversation had on his life.

But it wasn’t the content of the lesson that made the impact, if you try telling the same lesson to your child, it probably won’t do much. What happened was that the young boy realized that the lesson was prepared.

His father saw that he was letting things that were unimportant have too much influence on him, and wasn’t paying enough attention to things that were important, and so he had prepared a way to teach his son to behave better, using the subject he knew his son was learning in school at the time. This meant that his father was thinking about him, a young boy, when he wasn’t even there!

Imagine your father comes over to you and says, “last week I overheard you asking something, and I’ve been thinking about it and now I think I have an answer….” No matter what he says next, you know that he’s thinking about you. You know that you are not alone.

When we show someone that they are not alone, that we are thinking about them, that they are on our minds, that no matter where they are, they have us, it liberates them from the horrors of loneliness. And that saves lives.

The Kabbalah of the Jew

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There has always been a wide range of opinions of what exactly to make of Jews, from the Nazi’s YM”S hatred to evangelical Christians’ love. But the one thing they all seem to agree on, is that Jews don’t “fit in” with the rest, for better or for worse.

Jews are different somehow, and, depending on how you choose to interpret things, either really good or really bad.

The Tanya teaches us the truth about Jews, which is that, unlike everything else in existence, the Jewish soul is not a creation. The Jewish soul is a piece of God.

While creating the world, god invested a part of himself in creation in the form of the Jewish soul, like an artist who invests a part of himself in his work.

Everything that exists carries a soul, but the Jew carries a soul that is a piece of the Creator. Every Jew carries a piece of Creator inside of them. This is why it is our job to help god perfect our, god and the Jew’s, world.

The god we love. Because how could you not?

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How can we love God?

At Sinai, we are told, God revealed himself. But what does that mean? We already knew there was a God! God had already revealed himself to Abraham, Isaac, Moses and others, and had shown himself to the whole world through the miracles performed at the exodus!

A revelation is when previously unknown information is made known, so what didn’t we know before Sinai that we only learned then, at the foot of the mountain?

We knew before Sinai that there was a God. But we didn’t know him.

We didn’t know what he was about, and what bothers him, we didn’t know that he cared about how we behave, and that things we do can give him infinite enjoyment.

In the first words of the ten commandments: “I am the lord your god,” God bared his soul to us, he told us that he is ours. What God told us was “I belong to you.”

The proper response to someone telling you “I am yours” is “and we are yours.”

After Sinai, how can we not love our God?