Showing posts from October, 2010

“The Matter Stemmed from Hashem”

When I met my beautiful and amazing wife, I had no idea that I would be spending the next (up until now) 24 years with her. I had just moved from Orange County, California, the place that I grew up, to attend collage at UCSB in Santa Barbara. I was an artist-surfer with big plans. I was going to make it big in the art-world. I was going to be famous. I was headed for stardom. You see, since the third grade, I knew what I wanted to be. I didn’t necessarily know what incarnation it would take, but when I received that first place award for the class art project, I knew it had something to do with exploring the inner depths and expressing it for the world to see. What I didn’t know was that art was only a step along the way to something so much larger. My life had taken a turn that would, seemingly, send me on a journey to the end of my days and to the end of the soul that I had been given on this Earth. Surfing, art, and the spiritual quests that developed from those pursuits had plowed

Embracing the Paradox

Think about this: When G-D made Man, Man was One with the Universe. The Angels, according to the Midrash, even had a problem telling the difference between Man and G-D. Then what happened? It seems that G-D took pity on Man, saying, “It is not good that Man be alone,” and made man and woman from the original Man. This was the first cell division and from there, it has been a series of cell divisions, leading to more, and more, and more. We are now divided in so many ways that you have to wonder, did G-D intend for us to have degenerated so far when He made that first split? Having been made in the image of G-D, we had the free will to decide to eat from the tree and that caused the second split—when we were expelled from the Garden and forced to split by the ‘stress’ (generally mistranslated as pain) of child birthing and rearing and by the stress of the toil of the earth to survive. Then we split again when Cain killed Abel. Then we split again and again and again, all because Adam wa

The Joy of Life and the Challenge of Living

Well… My boys are the inspiration for this blog. We all know that Zach has been working very hard before the army, working out like a maniac, and he just made it over the first large hurdle. He had to do a very physical and mental test and, suffice it to say, I am very proud of him. What is interesting though, is that he tells me there was a moment, right at the beginning of this day long test, when he was about to give up. They were giving the boys grueling exercises to do and many of them were dropping like flies. Zach had a moment of, “I can’t do this anymore; what am I doing here” (like all of us have said once or twice in our lives), and then he made a deal with himself to just finish the day. As soon as he shook his own hand on it, the exercise was basically over. He passed his own test and that, my friends, is what this week’s parsha is all about! The part that I am referring to goes like this: G-D appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty G-D. Walk before Me and be

The Digital Universe, Mashiach, and You!

‘There is a new master of the digital universe, YOU!’ or at least that is what I read recently from Yahoo as I logged onto my emails. What is the digital universe anyways? We are all quite aware that we have become inundated with technology and that all aspects of our lives seem to revolve around it in some way, but how has technology developed into a universe unto itself? Technology has traditionally been viewed as another set of tools to complete some task a little faster or easier. So, now we can be the master of the digital universe, we have to wonder... Are we the master, or is it? Technology has a history of association with the darker side of human interests as well. Remember Tipper Gore and the parental advisory extravaganza? I remember that in the end, my friends and I all just passed over the music albums without the ‘Tipper Sticker’ because we wanted to sample some of the forbidden fruit from the dark side of Gan (Gard en) Eden. It seems to be human nature to straddle that r