Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Man Made Religions - Does Hashem Love Hoops? - Links

How do we know what G-d wants from us? 

Maybe G-d is in favor of "open marriages" [i.e. adultery]. Maybe? It would seem to be fun and maybe G-d wants us to have fun??

Maybe G-d will reward us for every time we ate a chocolate bar because G-d Himself LOVES chocolate? Maybe He eats it 3 times a day as His main course. Who knows - maybe?? 

Maybe G-d is a CRAZZZZY basketball fan and you get a portion in the world to come for every basket you made??

My point is - How do we know ANYTHING about G-d or about how to live our lives?

There are thousands of religions. How do that we are right and the other 7 billion people are wrong? And to the extent that we would die for our beliefs?

There is only ONE answer: We can only know anything about G-d if he TOLD US!! Otherwise, it is a mere figment of our imagination. [The Maharal makes this point in Tiferes Yisrael].

We know that G-d is against adultery because He told us. We know that He is in favor of cutting off part of the most sensitive organ of a defenseless 8 day old baby BECAUSE HE TOLD US. Otherwise, anybody committing such an act should be arrested. 

SINCE he told us - we know that we are the only completely true religion. If he really changed his mind [as the Christians and Muslims claim] then He would have TOLD US. But He didn't so we can be secure in our knowledge that we are living the right way.


The problem with people who invent their own religions is that they are really worshipping their own selves, their mind and their perceptions but not G-d. [A woman once said that she makes up her own religion. Since her name is Sheila, she calls it "Sheila-ism". Someone noted that it's too bad that her name wasn't Judy]. "I think that G-d wants...." How can a human being with such a finite mind and scope know what the all-knowing and all-powerful Almighty wants?  IMPOSSIBLE. [Unless one is told or has Divine inspiration].

There is a rabbi [in addition to the one alluded to in the previous post] who follows a religion that is eerily CLOSE to Judaism but with his own twist that makes it a shatnex-mix of Torah together with various philosophers and modern 21st century attitudes.

He is [generally - see next paragraph] well meaning and I don't think that he purposely convolutes things but if one knows what  the Torah says and knows how to think critically, it can easily be proven that he is just super-imposing his ideas on the Torah.

I saw a video of a talk of his where he quoted "one of his favorite verses": גם כי אלך בגיא צלמות לא אירא רע כי אתה עמדי - He dramatically translated for his mostly non-Jewish audience: Even though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear because YOU [he emphasized that] are with me". Meaning [he explained] as long as we [mankind] are together, as long as YOU are with me - I will not fear. 

But anybody who ever ate shaleshudes knows that the "אתה" - you, is a reference to G-d and not my fellow man. So why did he convolute it??


I, for one, don't find it inspiring when someone implies that you don't need G-d but your fellow man [and contorts a pasuk to prove his point] and everything will be OK. As one who has been profoundly disappointed and let down on countless occasions but my fellow man [with all of the love I have for him], I am not ready to turn the כי אתה עמדי into "man is with me" in place of "G-d is with me". 

The reason I call him and other such people out from time to time is because it is dangerous when someone falsifies the Torah. See here and here.

I don't like to mention names because it is really not personal but the problem is that certain people have really big followings and they present themselves as being the true carriers of Torah Judaism when they are really not. Yes, their religion is closer to Judaism than most other religions but it is still not the real thing.  

Another person [actually two different people] calls himself "America's Rabbi". Like, who died and made him king? He writes books and says things at times that are more than slightly problematic but since he is "America's Rabbi" then how could he be wrong. 

So sweet friends - let us separate the chaff from the wheat and follow the true leaders who see themselves as mere conduits of G-d's will and not those who get a TON of hype [often self generated] but are often misguided in their beliefs and even practices.

As זכריה הנביא said - והאמת והשלום אהבו!

[I couldn't sleep because this was bothering me so much. Maybe not that my feelings and thoughts made their way from my brain to my fingers, and from my fingers to my computer screen - I'll finally be able to get some "shut-eye", like the Hardy boys called it. Ahhh - the Hardy boys!!!]