Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
I’m supposed to believe in something I can’t see?
There was one big problem.
If all that stuff were true, how come I – the sophisticated product of the culmination of all civilization – was a total failure who couldn’t succeed at even the simplest things in life? I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t prevent myself from getting angry and alienating those I cared about. I was a slave.
I “knew” that God didn’t exist.
The problem was that I felt I also didn’t exist.
Something was terribly wrong.
Suddenly, I began to turn the whole question around. My eyes opened and I saw something I had never seen before. There was one unopened door in that long corridor. Why had I never noticed that door before? It was the door to God.
I had been sure that God did not exist. But now that my own life seemed to be falling apart, I began to wonder.
Maybe I had to turn the whole thing upside down. When I examined it, it was very logical. When I was honest about my life, I saw that I did not exist – my life was empty – and at that time I was sure that God did not exist.
But what if God did exist? Maybe then I could also exist. Maybe my existence depends on God.
Maybe there was a life I hadn’t even dreamed about. Maybe if God were really alive I could be alive. Maybe I had been looking at things “upside down” or “backwards” or “inside out.”
Why did my intelligence have to be the measuring rod of reality? Maybe I did not understand and God did understand. Did I have to comprehend something for it to be real? Was I the center of the universe?
Maybe there was a reality beyond my understanding.
I began to have this crazy thought. Could God exist? No, it’s crazy. CRAZY! All my life I had been raised on “reality.” No normal person believed in God.
And then I began to wonder if I had ever met any normal people.
They say there are no atheists in the foxhole. I was in a spiritual foxhole. I was fighting for my life in a “war to end all wars.” My entire civilization was falling apart. I felt the coldness of death and black nothingness where chaos reigns.
When you are drowning, you grab the life preserver. You don’t ask questions. I was drowning, and all of a sudden out of the sky came this life preserver. I grabbed it.
What choice did I have? I wanted to live!
God, do You exist? Could You exist?
Dawn was beginning to break as a new light began to glow inside me. All of a sudden, I started to have this incredible feeling of hope, a new idea that would enable me to live.
Do you think we survive on “bread”? No, we survive on ideas. Our life emanates from our soul and our soul emanates from God. “Some [trust] in chariots, some in horses but we [trust] in the name of God” (Psalm 20). This “crutch” that I had always rejected, the “opiate of the masses,” maybe this was the missing link.
As the sun rose, I picked up a pen and began to write. A volcano of thought and emotion exploded onto my paper. I began to reassess my entire life. All of a sudden I let God enter my soul and the sun came up.
Just thoughts – “intangible” thoughts – yet “man does not live by bread alone, rather by everything that emanates from the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3).
Words can also bring life. Here is another excerpt from the book, describing our first meeting with Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis:
This lady started to talk. She spoke so quietly, it was almost a whisper. All of a sudden, my insides were quivering. My soul – or whatever was in there – started shaking. My eyes were wet. Why was I crying? What’s going on here? What is she talking about?
“You are a Jew [she said]. You have created civilizations. You have given birth to every ideal that has shaped mankind: Justice, peace, love, the dignity of man, have all had their genesis in Your Torah. But, above all, you have been given the unique mission of proclaiming the Oneness of God.”
About the Author: Roy Neuberger's latest book, "2020 Vision" (Feldheim), is available in English, Hebrew, Spanish, French and Russian with a Georgian edition in preparation. An e-edition is available at www.feldheim.com. Roy is also the author of "From Central Park to Sinai: How I Found My Jewish Soul" (available in English, Hebrew and Russian, Georgian edition in preparation) and "Worldstorm." Roy and his wife speak publicly on topics related to his books and articles. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his websites www.tosinai.com and www.2020visionthebook.com. Roy and his wife speak publicly on topics related to his books and articles. He can be contacted at email@example.com or through his websites www.tosinai.com and www.2020visionthebook.com.
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ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.
Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .
With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?
The Gazans are now paying for the choices they have made.
As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.
Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.
UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.
People test Israel every day to see how serious we really are in knowing when we are right.
Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?
It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.
Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”
The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.
Our rabbis told us it’s going to be very difficult before Mashiach comes. Should we fool ourselves?
At the end of the harvest, winter begins. The earth becomes cold and hard, nights are long, and the sun seems far away in the southern sky. The sap ceases to flow in the trees. But in this season of temporary “death” Hashem sends down harbingers of coming life in the form of tal u’matar livrachah – dew and rain for a blessing – upon the earth.
“Logically” speaking, after the millennia of hatred and destruction directed against us, there should not be one Jew in the world today who still keeps the Torah.
They were lining up for gas masks in Israel.
Apparently, at the very time of year we are supposed to be full of simcha, Hashem wants us to be aware of the possibility of danger. Indeed, during the Yom Tov of Sukkos, we read cataclysmic haftaras dealing with the ultimate war, the Milchemes Gog Umagog. Where does that war take place? In the Holy Land, of course, where the eyes of the world are always focused.
At the mikveh they were discussing Egypt.
So many things seem to be unraveling. It’s not just Egypt but the entire Middle East. No, it’s not just the Middle East; it’s the entire world.
What is the relationship between Pesach and Shavuos?
Rabbi Naftali Jaeger, rosh yeshiva of Sh’or Yoshuv, relates in the name of the Ishbitzer Rebbe a striking metaphor:
“In those days, when King Achashveirosh sat on his royal throne which was in Shushan the capital, in the third year of his reign, he made a feast for all his officials and servants, the army of Persia and Medea; the nobles and officials of the provinces being present, when he displayed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honor of his splendorous majesty for many days, a hundred and eighty days.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/shield-of-abraham/2011/10/12/
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