web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Who Am I? Knowing your Real Face (Book)

On Facebook, young and old alike fool themselves into believing they are better than the person they see in the mirror.

twitter faceless

Share Button

Legend has it that there was once a man who suffered from short-term memory loss. Every night before going to sleep, he would compose a list of his clothes and their whereabouts so he wouldn’t forget to wear them the next day.

One morning as he completed his daily checaklist he exclaimed: “I don’t get it. It makes no sense. I have found, and checked off, every item on my list. Pants, check. Shirt, check. Shoes, check. But there’s one item I can’t find: myself. Where am I?”

As Rosh Hashanah looms, the same question reverberates loudly: “Where am I?” Better yet: “Who am I?” Another year has gone by and it’s time we seek our true, inner selves, beyond the superficial layers of our external “clothing.”

But what exactly should we be searching for? How does one identify one’s true, inner self?

“Most people are other people,” Oscar Wilde once wrote. “Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”

In our day and age Wilde’s words ring compellingly true. Our society is filled with examples of people who have lost touch with their inner calling by attempting to become “other people.”

On Facebook, young and old alike fool themselves into believing they are better, stronger and prettier than the person they occasionally meet in the mirror. In this illusionary world, they have hundreds, if not thousands, of so-called friends.

Moreover, online tools give them a false yet dangerous sense of invincibility: only the most self-gratifying photos are posted, any adversary can be blocked, and they are able to connect and “like” celebrities and megastars as if they really have a meaningful relationship with them.

On Twitter, many are on a race to become that which they are not, and accumulate as many followers as possible, just to feel loved and valued. And as if this weren’t enough, computer games are nothing more than sophisticated fantasy outlets that give our youngsters a misleading perception that they are ninjas and snipers, entertainers and sport stars.

As a young teen struggling to find my purpose in the vastness of our world, I recall seeking the advice of my dear mentor, the world renowned scholar Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. His poignant words have stayed with me until this very day.

“Pini,” he said affectionately,” you ask a good question. But one of its words needs to be changed: Instead of asking what you want to be, ask what you ought to be. And if you ask what you ought to be at all times, your life will be purposeful and satisfying to your inner ‘I.’ ”

He was right. In order to find and fulfill our inner selves, we ought to ask what we ought to be. And we ought to ask: Am I being true to my real self? Am I actualizing my God-given skills and talents? Am I fulfilling my responsibilities? Am I seizing the many opportunities that life is presenting to me, at every moment and in every area?

In a society that often asks “What do you want to be (when you grow up…)?” we ought to remember that if we are to find and satisfy our inner “I,” our personal desire must come second to our life duties.

It goes a step further. The search for the self must also include the search for the Divine soul we possess within. This is well expressed in a moving Rosh Hashanah prayer that declares: “All that is made shall know that You have made it; and all that is formed shall know that You have created it; and let all with a breath of life in its nostrils proclaim: God, the God of Israel, is King, and His kingdom rules over all.

Indeed, there is an inextinguishable soul of God within every fabric of creation and within each and every one of us that demands recognition and attention. It never stops calling upon us to fulfill our Divine purpose in life with actions of goodness and deeds of kindness. And it always attempts to come forth and challenge our commitment to it and to its Maker, at every moment, in every area.

Once a year, on the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, we have the rare opportunity to pause, reflect and unearth our inner “I.” Once a year we are presented with an extraordinary occasion to pay heed to our call of duty and to that which we ought to be. Once a year we are granted a new year to achieve our own purpose and realize our unique vocation.

Share Button

About the Author: Rabbi Pinchas Allouche is the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Tefillah in Scottsdale, AZ. He is a popular educator, lecturer and author of many essays and writings on the Judaism and social analysis.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Who Am I? Knowing your Real Face (Book)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
BDS targets Zabar's; Carole Zabar promotes BDS proponents.
All in the Family: BDS Protests Zabars; Carole Zabar Promotes BDS
Latest Indepth Stories
Imam Suhail Webb who boasted his Muslim community persuaded Brandeis President Fred Lawrence to withdraw an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.

Text of anti-Semitic flyer distributed to Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine on Passover 2014.

But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.

Yossi Klein HaLevi

As support of their messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli approve dishonoring Hirsi Ali as a ‘renegade.’

matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

More Articles from Rabbi Pinchas Allouche
twitter faceless

On Facebook, young and old alike fool themselves into believing they are better than the person they see in the mirror.

F100804AS08

Why would our tradition fill our fun-filled summers with such restricting limitations?

As the dust settles and the fog lifts from this tumultuous year of political campaigning, we are left to wonder how our country will evolve. Will the economy bounce back? Will our schools make progress? And how about U.S. relations with Israel? Will they grow weaker or stronger? Will the administration support an Israeli strike on Iran?

It was not a necessary part of our busy itinerary. It was not even a noble errand. But the craving for a tasty lunch led our group to experience a moment never to be forgotten.

Our blinding attraction to drama has captivated so many of us. We love to live it, watch it, or even worse, create it.

“It’s not easy being labeled religious these days,” a friend confessed to me a few weeks ago.

My friend may be right – so-called religious people have committed some of humanity’s most horrific crimes, casting a dark shadow on religion – but what is religion? What is the definition of a “religious person”? What was he referring to? Can religion and evil really co-exist?

Winds of uncertainty are blowing across the globe. The future remains unsure. Will the sun shine again? Will stability reemerge after the storm dies down?

Let’s face it: it’s unusual and even somewhat bizarre nowadays to encounter a family with more than two children. It is almost as if a war is launched against the unborn after a “red line” of two or three children has been reached.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/who-am-i-knowing-your-real-facebook/2013/09/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: