web analytics
December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



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

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.

As we approach Rosh Hashanah and the Yamim Noraim and examine the “checklists” of our life’s “clothing,” let us not forget to also search for – and actualize – our inner “I.”

We will then undoubtedly be inscribed in God’s good books for a happy, sweet, and fulfilling year.

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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

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

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet in NY late Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, ahead of Netanyahu's speech at UN General Assembly  set for the next day.
India May Change UN Vote; Bibi Says Israel to Protect Citizens
Latest Indepth Stories
Knesset and Menorah

Israel projects global material illumination not always the light of “morality” meant by the Navi

President Shimon Peres receives the Congrssional Gold Medal.

“Mr. Prime Minister, declare a unilateral ceasefire! Remember, Blessed is the peacemaker!”

KidSport-Everybody-Is-A-Winner1

“D-e-t-e-r-m-i-n-a-t-i-o-n!”

This masked "soldier" carrying a machine-gun is not part of a terrorist organization, according to the European Court of Justice.

Hamas is continuing to prepare its next war against Israel instead of improving conditions in Gaza

If the UN Grants national recognition to Palestine, why stop there? Tibet, Chechnya, Basque…

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

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.

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: