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Rabbi Kook explains that t’shuva comes about in two distinct formats, either suddenly, or in a gradual, slowly developing fashion. Both of these pathways to t’shuva are readily found in the baal t’shuva world. Some people will tell you how their lives suddenly changed overnight. Others describe their experience as a long, challenging process which unfolded over years. Many factors influence the way in which t’shuva appears.
How does one reconcile greatness with evil? Is it possible that one can be a great contributor to society and have a dark side? And how are we to look at such a person? Does abusing someone sexually - even only one or two times to one person - negate all the good he has done?
Since the moment God gave the Torah to the Jewish people, keeping kosher has been an essential part of the Jewish home. Accordingly, the home is an essential part of a Torah lifestyle. What goes on in the home directly affects what goes on in the rest of one’s life. The question is, why kosher?
WASHINGTON – When Yitzhak Shamir was Israel’s prime minister, he liked to point American visitors to a gift he received upon his retirement after many years serving in the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service.
Imagine that a camera was recording your every move on the computer – would you still click on immodest sites? Would you still go astray after your eyes if you knew that a video of your doings was going to be posted on Youtube for the world to see? You may not be caught in This World, but up in the big Movie Theater in the sky, when you come before the Heavenly Tribunal, your Youtube history is going to be presented on the Big Screen for all of the Celestial Judges to see.
Notice that in every culture a cheated husband is a laughing-stock. This attitude to a cuckold shows not only a nasty cruelty towards weakness, but also a reasonable contempt to a voluntary blindness, a reluctance to see what is going on under one’s own nose.
Ideological statism is not a mere cultural alternative, it is absolutely evil. Reagan had no doubt of what was right and wrong in this regard: “It would be cultural condescension, or worse, to say that any people prefer dictatorship to democracy.” But Reagan’s refusal to gloss over evil never produced discouraging rhetoric. It was always accompanied by a hard-nosed optimism about what was good in the Western culture of freedom and restraints on the state.
In the days of the Second Beis Hamikdash the Romans ruled over Eretz Yisrael and installed a king by the name of Hordus, or Herod, to enforce their rule. Hordus was an evil and ambitious man, and was quick to do whatever the Romans requested of him, no matter how terrible the decree was. Because of this, the Jewish people hated him, and this in turn caused him to hate them even more.
Do you have a teenager who is doing badly in school? Do you have a kid who hates to pray? Does the tiny kippah he wears come off his head the moment he’s down the block? This may be the reason. Nothing desensitizes a person from Torah more than an exposure to porn. Don’t delude yourselves – when it comes to computers, children are geniuses. They know how to navigate through the intricacies of the web like private eyes.
Several headlines recently caught my attention when I heard that a man who claims to have worked as Michael Jackson's bodyguard made the incredulous charge that Michael was a Nazi sympathizer. This kind of viciousness should usually not be indulged because it just gives it more credibility for the retelling. But the slander against Michael's name in this instance is so great that it deserves to be rebutted.
That’s right. I’m calling out the Dalai Lama. And here’s my problem with His Holiness in particular, and with Buddhists in general – and it also happens to be one of the first things that drew me to Judaism: Jews understand evil. Buddhists do not.