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December 26, 2014 / 4 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘pleasure’

When The Absence Of Pain Is Pleasure

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

There is an old joke that describes a passerby who sees a man repeatedly hitting his head against a wall. Each time his head hits the wall, the man yelps in pain. Concerned, the first man runs up to him and asks why he keeps banging his head when it obviously hurts when he does so. The man answers, “Because it feels so good when I stop.”

This joke is far from being funny, and its real message a telling indictment of the human condition – that some people have such difficult lives that pleasure for them is a lack of pain. For the symbolic man hitting his head, happiness is the absence of sadness.

Tragically, this is the state of affairs for those afflicted individuals who I call the “walking wounded.” Having a “parve” day – where there is no pain – physical or emotional, is a good day. For them, there is no expectation of actually having a wonderful, joyful day – they have given up on that. Like the man who banged his head, nothingness is a positive.

I recognized this state of being in many of the Holocaust survivors I came to know through the very large Survivor community in Toronto. They, like my parents, had experienced immeasurable and unfathomable loss, grief and hardship as teens and young adults. No doubt every day, common situations must have unleashed breath-taking torment and anguish in these hapless souls as they abruptly brought into sharp focus what they had so cruelly lost. The simple act of diapering an infant could trigger searing memories of other beautiful babies – their own children or young siblings or nieces and nephews who were brutally slaughtered by the Nazi predators. An advertisement announcing “Mother’s Day” could transform into a heart-wrenching reminder of mothers and fathers murdered in their prime by bloodthirsty Europeans – both the conquerors and the vanquished – who were no doubt emboldened by the indifference of the world’s nations.

With the passing of time and with therapy, many survivors were able to experience snippets here and there of genuine pleasure in the form of nachat from their children and grandchildren. But their “cup” could never be full, ever. The sweet droplets of joy that accumulated over time would subtly seep out through the irreparable cracks brought on by unassailable grief.

For them and others who have been battered by a torrent of irreversible losses, a day where there was no pain – just numbness, was a “happy” one.

This holds true for those who must deal with chronic or long-term illness. For them, a day – even hours – of not hurting is a cause for celebration. And from their suffering we can glean wisdom. When we say a bracha, for example, before eating an apple, we should take a moment to actually understand and appreciate what we are reciting, rather than mindlessly going through the routine. Someone nourished via a feeding tube certainly would if given the opportunity to eat normally again.

If we have been blessed with an unimpeded ability to do everyday, mundane activities like getting out of bed or dressing ourselves, we should make ourselves aware that we truly are having a good day. Sadly, it takes pain or loss of ability to appreciate that which we took for granted without a second thought.

There is yet another group of the “walking wounded” in our midst, but they are less obvious. They are the men and women who whether they are consciously aware of it or not, prefer to be alone. Most are quite social and very much part of the community- but they are reluctant to be married, or as the case may be, remarried.

My sense is that many were hurt emotionally – some even physically – by the people they trusted most; by those they were connected to who were supposed to nurture them and make them feel cherished, but failed to do so. Perhaps in their childhood or young adulthood, these men and women were overly criticized, belittled, and bullied; or witnessed relatives and friends enduring relentless emotional battering, and subconsciously became reluctant to risk getting stuck in a similar situation.

Their safe choice – a parve existence. For them, silence is golden and alone-ness a blessing. After all, at the end of the day, the absence of pain is pleasure.

Chronicles in Crises In Our Communities – 7/10/09

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Dear Rachel,

One of the details that struck me about the sad article (Wife in Silent Suffering / Chronicles 6-12-09) was the following sentence: “We have a TV in our home, yet I must tell you that the Internet is ruining our lives.”

I am not writing this anonymously because I want to stress the sincerity and truth in what I am saying.

I am not proud of myself. Actually, I am quite ashamed of myself yet am disclosing embarrassing information with the hope that you can use my input to help others. Out of respect for my wife, please do not print my real name!

I have a great marriage, but I succumbed to the yetzer ha’ra of the Internet. (The fact that so many people are having this problem does not make it any less of a sin.) While I never went so far as to meet anyone online or in person, I am sad to say that I looked at plenty of filth.

Thank G-d, I have come a long way and have been “clean” for a while already. I, nevertheless, am aware that I can never let my guard down, for as the Mishnah says, “Don’t believe in yourself until the day you die.”

What I wanted to discuss was my personal experience and what I believe had a strong effect on my wanting to view such filth. I realize that everyone is different, but I believe that the world we live in – especially the television and movies, once a big part of my life – is a major contributor to the lure of Internet filth.

When a man watches TV and the females are dressed in a seductive fashion, where every other show or film features affairs as normal events and nightclub settings as routine, how can a man not be affected?

Every loving wife should wake up to the dangers of the “side effects” of modern- day television and the many movies that plant dangerous seeds of filth, which can be detrimental. One of my ways of staying clean is by not watching any movie, period. We do not have a TV in the house anymore.

I believe that it is essential for every man to find inside of himself the desire to cling to and to love his Creator. There are plenty of resources online (Aish.com is one of my personal favorites) where one learns about the fact that Hashem wants us to have pleasure and of how to be aware of the counterfeit pleasures – which are not only “not real,” but also extremely destructive.

While I am not proud of my past, I do want to help anyone that I can, even if it means embarrassing myself by discussing my past. I would speak to anybody – roshei yeshiva, teachers, etc.

One of my future goals is to start a website for people searching to fill an emptiness. The site would focus on the real and ultimate pleasure of connecting to the Almighty, in laymen’s terms and on a level that would speak to people suffering from this addiction.

Please feel free to contact me for any other information that may be helpful to you or your readers.

There are ways to overcome…

Dear There,

Certainly not by happenstance, it is in this week’s Torah portion (Parshas Pinchas) that we find the “daughters of Moav” seducing the Jews into idol worship. Furthermore, so gripped with hatred were the Midianites for the Jews that they offered their own king’s daughter for harlotry just to incite the Jews to sin.

Today we are exposed to the “daughters of Moav” all around us, not only as inanimate objects in sultry poses on lifelike billboards, but as living, breathing – barely, one would imagine, in their body-hugging flimsy attire – entities whom we cannot help but cross paths with on the streets, in the subways, etc., the kind who would have been considered even by secular standards not that long ago as “loose women.”

So, my dear man, much as the television and Internet, as you articulate, contribute and maximize the potential for immorality, the yetzer ha’ra in our time is having a field day.

And, sad to say, the concept of modesty seems to be lost on many of our own, thus creating a double jeopardy in our midst: Not only does this place a stumbling block in front of our men (in the workplace, at social events, etc.), but this laxity in the area of tznius is also delaying the coming of Moshiach and our ultimate redemption – for the Torah makes it clear that the Divine Presence can dwell only amongst a holy nation, a people who behave in a modest fashion.

Perhaps now, as never before, we must harness the creativity and intellectual prowess of our children early on by steadfastly steering them in the one direction that offers immunity to the evil inclination: the illuminating path of Torah spirituality.

Thank you for proving that old habits can be conquered – with a genuine will to overcome and a commitment to persevere. The sincere penitent can be assured of guidance from Above and is thereby never alone in his struggle.

Having an understanding and supportive wife at your side is a blessing in itself. May you find hatzlachah in all your lofty undertakings and continue to grow in midos tovos and yiras shamayim.

Please send your personal stories, thoughts and opinions to rachel@jewishpress.com

The Nursing Home – Making Placement Easier

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Once you have accepted that a care facility is the only way to proceed if both you and your spouse are to survive the progression of the chronic illness, and you have chosen a facility that is appropriate for your spouse, the next step is to adjust to your new role as care giver.


Having been released from the constant physical care giving, feelings of tremendous guilt and self-doubt sometimes surface. Last week, you could barely do the transfers and other care jobs without physical risk to you both. Today, you wonder if you couldn’t have managed a bit longer and your feelings of guilt have you wondering if the placement was premature.


Your freedom from the physical tasks of care giving gives you pleasure and that pleasure gives you pain and feelings of culpability. The well spouse’s adjustment to her partner’s placement is as radical and difficult as that of the ill spouse. It is just different.


Therapy can often help. A good counselor who has experience with chronic illness can help you during and after the placement. But one that has no knowledge of what care giving can do to a family may be disastrous. Choose carefully.


Use your newly-found free time constructively. Make sure you do something positive for yourself. Do not stay at the nursing home all day, every day. Doing that will not allow your partner to make the adjustment to his surroundings and will only give him a further message of his own inability to cope.


Keeping him as independent as possible is important to both of you. If there were things he did at home competently, whether laundry or taxes or reading the paper, try to ensure that that will continue in the residence. One well spouse whose husband was mentally alert but severely physically impaired continued to bring him the bills to pay. She did this despite the nasty looks she received.


She felt it kept him involved and let him continue to feel like a productive family member. Another refused to pay for laundry service but chose to do the laundry herself in a coin operated machine on the premises just so that her husband would continue to be the one to fold the laundry as he had done at home. She told me it was one of the routines they could continue to do together that kept him from getting mentally institutionalized.”


Join the support group that is available for family members at most residences. It will let you meet people who are coping with the same roller coaster of emotions that you are experiencing. A good support group will help you through the transition period of placement and will enable you to meet survivors of the process who can be wonderful mentors. It can also help you effectively deal with things in the institutions that you are not happy with.


Ask people to visit your spouse and even take him out for a meal or a trip. If your family and friends are willing, you can draw up a visitor’s schedule. This will ensure that people don’t visit at the same time. It will maximize the number of visits your spouse has and will leave you free to do other things knowing he has company.  You can then schedule your visits on days when visitors are scarce.

 

Tell the visitors to come prepared with things to do with your spouse. Card games, hearing an interesting D’var Torah, or setting up a weekly learning session all give the ill spouse things to look forward to and provide the visitor with direction.


Get a schedule of the facility’s activities. Encourage visitors not to visit during times he is participating in an activity he enjoys. Visits during “down time” will keep your spouse stimulated and busy. Lots of free time, with nothing to do, will hamper the adjustment to the placement and foster discontent.


If possible, arrange for your family to come and have a family dinner together once a week, or more, if possible. Most places will have a room where you and your family can order in kosher food and enjoy a dinner together. This not only provides a nice break from the routine of the facility and gives your spouse something to look forward to but also reminds everyone that you are still a family unit despite separate accommodations.


Keep your visits positive. If your spouse is having difficulty with the placement, your visits may be tense and difficult initially. Do everything you can to leave any negativity at the door of the facility. Try to remind your partner of the positives of the placement and how the placement is beneficial to you both. He may now romanticize memories of how good it was at home and need to be reminded of the reality.


Allow yourself to begin to heal. If you have been care giving for 20 years it may take 20 more years before you can lose the stress that came with 24/7 care giving. But it needs to begin. It will be a lot less difficult for you both if you are able to see the placement as a beginning − that of a new aspect of your lives instead of an end.

You can contact me at annnovick@hotmail.com.

Title: Geulah B’Rachamim

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Title: Geulah B’Rachamim

Author: Pinchas Winston

Publisher: Thirtysix.org

 

 

        Geulah B’Rachamim contains 60 easily absorbed lessons about the significance of Jewish life on holy soil. Its purpose is to help Jews fulfill the mitzvot of anticipating and yearning for Geulah (Redemption).

 

       The overriding message presented in Geulah B’Rachamim is this: Geulah will come peacefully and pleasantly with world Jewry’s genuine desire for it.

 

      This goal can be expressed in many ways; one of the most important being a Jew’s personal longing to be in the Holy Land, and most certainly with actual residence there. But if we persist in staying in host Diaspora countries, where the Shechinah is in ever-decreasing supply, geulah might arrive, we have learned from experience, not so pleasantly.

 

    The author puts Jewish history in concise perspective: four/fifths (about 12 million) of enslaved Egyptian Jews didn’t leave with Moshe Rabbeinu. They died because they weren’t willing to leave the newfound comforts of Egypt – now that their captors had been destroyed – for a spiritual life. Six million Jews died in the Shoah in spite of their high level of Torah learning, convinced that Jewish life in Europe would last far longer than it did. It came instead to a horrific end, begging the question “Did we stay too long again?”

 

    When every leisurely stroll – or even a cough – in the Holy Land earns a heavenly reward, the significance of Parshat Balak and aliyah take on dramatic meaning. As the author rhetorically asks readers, “Should we not be mindful of how long we’ve lived in a particular place in the Diaspora? Do we really have a choice, when staying too long always means losing everything which we worked so hard to build up?”

 

     These delightful thoughts from Torah and related commentaries are among those included in this 198-page paperback sefer:  “Once Mashiach comes, and evil has been completely eradicated, then the light of God can increase daily for everyone and the pleasure of receiving it will be tremendous Sadness, depression and all unfortunate states of mind will never exist again.”

 

     “As with many important things in life, context counts for a lot when it comes to appreciating current events Hence the Torah tells us “Remember the days of old, understand the many generations that have passed. Ask your father, and he will tell you; your elders will say it to you (Devarim 32:7)” (p. 36).

 

    Read what the Abarbanel predicted about life in Israel as the “righteous shoot of redemption” (p. 199) and kvell while planning your aliyah.

 

    This book holds more gems of Jewish thought about the commandment to reside in Israel.  

 

    Learn more about Geulah B’Rachamim at www.thirtysix.org. 

 

    

     Yocheved Golani is the author of highly acclaimed “It’s MY Crisis! And I’ll Cry if I Need To: ALife Book for Helping You to Dry Your Tears andCope with a Medical Challenge” (Booklocker Publishing). 

Overeating And The Well Spouse, A Reaction

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008


Dear Ann,

 

I have been following your articles on being overweight and wanted to tell you my beef (double entendre intended).

 

I am fat. There are other fat people around. There are also skinny people and people of varying sizes both smaller and larger than I. I am trying to be done − I would like to say I am done − with apologizing for my size. No matter how I got here, here I am. Why do I have to apologize for being here?

 

I am not taking anyone else’s space, except occasionally in those miniature seats in some old theatres or on planes looking to fit too many people in too small a space to maximize the number of dollars collected. I drive a Grand Caravan Dodge Van that takes up almost as much space as a 4X4 truck, but the truck hardly ever has to apologize for being so large.

 

I am fat. I don’t eat a ton of food. Often I eat a little less than the next person. Sometimes I even skip a meal and don’t double up on the next one. But whether I eat more or less or exactly the same as others, what I strive to accomplish on a regular basis is not getting any fatter. I try to just stay as I am, and no fatter. In fact, what I try to accomplish more often than not, is to eat my meal, have my snack and get on with my day, or whatever I happen to be doing next.

 

Sometimes that might be going swimming. Sometimes that might be going shopping. Sometimes that might be sitting on the couch and watching TV. And sometimes that might be one of a varied number of activities which women, mothers and grand­mothers have been involved in for many, many years. Do I owe anyone an accounting of my activities because I tip the scale in one direction or another?

 

I don’t have to apologize for wearing corrective glasses and not having 20-20 vision. In fact, when I apply for my driver’s license, an application that demands to have certain knowledge about my ability to see properly, all I have to do is check off a box that says I wear corrective glasses. I don’t have to apologize for enjoying classical music and not liking rap music. When I go to the music store, all I have to do is check the signs and look for the section of the store that houses classical music.

 

I don’t have to apologize for driving a van instead of a car. I don’t have to apologize for playing with my grandchildren and talking to my children. I don’t have to apologize for putting flowers into various vases and distributing and displaying the flowers throughout the house. Or do I?

 

Do I need to justify why I drive a van when my children are all grown up and my grandchildren are being driven around by their parents? Do I need to pretend that I don’t adore those beautiful, adorable little people who were created in God’s image but also share a lot of family characteristics and personality traits? Do I need to shout from the rooftops that my children have grown into wonderful human beings and that their company is a nachas and a pleasure to my soul?

 

Do I have to apologize for having reached a time in my life when my financial priorities and responsibilities allow for the luxury and beauty of decorating my home with freshly cut blooms?

 

I am a fat woman who wears glasses, likes classical music, drives a van, plays with her grandchildren, talks to her children and loves fresh flowers. Get off my case. Get a life. Stop mixing into my business. And for goodness (a word incorporated into the English language from the root word “God”) sake, the comments and the questions and the criticisms and the suggestions and the feedback, unsolicited no doubt, are the worst form of lashon harah.

 

Apparently, you feel it is not even necessary to turn your back on me when you insult me. You simply walk up to me and in my face, you tell me that you do not like what you see, and then you have the ultimate chutzpah to tell me that you are doing it for my own good and out of a concern for my welfare.

 

Well, perhaps you should be looking in the mirror to see what you can see in your own “house.” After all, “charity begins at home,” and if “I am not for myself, who am I?” Get off my case and find your own. There must be something that you can attend to in your own backyard, so please, stay out of mine. And the next time we meet, over the backyard fence or on the front porch stairs, or in the foyer of the condo, perhaps you could smile and say, “good morning” or “good day” or perhaps, “good night,” instead.


Miriam


 


You can address this issue or any other by contacting me at annnovick@hotmail.com.

A Book For Metsaholics

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Of the writing of baseball books there is no end. Of the writing of good baseball books there is not nearly enough. For every The Glory of Their Times or Ball Four or The Boys of Summer or Baseball’s Great Experiment, there are hundreds and hundreds of instantly forgettable hack jobs, clip jobs and ghost jobs.

So as a baseball fan – and more important, a Mets fan – it was with much pleasure that the Monitor recently devoured a book by Dana Brand, a professor of English and American literature at Hofstra University, titled, with perfect appropriateness, Mets Fan (McFarland & Company).

It’s a slim (201 pages including the index), soft-covered volume with a hardcover price ($29.95) – and it’s the best exploration yet written about what it means to be a Mets fan, about the all too many lowlights and all too few highlights of Mets history, and about the profound emotional and psychological differences between Mets fans and Yankees fans.

Some selections to savor on a cold winter day and, if you’re a fan of baseball and fine writing, to whet your appetite for the rest of the book:

“There is no good reason why I should care about the New York Mets,” writes Brand in his first chapter. “Like all baseball teams, they are a business. I should care no more about their success than I care about the success of a movie studio or television network. Yet I choose to care, deeply and powerfully. I have cared about the Mets for 45 years and probably will for the rest of my life. I enjoy my loyalty. I enjoy the irrationality and intensity of my loyalty.”

Of the “Meet the Mets” theme song Brand writes, “It is so sweet and so tacky. So Mets. This isn’t a song with which you charge to the top of the standings, or celebrate triumph or a glorious tradition. It is not a song for champions. They must have figured this when they wrote it. You can hear in the song an understanding that an expansion team in 1962 could not get away with taking itself too seriously. It would need to get by on charm. It could not compel your respect or admiration. It would just have to be nice and a little corny. You would come and meet the Mets the way you would come and meet a nutty neighbor who put out a bowl of pretzels and a bottle of soda on a coaster on a table with too many magazines. You knew the line about ‘knocking those home runs over the wall’ was, well, not true.”

Here’s Brand on that strange breed of fan who claims to like both of New York City’s big league baseball teams:

“You can’t root for both the Mets and the Yankees because each team offers a different portal into the pleasure of baseball. If you want what the Yankees will give you, it doesn’t make sense to root for the Mets. They’re failures, no fun. In order to root for the Mets, you have to renounce any desire you have for the monotony of dominance. You have to think it’s absurd to get excited about, or have your heart broken by, a team that has won so many times. You have to cherish triumph because it is unexpected and rare. When John Sterling screams ‘The Yankees win! The YAAANNNNNKKEEEESS WIN!!!!!!’ you have to enjoy the contempt you feel for the idiocy of his exuberance.”

Brand’s tale on Ed Kranepool, a Met for 18 seasons, longer than any other player and a symbol of lovable futility: “Eddie didn’t do anything like he was supposed to. He was like a grouchy robot that a kid can’t get to operate…. So the Yankees had Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris and we had Eddie Kranepool. How come theirs worked and ours didn’t? Ours even had a weird name…. He never became a power hitter. He was an okay first baseman. One year he hit .280 and then there was a year when after all the smoke cleared, there was a .323 next to his name and no one could figure out how it got there…. Eddie was more the Mets than anyone else. He was a beloved disappointment. An incompetent who became indispensable.”

Finally, Brand plumbs the psyche of Mets fans: “The pleasure of being a Mets fan is that hitting the jackpot still feels the way it should. You hope. You lose. You lose some more. And someday you win. And you remember the pleasure of winning all your life…. I hope the Mets never become like the Yankees. I want my baseball to be like real life, seasoned with failure and disappointment, ennobled by hope, and studded with just a few spectacular moments of pure joy.”

The Teshuvah Journey

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

         In my first column I wrote about the “Who, what, where, when and how” of my journey back to Judaism, but the one question I did not fully answer is “why.” Answering that question is actually much more challenging than tackling all the previous ones. There simply is not enough space in a thousand-word column to mention all the reasons why Orthodox Judaism first attracted me and why it continues to do so.

 

         Why does a Jew raised in a Conservative home, given all the conveniences, freedoms and choices of the modern world, find himself attracted to the seemingly restrictive and old-fashioned framework of Orthodox Judaism?

 

         The Rabbis explain, “Turn it [Torah] over and turn it over, because everything is in it” (Pirkei Avot 5:26). The Torah is the ultimate guide to everything. If you look closely enough, everything you need to know and do is contained within it.

 

         For starters, the Torah is the decisive self-help Book. The Torah and its rabbinic commentators teach people how to avoid anger, overcome poor self-esteem, become more generous and beat addictions.

 

         It teaches people how to become better parents, better bosses and even how to be nicer to your pets. It contains essential lessons for how to succeed in business, and how to have a fulfilled marriage.

 

         I became religious during college, while majoring in psychology. As I learned more about Judaism, I realized that most theories of human behavior that modern psychologists have discovered in the last 200 years were actually written down in the Talmud and other Jewish sources as long as 2000 years ago!

 

         For instance, in 1965 Dr. Martin Seligman coined the theory of Learned Helplessness, as he discovered that a dog will accept even the most painful situations if it believes there is no escape. Seligman could have saved himself much work and the dogs much pain simply by looking at Jewish history.

 

         The Torah records that when the Jews were slaves in Egypt and G-d sent Moses back to free them, they did not want to hear about it. You would think the Jews would dance in the streets to welcome Moses and then go pack their bags, but they completely rejected him and his message of salvation.

 

         Several Rabbis explain that the Jews were suffering so much pain and persecution at the hands of the Egyptians that they had completely given up any hope of freedom. This sounds like an example of the learned helplessness theory that Seligman “discovered” thousands of years later.

 

         Growing up I often heard people lament at the complexity of life and wish they had a guidebook for maneuvering through it. We Jews have that instruction manual. It’s called the Torah. The Torah was written by G-d in part as a Guidebook for us to know how to live our lives. And because He made all of us, He knows exactly what messages we need to hear.

 

         G-d knew in advance, every event and struggle that the Jewish people collectively and individually would go through, and so He gave us the Torah to provide us direction.

 

         In my Conservative Hebrew School I remember being taught that many of the Jewish commandments and traditions were old, worn-out customs applicable only to another time period. Years later, as I started my teshuvah  journey I learned that nothing could be further from the truth!

 

          I finally learned about the eternal relevancy of Judaism and the Torah. Judaism teaches that there is something appropriate to do at every moment of our existence. Every minute presents us with the chance to choose between right and wrong, and shows us how to give our lives more meaning.

 

         The Torah’s commandments are practical ways to live our lives, to help us get the most out of this world and achieve our goals.

 

         The American writer Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” American society offers people every possible enjoyment, distraction and physical pleasure, but what are we left with when we’re done? After we’ve run from one pleasure to another, what’s left?

 

         We’re always looking for something better and brighter that we can write about to the folks back home. But the majority of people are never satisfied, as they’re always chasing another short-lived goal.

 

         How to solve this problem? Judaism offers the antidote. Other religions believe that one can only become holy by withdrawing from worldly pleasure and living an ascetic life as a monk high up on a mountain.

 

          Judaism teaches that we can become holy in the physical world by elevating everyday activities. I discovered that Judaism offers a way to still enjoy the pleasures of this world, but to dedicate them to a higher purpose.

 

         Nearly every enjoyable activity, eating tasty foods, even sleeping and shopping, can be used for a spiritual purpose. When we eat food and say a blessing to thank G-d for it and use the energy we get from the food to help someone else or to do a mitzvah, we’ve converted a pure physical need into something holy. If we sleep and then use the energy to learn and teach, we elevate the act to a level far greater than we could ever achieve by sleeping in late on a Sunday morning.

 

         Judaism teaches that when we do any action in the right way at the right time, we are living for a higher purpose than just our immediate needs.

 

         For many people, an ideal vacation consists of going to a faraway beach, and spending quality time with family without the distraction of Blackberries and PDAs. But why save up to get such a dream vacation only once a year when you can get it every week? That’s what Shabbos is!

 

         Shabbos is a day to unplug from all our everyday distractions and spend time bonding with our families and having long meals with plenty of delicious food. It’s the Day of Rest, so yes − you get points in Heaven for sleeping! What an amazing religion we belong to.

 

         There is an endless list of other features Judaism has that first attracted me and continue to do so. Each person who becomes frum has his or her own list of reasons which we will uncover, as we explore amazing stories of other people’s teshuvah journeys, in future issues of this column.

 

         The Teshuvah Journey is a monthly column chronicling amazing teshuvah journeys and inspiring kiruv tales. To share a story or send other comments, email michaelgros@gmail.com

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/the-teshuvah-journey/2007/02/21/

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