What’s up everyone! It’s been a moment, hasn’t it? New year, new president, new vaccines, new bingeable shows, new orders being delivered to our houses. Time didn’t stand still, but neither did we. I’m not here to talk about any of those things above though, because…why? We lived it, we don’t need a blog post to explain it all; No blogsplaining necessary.
What I really wanted to talk about is the concept of, “being a light” and what that means, and how we can take a concept that feels so lofty and bring it to a level that’s attainable for those of us who are just humans trying to make it from day to day.
The whole idea of this stemmed when I heard the song How they Remember You by Rascal Flatts. If you haven’t heard it, I suggest listening to it. It’s one to of those songs that you hear, and suddenly there’s a montage of your life rolling through your mind. Does that happen to anyone else? Just me? Well, regardless, this song makes you think. So, inevitably it got me thinking– one day, when I’m no longer here, how will I be remembered? Not only that, but how do I want to be remembered? What have I done in my life to make an everlasting impression on others, and has it been a good one? Let me tell ya’ it was one heck of a rabbit hole to fall down, but an important one. With that in mind, the phrase, “be a light unto the nations” kept popping into my thoughts.
The actual text is from the book of Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 49:6, “…but I will make you a light of nations, so that My salvation shall be until the end of the earth.” The context of what’s being said here is that the Jewish nation had too much “light” to be servants and that those who serve G-d would be a light unto the nations, until we have the final redemption. Yes, I did a lot of back checking on this quote to figure out the root of it. And leave it to me to take the root of the root and try to delve deeper.
Being the inquisitive person I am, I decided to take it to the masses and ask the general public what they though; and by that I mean, I put a question box on Instagram and I had some people indulge me and answer it. It should be noted that for such a deep question, the question box doesn’t allow for enough space to answer it fully, so I’ve got to apologize for that.
Here is what people had to say about what it means to be a light…
“Little things, like giving someone space to speak when they have something to say.”
“Bringing light into someone’s life when they need it.”
“Brightening the life of others.”
“Keeping other’s flames alive. Shining into their darkness. Bringing a lil warmth.”
“Be a positive example, good in all the bad.”
“Loving others. choosing to see the good and be the the good.”
Pretty thought provoking and incredible, are they not? Notice the theme– it seems as if the root of light is selflessness, or chesed (giving/kindness). So, being a light has a lot to do with how you treat people. Like I said before, when I mentioned the song How they Remember You, it comes right back to the impression you leave upon people and the impact you make on their lives.
When you think of a physical light bulb, the light radiates starting from the inside and spreads outwards to illuminate the space it’s in. If we use that same concept as people, our light/goodness/kindness/ etc. starts on the inside; we have to be good people first, and then we can spread our light towards others, with the hope being that their light becomes illuminated as well. There’s a concept in chassidus (kabalistic teachings) that says that everything has a spark of G-dliness, and it’s our job to elevate/illuminate that spark.
This is sort of overwhelming. I’m the one writing the blog, and even I’m intimidated by some of what I’ve said. But it comes down to the biggest thing; changing the world starts from within. You need to know and see your light before you can shine it onto the rest of the world. The moment you grasp your light–the spark you bring to the world, that’s the moment you become “a light” and have the special ability to change any room you enter.
Let your light shine as bright as possible, y’all!
YOU’RE our extraordinary light. Love you
Love you so very much aunt Nancy!
Original research which views both T’NaCH and Talmud as common law codifications.
Recall my absolute shock, during the opening days of formally learning Torah @ the Chabad Yeshiva in Har Nof Jerusalem. The Rosh Yeshiva, rabbi Kaplan, introduced the Mishna as a Common Law Case\Rule/ legal system. No rabbi before or sense ever made such a definitive understanding of the Mishna. Did this Common law legal system equally apply to the T’NaCH? My research argues most definitely YES.
Since moving to Israel in 1991, have made efforts to do t’shuvah. T’shuvah shares no common ground with the Xtian Anathema known as repentence. T’shuvah addresses the plague of Jewish assimilation to foreign cultures and customs practiced by peoples and societies who never accepted the revelation of the Torah @ Sinai and Horev. Assimilation represents the bane of g’lut Jewry’s existence throughout our 2000+ years in accursed g’lut. Stateless Jewish refugee populations scattered in tiny enclave population centers, dispersed across the Middle Eastern Sephardi black communities, and Ashkenazic white European communities. All Jews throughout history have struggled with doing t’shuvah in the face of assimilation. The Book of Kings, for example, tells stories how kings introduced foreign worship\avodah zarah/ and incorporated these alien customs, manners, and ways into the cult of Jewish religious practices.
Jewish assimilation defined: Jews who abandon our Cohen tohor service identities. And embrace the cultures and customs of alien peoples; comparable to the black folk, former slaves, who embrace the Xtian religion of their former slave owning masters. As an Israeli have made allot of racial humor which lampoons black assimilation to there white over-lords. Religious Jews in Israel refer to themselves as “Black”. My humor, which attempts to compare religious Haredi Jews to ‘niggers’; alas few of my peers make the jump whereby my humor mocks my own people.
Most people who hear my racial jokes never make the משל\נמשל דיוקים. They take a טפש פשט, a literal understanding, of my racial slurs. They assume that racist jokes refer to black folk in America rather than — the exposed butt of Haredi Jews in Israel. Something like the missionizers in Tulsa Oklahoma, who did not know how to respond when their target Jew boy for conversion, (as they viewed me), informed them that i considered myself as an atheist praise G-d. Religion, whether practiced by Goyim or Jews, tends toward a balloon like over inflated view of its piety – surely religious piety, only praiseworthy, it never stinks…NOT.
Religion, all religion, merits taking its “holiness & perfection” with a large amount of salt. Most religious Jews who crossed my path here in Israel, they remind me of a dog who continually chases after its tail; or a silly hamster who runs itself half to death on a treadmill. Most religious Yidden simply adore religious wrappings, as expressed by rhetoric and propaganda. Something like the Fascists of Nazi Germany who simply loved their pomp parades and night time rallies.
“My Crowd”, they love the trappings of ribbons and bells, but never attempt to explore, much less so, understand the substance and purpose behind the ritual of their religious pageantry. The commentaries on the Halachic codifications, especially the Shulchan Aruch, serve as glaring examples of ghetto scholarship Jews chasing after their tails. Nothing more galled me in my youth than when I visited the homes of my black mamma maids and saw public displays of their Xtian religious relics. My black mamma maids lived on the other side of the segregated tracks! In the early 1960s Jim Crow laws still prevailed in Midland Texas. It equally infuriated me whenever my mother, when she would behave herself, based upon the presumption that her social status towered way above blacks — her social inferiors.
From an early age, tended to associate religion and racism as two peas in the same pod. Have never felt comfortable, or at ease when around religion. When ever Religious Mass movements come together – Power rather than morality defines their purpose. Religious power, compares to Socrates forced to drink a cup of poison hemlock. Sooner trust that a snake would not bite me if i stepped on it, than trust the power of religion not to convert me unto arrogant behavior. Very much feel at home with secular society. Herein explains the burr under my saddle in matters of doing t’shuvah!
How does a Yid divorce T’NaCH and Talmud from Frumkeit? The Haredi Yidden behave much like and similar to how my mother looked down her nose toward blacks; how Neturei Karta detests and despises the secular Jewish State. This ‘holier than thou, Torah true Judaism’, it assumes that only these guardians of the Torah, they – and only they – possess a lock and key over their Torah monopoly! Secular society, poor nebekals – “broken children”! [Hebrew employs such quaint terms for social contempt. Nebek, pathetic social inferiors who merit nothing but extreme pity; תינוק שנשבר: (literally: a Jewish child captured and raised by Goyim)]. Such derisive terms, Haredi Yidden repeatedly and all to often express their disdain over secular Jewry – their social inferiors.
As if the children of Haredi Yidden families, don’t struggle with assimilation, just as much or more, than do secular Yidden families! Religion spews a “Holier than thou” poison; an arrogant social superiority complex. Expressed through the different kippa head coverings. G-d forbid that a person who dons a Kippah sruga, (knitted kippa), should ever disgrace himself, even on Purim, by wearing a black haredi kippa!
Immediately noticed, from day one in Yeshiva, that commentaries written by Reshonim scholars, on the Talmud and T’NaCH, that they fail to lampoon and criticize their crowd of religious g’lut Jewry. Religious Jewry their shit doesn’t also stink? Disputes defines virtually every rabbinic commentary ever written. Yet, despite these bitter disputes, Reshon authorities, especially after the Rambam Civil War, fail to effectively criticize Jewish religious practices as just plain wrong; the failure of rabbinic g’lut Judaism to inspire our People to rebuild Jewish Home Rule in the oath sworn lands! Only the false messiah Sabbatai Zevi inspired my crowd to leave the oppression of g’lut, and aspire to rule the oath sworn lands!
This fundamental and basic flaw to challenge and criticize the flawed scholarship made by Reshon authorities; specifically the failure of their religious commentaries to arouse the spirit within the hearts of our children to make Aliyah to the oath sworn lands; the barren pilpulism and its inherently flawed ideas touching “scholarship” and education; the tendency to make rabbinic authorities into cults of personalities, like as did chassidus in Easter Europe. These basic mistakes, they aroused within me the willingness to reject and invalidate the authority of the Reshonim commentaries made on the T’NaCH and Talmud. What happened to the priority of prophetic Mussar during the Middle Ages? The ‘Golden Age’ of Spain, had it not witnessed a total rabbinic assimilation to the rediscovered ancient Greek philosophers!
The silence, the total lack of denunciation over the betrayal by rabbinic authorities, their public assimilation to despised ancient Greek cultures and customs … forced me to ask: what Jews light the lights of Chanukah … only for the ritual lights themselves?! Slowly dawned the realization, that something stinks in the state of Denmark. Once openly critical of Reshonim scholarship, that got me into immediate trouble in Yeshiva, I started mocking “black” Haredi Jews by lampooning the niggers of America! It never ceases to amaze me that religious Yidden, they fail to hop that my racial jokes mock religious Haredi Jews, and not the black people of American society!
Haredi Yidden just could not get past the racial ribbons and bells to grasp that my satire, it denounces the Haredi religions of rabbinic assimilation. Placed my bulls eye mark on the Rambam’s aristotelian logic. Based upon rabbi Waldman’s observations. He praised that style of logic as what distinguishes the Rambam halachic code, from that of the Tur Shulchan Aruch. But Karo’s The Cesef Mishna commentary on the Yad Hachzakah, and commentaries made upon that famous code, they all fail to explain the relationship of halachic precedents, and how they understand the language of the Case\Rule Mishna!
They all fail to address the prophetic mussar Aggadic relationship, as the breath of רוח הקודש, ie tohor middot, which quickens the k’vanna of halachic ritual observance! Translating abstract ideas into Mishnaic Hebrew fails to understand that translations cannot and do not define the terms which they translate. Something like the word ברית, never once employed anywhere within the Book of the Koran! Covenant – totally fails to define the oath alliance obligations of the word ברית.
Neither the Koran nor new testament ever once bring the Name revealed @ the first commandment of Sinai. Learning to do and keep commandments לשמה, defines all Torah scholarship! The 13 tohor middot, they function as “pronouns” of the רוח הקודש – Name. The revelation of the Name, does not exist as a word; the sin of the golden calf – Aaron translated the Name unto אלהים, a word.
Impossible to ‘cut a brit’ without swearing a Torah oath “blowing” the spirit of the Name; as learned from the mitzva of blowing of the Shofar. Miztzvot learn from other mitzvot — like metal sharpens metal. Making affixed connections between mitzvot “precedents”, defines all T’NaCH and Talmudic scholarship. This rule stands totally different and apart from the Reshon priority simplification, that focuses upon the determination of p’shat. Grew to hate the question: ‘What’s the p’shat?’, repeatedly asked by my rabbinic peers.
Assimilation — the first face of avodah zarah. A direct violation of the 2nd Commandment of Sinai. Two key figures define this avodah zarah. They combine with the Black Death pandemic of the 14th Century: (1) King Shlomo’s construction of the 1st Temple; (2) The Rambam’s halachic perversion of Rabbi Akiva’s פרדס explanation of the revelation of the Oral Torah logic @ Horev. This line of research delves into a highly complex and difficult realms of scholarship. For example, never in 2000+ years has any Xtian “scholar” realized that the Hebrew T’NaCH functions as the first common law codification. The assimilated Reshonim scholarship likewise crashed the ships of all their religious commentaries – on this reef of T’NaCH common law. Never did any rabbinic lecture address the perils of Jewish assimilation within the walls of the Yeshivas which I attended!
As a T’NaCH\Talmud researcher, seek to view this Classic Masoret viewed from a completely different perspective than that taken by the “assimilated” Reshonim scholars. Have presented arguments which denounce both king Shlomo’s decision to build the Temple and the Rambam’s halachic codification, as both the definition of ruinous assimilation, and the expression of absolute disaster for all generations of Jewry that came thereafter – worse than even the black death itself.
My sh’itta of learning offers a new interpretation upon the classic Hebrew concept known as ירידות הדורות. This alien assimilationist theological idea, it promotes an utterly absurd idea that later generations lack the mental capabilities possessed by earlier generations. This rabbinic dogmatism has plagued my people for a very long time. How to refute and negate this long standing dogma held near and dear among my rabbinic peers? To accomplish this, first requires a back handed validation of its absolute narishkeit.
Decisions taken by a great leader, they produce, so to speak, a domino effect. Once Shlomo built the Temple, no one thereafter ever challenged that decision as invalid. None of the kings who came after Shlomo, nor the prophets, ever openly mocked or challenged the decision taken by Shlomo to built his grand Temple. The construction of the Temple, it supplanted the Order of priority — to establish a Federal Sanhedrin common law court system. Shlomo’s narishkeit ‘replacement theology’, it switched thereafter the ‘Golden Ideal’ goal posts. All kings thereafter viewed the grand images of the Temple as the golden ideal. While, צדק צדק תדוף became relegated to just a back water eddy. Reshonim chased the ghost of messiah with the declaration that the Moshiach would build the 3rd Temple!
But what if king Shlomo ignored the council of the prophet NaTan, like as did his son – who at Sh’Cem rejected the advise counseled by the elders, who served his father, king Sh’lomo? Because no Jewish authority ever risked to reject the decision taken by king Shlomo, this resulted in all later generations lacking the t’shuvah mental ability\ירידת הדורות/ to return\t’shuvah/ our nation back unto its original destiny path walk! Israel came out of the bondage of Egypt, to rule the oath sworn lands with justice. HaShem did not redeem Israel from oppressive slavery, just for our People to bankrupt our treasury and build ornate and spectacular Temples, like so defines European medieval cultures and customs – Dark Ages. To love HaShem with all our strength, commanded through the kre’a shma, actively entails making wise investments of our limited treasure resources in our family and neighbors success.
The same equally holds true with how the Rambam halachic code redefined the concept of halachah. All generations thereafter, they lacked the spiritual stones to do t’shuvah. Following the burning of the Talmud in Paris, rabbinic Judaism never challenged the flawed premise of learning, which the Rambam code had established. No generation thereafter ever attempted to correct the gross error in judgment made by the Rambam. The Rambam code quickly overshadowed the B’hag, Rif, and Rosh, codes which compared halachic precedents to a defined Case\Rule Mishna. Prophetic mussar, it too became just a back water eddy. Aggaditah turned itself, so to speak, into a ‘black slave’; just a poor nigga pariah ‘boy’! It became fit for only quaint woman’s learning; T’NaCH transmuted, much like the Xtian leavened wafer and a cup of wine ritual, into a glorified history book! Herein encapsulates my back handed validation of ירידות הדורות.
Rabbis in Yeshiva quite often skipped over the Aggadic portions within the Talmud, rabbinic instruction make it their focus priority to emphasize the Rambam perversion of Talmudic halachah! These Rosh Yeshiva rabbis, they themselves do not grasp that the Sha’s Bavli has a warp\weft Halachah/Aggaditah Loom-like fabric faith. Yeshiva students became oblivious to the spirit of prophetic mussar – how it breathes life – unto the halachic forms of ritual observances. These new generations of students they have eyes only focused upon the halachic ritual whistles and bells. What mussar rebuke lays beneath the surface of the shiny ritualized halachic tinsel, does not concern, nor interest them in the least. Study of the k’vanna of T’NaCH common law compares to the Yeshiva education on the k’vanna of the Siddur. The Baali T’shuvah Yeshivot in Jerusalem, at the height of the t’shuvah fad, they cranked out massed produced Frumkeit Yidden; all uniformly dressed up in their holier than thou religious uniforms and black hats.
None of these new religious t’shuvah converts, understood the need to restore the Written Torah as the Constitution of the Republic of States within Israel. None of the rabbinic instructors understood the pressing priority need to reestablish the Federal Great and Small Sanhedrins (6 Cities of Refuge), and restore the authority of the Sanhedrin Federal Courts to conduct ‘legislative review’ of all laws passed by the Knesset. Just as living Man has both flesh and spirit so too law requires both substance and form. Prophetic Mussar defines the spirit of all Torah external klippot laws. Instead, rabbis harp the preach that Jews in Israel live in g’lut because the Moshiach has yet to build the 3rd Temple!
Frumkeit does not, in point of fact – prosper, when sex trade markets and white slave prostitution rings thrive in Tel Aviv. To cause the Jewish state to stand fully Independent requires forcing Capital Crimes criminals guilty of sexual hedonism and\or mafia economic debauchery domination of markets, which often results in murder, to not only stand trial – but to impose either g’lut or one of the four death sentences upon them. Plastic police should not focus their energies upon imposing fines through traffic tickets. Only court judges, not plastic police, have the authority to punish transgressions through fines.
T’shuvah requires that the Jewish State rejects the Western prison system. Justice cannot and does not compensate for damages, by housing criminals within expensive prisons for extended periods of time. Justice rejects the huge expenses associated with Appellate courts, made famous in the broken American legal system, together with its exorbitantly expensive prison bureaucracies. Better to restrict justice to local conditions, and impose public humiliation and court ordered whipping posts, to punish criminal behavior. Justice rejects the public incarceration of criminals with other criminals – for extended periods of time. Permitting these people the לוקסוס\luxury/ to better learn the secrets of their tumah enterprises.