Madness and The Soul

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Madness and The Soul.”

Whereas normally the soul guides and directs the body, in the case of mental illness, the soul becomes imprisoned in the body and mind that is sick. When this happens, a person reverts to their wholly animalistic nature, and hence, what we are seeing is like a car without a driver, accelerating and careening dangerously until, usually, a horrible accident and end.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Announcing My First Book: On Judaism and Life

With gratitude to Hashem, I am announcing my first published book, On Judaism and Life

It is available on Amazon in Kindle, paperback, and hardcopy.  

Book description:

This book is about finding and connecting with G-d. As the prophet Jeremiah states (29:13), “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” This is my personal journey back to G-d and Judaism. It provides my life reflections, dreams, prayers, and hopes to strengthen my faith and trust in G-d by exploring a variety of the precious gems of Judaism and the Torah, reflecting on the diversity and strength of our people and culture, and longing for our nation and beautiful State of Israel and the completion of the final Redemption and bringing of the Mashiach. Please G-d, may it serve as inspiration for your journey as well.

I hope you enjoy!

Interview requests may be directed here.

The Irreligious Religious

 

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “The Irreligious Religious.”

If some “religious” people do the wrong thing, disrespect their fellow Jews, hate on them, curse them, defile their prayers, that doesn’t mean they are really religious. Rather to the contrary — they are the irreligious religious!

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Never Truly Alone

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Never Truly Alone.”

Alone, in the quiet.

There is pain, suffering, and loss.

Anxiety and depression.

But wait, there is also faith.

An Army That Sings and Dances

Please see my new poem in The Times of Israel called “An Army That Sing and Dances.

Holy warriors that turn their gaze upwards to our Heavenly Father.
In joy and tears.
By song and dance.
With an uplifted heart and a yearning soul.
Soldiers of the Holy Land.
They stand before G-d Almighty.
Ready to lay down their lives in complete faith.
The Redemption is here.
Just open your eyes.
Oh L-rd, return us to the Promised Land.
In joy and tears.
By song and dance.
With an uplifted heart and a yearning soul.
To serve You, and only You.

Why I Cry At Circumcisions

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “Why I Cry At Circumcisions.”

Circumcision reminds me of Abraham, our forefather, who was tested and told to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac, to G-d. It is truly counter-intuitive for a parent to hurt or sacrifice their child. Yet, this is exactly how G-d tested Abraham before the angel of G-d told him not to raise his hand to Isaac, and instead Abraham then offered to G-d a ram that was caught in the thicket. However, when it comes to circumcision, we are also tested and actually are commanded to surgically remove the male child’s foreskin and as the baby cries out, every parent, no matter how faithful and religiously devoted, winces and feels deeply inside for their child’s pain, even if it is only momentary and soothed by a sip of kosher Kedem Concord Grape wine.

The rite of the circumcision is an incredible transcendental religious experience, where our very faith is tested and we go against our own physical instincts to protect the child, no matter what, and instead we submit ourselves to G-d Almighty, the Master of the Universe to perform the circumcision, because He told us to. Whether there are medical benefits or not, G-d commands, and we obey. We are His people, and his thoughts and plans are infinitely greater than ours. At the circumcision, in an act of complete faith, we graciously give over our male children and ourselves—in body, mind, and soul to G-d. We renounce our desires, our gratification, our very instincts, and put ourselves in G-d’s merciful hands. In that moment of selfless giving, we fulfill our covenant of generations with G-d and we affirm our holiness as individuals and as a nation.

(Photo Credit: Avital Pinnick; https://www.flickr.com/photos/spindexr/4678468852/)