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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 25, 2005 /23Mar-Cheshvan, 5766

You can have it all

By Rabbi David Aaron


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Open your eyes and acknowledge the ultimate all-inclusive reality

“And the Lord blessed Abraham b'kol — with all”

                        —   Genesis 24:1

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One day I was walking into center of Jerusalem, the usual route I take along Jaffa Road, and I suddenly realized that when I walk, I keep my head pivoted in a certain direction, straight and down. I don't look up. I asked myself, "Why don't you look up?" So, at that moment I looked up, and I saw a completely new and different Jaffa Road.


I used to think that Jaffa Road was stores and tree trunks. I didn't know that there are incredible canopies of leaves above from majestic fountains of palms reach up into the sky, sweet singing birds flying to and fro, and beautiful multi-story buildings with arched windows, ornate balconies adorned with filigree ironwork, and emblems sculpted in stone. All of a sudden I saw a whole new world just because I looked up and expanded my vision for a moment.


The world you see is a function of how narrow your view is. Just for a moment, look at the room you are sitting in. Rather than focusing on anything in particular, try to see it with the fullness of vision: the ceiling, the floor, the corners of the room, all four walls. Do you perceive a different room?


Now, if you could just transfer that fullness of vision to everything you see and do, then you'd be living in a different world. And that world might give you a taste of what the Garden of Eden must have been like.


It should not surprise us to learn then that the first man and woman were in the Garden of Eden because they were able to experience the All  —  the all-embracing and all-pervasive loving presence of G-d. They felt one with G-d, one with all of creation. But when they ate from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge, they damaged the breadth of their spiritual perception. As a result of that damage, their perspective became so skewed that they could only see a very narrow slice of reality, which they perceived as the physical world. Indeed, as a result of their change of perspective, they even experienced themselves as physical.


The Jewish Oral Tradition, the Midrash, tells us that in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve didn't have bodies of skin, they had bodies of "light." The Midrash also states that everything in the Garden of Eden had that same quality: "There were no shadows in the Garden of Eden." In other words, nothing was opaque or heavy or dark or solid — the way we experience matter today. There was a luminescence to everything.


The difference was all in how Adam and Eve saw and experienced their world. Their bodies, the trees, the animals, the birds were translucent so that through the tree you could see the bird, so that the bird appeared to be inside the tree, and through the bird, the elephant, so that the elephant appeared part of the bird and of the tree, and through the elephant, a horse and man and woman and fish and water and sky. Nothing obscured anything else and it all appeared part of the same beautiful whole. Adam and Eve experienced The One in all and the all in One.


It's only after Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden tree — when they partook of the knowledge of good and evil — that they experienced themselves as heavy and opaque. Suddenly, they saw they had bodies of flesh and they experienced themselves as garbed in a sack of skin that set them apart from all.


When they experienced themselves as having bodies of light, there was no sense of separation between themselves and the rest of reality. Their entire self- definition was bound up with the All. They didn't know it could be any different.


The snake was the one to tell them that it could be different — it could be better. The picture the snake painted for them in the famous story went something like this: "Hey Eve, come have a bite G-d doesn't want you eat from this special tree because He is afraid that if you eat from it, you'll be just like Him." Then the snake went into his best line: "You know why He is doing it, don't you? He wants to be the only who is independent and powerful. He wants to be the only god — He doesn't want competition. So, He's keeping you down subordinate inferior. But if you eat from this tree, you'll see things in a whole new way. "


That was the lie of the snake — presenting G-d and humanity as separate conflicting entities.


Once Eve, and later Adam, bought into this lie, into this illusion of separateness and independence, they began to have exactly that experience. That is exactly what happened to them. They suddenly experienced their bodies as physical — opaque, solid, heavy. The physical body of the human being was born out of the mistaken attitude that to be separate and independent would be somehow better.

ONE OF A MIND
As the children of Adam and Even, we experience ourselves as isolated, independent, self-defined entities, separate from all — the whole reality in which we truly find our beings. This lonely experience is the snake's lie, and the source of much of the pain and evil in this world.


The Kabbalah describes the force of evil as the sitra acher meaning "the other side." The reason it is so called is because its basic message is that we are on one side and G-d is on the other side, that G-d is not on our side. But once we come to recognize this powerful illusion as false, we will quickly see that G-d is always and only on our side. There are no two sides, only oneness and wholeness  —  all in One and One in all.


The physical world appears dense and opaque, because we see reality from such a narrow perspective—we see only a partial picture, a fragment of reality. Because of the narrowness of our vision, everything appears hard, solid, each object distinct, separate and unrelated. We experience a different world than the one that is the true reality. What is it that creates this illusion? The Kabbalah says that it is our attitude of separateness that creates for us a world of klipos, literally of "hard shells." We become encased in hard shells that separate us each other and from G-d.


It may surprise you to hear that the Kabbalah teaches that in the future we're going to realize that we were in the Garden of Eden all along. We never left it. We feel like we left it, because we left it with our minds, we closed our souls' eyes to see it all. By narrowing our vision, we entered this self-imposed prison of perception, thinking we are separate from each other and from G-d. We suffer a visual myopia which the Kabbalah calls mohin de katnus or "narrow mindedness." When you are in a state of mohin de katnus, then you only perceive a narrow slice of reality and everything is fragmented and disconnected.


But there is another way of seeing based on a different mindset. The Kabbalah refers to it as mohin de gadlus, broad mindedness. An open mind sees a broader view and gets the total picture. The broader, more expanded our minds are, the more we see reality as it is and experience the all in One and the One is all—G-d in our world and in our lives. It's a completely different level of consciousness.

BROKEN GLASSES
According to the Kabbalah, "Spiritual seeing" is a way of seeing holistically, where a person sees the whole rather than just the separate details. It's about opening yourself up to the total picture, the all.


"Secular seeing," is just the opposite. In fact, in Hebrew, the word chiloni, meaning secular, comes from the word chol, meaning sand. Just as sand is made up of small, separate granules, so secular seeing is a way of seeing the world as made up of small, separate components.


The Kabbalah teaches that, before the creation of this world, G-d created vessels and then projected endless divine light into the vessels. But the vessels broke. Why? Because they were trying to capture the endless divine light within their very narrow limits. Rather than give themselves over to the light, the vessels tried to consume the light and confine it into their constricted borders.


The only way to receive G-d's light  —  get is all— is to surrender to it. Spiritual seeing is an act of surrender, seeing without any expectations to understand, without trying to fit it all into whatever you already know. We give our minds over to what is, rather then expect what is to fit into my mind.


The Kabbalah explains that Abraham was an antidote to the mistake of Adam and Eve. He began repairing the broken vessel of consciousness— bridging the gap between perception and reality.


Abraham was not simply a saintly individual. He set the cornerstone for a new world consciousness. Abraham was the first person to acknowledge G-d as the ultimate all-inclusive reality.


In contrast, the pagan world around him worshiped the disparate forces of nature and created a perceptual world of separate, conflicting powers, personifying gods at war with each other.


Abraham was the first to see it like it is and thereby initiated the return of the all-embracing and all-pervasive presence of G-d back into our world.


Abraham was blessed with "all". He experienced the all in One and The One in all.

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