In this issue

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 Dec. 8, 2006 / 17 Kislev, 5767

Want to have it all?

By Rabbi David Aaron

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Secrets to ultimate wealth

I once came across a billboard that said, "Many poor souls live in million dollar houses." From personal experience I know this to be true.

I've walked into mansions of multi-millionaires, and in certain such places, I have felt a lack of spiritual wealth and blessing. These places were filled with expensive furniture and rugs and a million dollars worth of art, but the emptiness was palpable. Although each house was an outstanding and elegant piece of architecture and interior design, it wasn't a home. It missed its purpose. It was without blessing.

According to the Kabbalah, the entire theme of life is G-d's desire to be present and manifest in our world. This is the purpose of this world and our existence. This is why G-d instructed Moses, "Let them make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell among them."

Kabbalah reveals the awesome secret of how G-d contracts His infinite spiritual qualities in order to enter into our finite consciousness. People think that in order to see and meet G-d, they will have leave or nullify this finite world; they think that they must transcend time and space. But this is not true. G-d meets us in our world. All we have to do is open the door of consciousness — open the eyes of our soul.

When the Torah relates the story of creation, it ends the recitation of events of each day with: "And G-d saw that it was good." What did G-d see about each creation that made it good? G-d saw that it was complete — it fulfilled its intended purpose. But, after the creation of Adam, the Torah keeps mum. This is because the first human being had yet to actualize his potential to be a living sanctuary for G-d. He had not yet fulfilled his intended purpose. He was not yet whole and complete. And why were the other elements complete at creation, but the human being was created incomplete? Man, unlike all the rest of creation, has free will. Only after man makes the right choices does he fulfill his purpose, achieve wholeness and embody godliness. When we do that feel a great sense of abundance and blessing. Such people have it all.

All or Plenty
The Torah quotes Esau saying he has plenty but the Patriarch Jacob said: "I have it all." Jacob is referring, of course, to his relationship with G-d. When a person has a consciousness of G-d, and devotes his whole life to serving G-d's purpose, then he really does have it all. What more could he ask for?

A self-serving person has no purpose beyond him/her self. S/he is like a corporation without a mission statement— an organization without a cause —-a computer without a program. A life without service is poverty stricken, empty and useless. Imagine a person who meditates all day and does nothing to actively change and improve this world — doesn't serve to bring G-d's loving-presence into the world. Such meditation is only self-absorption and lacks the blessing acquired only through service.

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When I was growing up, there was a picture in our living room of several old sages, with pale faces, long white beards and thick glasses, studying Torah around table piled high with thick tomes; the room looked gloomy and dark and they presented a sad sight, all hunched over from years of sitting there, never getting any exercise.

That was my concept of a religious person and his/her ultimate goals in life. And I sure didn't want to end up being one of them. Therefore, I was shocked to learn that the Torah's idea of a servant of G-d is someone who a live wire. And that live wire transmits vitality, abundant goodness and blessing — the presence of G-d. When you are in the presence of such people you sense a powerful flow of energy and you feel high just being in the same room. Indeed they have it all.

I remember once meeting Rabbi Raphael Levin, the son of Rabbi Aryeh Levine, whose life was portrayed in a wonderful book called, A Tzaddik in Our Times. Rabbi Raphael is, like his father, considered a truly holy person. He shook my hand, taking his time about it, not letting go right away, and suddenly I felt like I was becoming spiritually charged. The feeling didn't leave me for the whole day.
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You can buy Rabbi David Aaron's latest best seller: "Inviting G-d In: Celebrating the soul-meaning of the Jewish holy days" at a discount by clicking HERE. (Sales help fund JWR.).

A holy person charges everyone around him/her. S/he is more than a live wire, rather s/he is like the switch that completes the circuit so that the electricity flows. That's why we are told that even when a holy person passes away, he or she is still alive.

On the other hand, an evil person, who considered dead even when s/he is alive.

How so? First of all, an evil person doesn't even acknowledge that his/her joy and true source of wealth is to serve G-d's purpose. S/he proclaims: "I'm self-defined, self-sufficient, independent, and I don't belong to any higher order. I don't have to abide by anybody's rules. I am my own person. I am my own boss." An evil person doesn't acknowledge G-d nor seek a life of service, therefore, G-d is not in his/her life. And s/he cannot be a channel for G-d. Instead of feeling charged when you are with this person, you feel drained, as if all of your energy is being sucked out of you.

When Torah enjoins us to serve G-d with joy, it is not talking about some egotistical power that commands, "Serve me, or I'll punish you. And you better do it with a smile!" Rather, if you truly understand that serving G-d is the most self-gratifying experience a person can have, of course you will do it joyfully. You will be actualizing what you have been brought into this world to be — a vessel and a vehicle for the presence of G-d on earth, for the qualities of love and justice and truth and beauty and wisdom, all the qualities of G-d. What greater wealth it there?

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JWR contributor Rabbi David Aaron is the founder and dean of Isralight, an international organization with programming in Israel, New York South Florida, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Toronto. He has taught and inspired thousands of Jews who are seeking meaning in their lives and a positive connection to their Jewish roots.

He is the author of the newly released, Inviting G-d In, The Secret Life of G-d, and Endless Light: The Ancient Path of Kabbalah to Love, Spiritual Growth and Personal Power , Seeing G-d and Love is my religion. (Click on links to purchase books. Sales help fund JWR.) He lives in the old City of Jerusalem with his wife and their seven children.

© 2006, Rabbi David Aaron