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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 Dec. 29, 2006 / 8 Teves, 5767

Don't forget your playful inner child

By Rabbi David Aaron


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“For I made myself responsible for the naar youth — to my father, saying, If I do not give him safely back to you, let mine be the sin for ever…….. For how shall I go up to my father, if the youth be not with me?”

                       — Genesis 44:32-34


Although these words were spoken by Judah expressing his commitment to return the youth to his father Jacob hinted here is also our own responsibility to bring our — naar — the inner child within us — back to our Heavenly Father. Otherwise there is no way we can ascend to our Father and lovingly bond with Him in every moment of our life journey.


The Zohar, the magnus corpus of the Kabbalah, teaches us that within us all is a naar - youthful child - and also an old foolish king. What does this mean?


Well, consider the difference between the youthful child and the old foolish king. In Hebrew, naar, the word for child, comes from the word meaning "to shake up." And that is very appropriate, because the child is always agitating, moving, growing. A child loves playful adventure.


You might live five minutes away from the school and your kid comes home an hour-and-a-half after school has let out.


"Where were you?"


"I was just walking home."


"But we live five minutes away."


"I don't know ... I was just walking home."


"Well how long can it take you to get here? What did you do?"


"Ahh ... ahhh ... you know that backyard that says `BEWARE OF VICIOUS DOG'? We thought it would really interesting if we climbed over the fence and we'd kind of move across the yard .... `Hi poochie, hi poochie ... hi poochie ...' and then you know that antenna next door, well, we climbed up that antenna and jumped over to the other roof ..."


A child loves adventure, his excitement isn't just getting there, his excitement is in the getting to there.


Contrast this with the old foolish king. He thinks that he is already there. Where is there to go if you are already king? He'd rather sit on his throne than take a walk into the unknown. The unknown to him is not an adventure but a risk — he could fall off his high horse, he could lose his crown, you never know.


But a child loves adventure, it loves to grow, it loves challenge. A child thinks why eat spaghetti with a fork if I can do it with a straw? Now that would be interesting — to just suck each one of them up. A child loves challenge, enjoys the journey and knows how to be playful.


I once watched my kids take hundreds of pieces of a puzzle and spend long hard hours putting it together. I had planned to frame it once it was finished, but they had a different idea. They celebrated its completion by destroying it. Why? Because they were not interested in the puzzle being completed! They were interested in the excitement of doing the puzzle, the challenge and adventure of making it. That's what they enjoyed about it. They understood what we should all understand. There's so much life and value in the process, so much growth and awareness in the journey, as difficult as it may be.

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Life is a challenge, and if you are ready to acknowledge that and see it as the challenge of any good game — where the challenge itself is what makes it fun — then life for you will not be a burden, but an playful adventure.


There is a story about a guy who set out to climb Mt. Everest and just before he got to the top he died. And people said "How tragic, he almost made it ... How tragic he was so close to reaching his goal."


In the Kabbalistic view of life, it was not tragic at all. Because in the Kabbalistic view of life, the climb is just as good whether or not you make it to the top. In fact, the reality of life is such that you never do get to the top. The climb is the goal. The top of the mountain is only the direction, but it is not the destination. The Talmud teaches that no one will live this world with half of his desires fulfilled. Even Moses never reached the promised land he died on the way. But the truth is we all die on the way. Is that tragic? Not if you lived your life knowing that the way is the goal and be sure to take along your inner child and enjoy the journey.

For more information on this topic, please see Rabbi David Aaron's "The Secret Life of G-d: Discovering the Divine within You"


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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