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

Are you on a spiritual journey or ego trip?

By Rabbi David Aaron

The subtle challenge of a truly Divine-centered life

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Torah teaches that when we observe the mitzvos (religious duties), when we perform the commandments, we are rewarded with arichas yamim, loosely translated as "long life" but specifically meaning "long days." By filling our day with real substance every moment, we make our days long. Perhaps you have experienced a two-day event that was so meaningful that it felt more like a week. This is what happens when our days are so full.

The son of a friend of mine died at a young age from a terminal disease. Knowing that he would die before he reached 30, he told his mother, "Mom, I might not live a long life, but I will live a full life." This is the point: It is not about long life, it is about full life. You cannot have a full life unless you are fully engrossed in what you are doing right now.

The problem is that we are distracted and divided. And especially the modern world often pulls at us from all sides. There are people who cannot eat without reading the newspaper and talking on the phone at the same time. Wait a second: If you are eating, then eat! Enjoy every morsel, now it is time to eat. There is the time to talk and the time to plan. What are you doing now?

The Torah tells the story of when our great sage Abraham sees three strangers in the distance. As they approach, he runs to greet them and brings them into his tent. The Torah is very specific in telling us that he runs, he gets, and he brings them this and that. The Torah does not waste words and could have simply said, "And Abraham ran out and performed the act of ushering in the guests." Instead, the Torah gives us a play-by-play description of what Abraham did for them.

According to one of my teachers, the Torah wants us to understand that Abraham was fully immersed in every move he made. The point was not about how to feed the guests. It was about Abraham thinking about their needs at every moment and serving to channel G-d's loving presence into the world with every move he makes.

Revealing the divine attribute of kindness was one of Abraham's great contributions to the world. Abraham was the epitome of kindness. He had a tent that had no walls  —  it was just doors  —  so that he could have maximum visibility of any stranger in the vicinity, run to him and say, "Please come in, have something to eat, have something to drink."

The Midrash relates that after Abraham's guests would thank him for his hospitality, Abraham would simply say, "Don't thank me. Thank the Master of the World." If the guests weren't willing to thank G-d, Abraham would say, "Then pay me." When I first read this Midrash, I found it very strange. It sounds like some plot to bring people to G-d-consciousness by being nice to them, but only in return for their payment with faith.

Abraham, in fact, was brilliant. What he was really saying was this: "If you really don't believe in G-d, why would you think that I would do anything nice for you without any expectation of payment in return? Realize that you are valuable to me because there is a G-d and you are an expression of His very Divine Self. Therefore, I love you and care about you regardless of what you do, without any expectation of anything in return. I love you simply because you are. Love and care flows naturally from my heart to you because I am an expression of G-d and so are you. If we exist, then we are divinely valuable and should be treated in a divinely valued way.

Dedicated to a life in service to G-d, Abraham invested all his energies to make the loving presence of G-d known on earth. He wanted a son to be the heir to his spiritual mission and continue his service spreading the truth of the G-d of love. Miraculously at a very old age Sarah conceives and they have a son Isaac. But G-d then asks Abraham to sacrifice his long awaited son. Imagine what must have gone through Abraham's head. G-d, do You know what that will do to everything I have done for You all these years? My whole mission will be destroyed. Your name that I have worked so hard to promote and sanctify on earth will be desecrated. Think of the headline on the front page of the Canaanite Times. Abraham Phony! Embraces Idolatrous Practice and Sacrifices His Son.

This story reveals the true meaning of service. G-d is asking Abraham to serve Him by giving up his life long service. In this case Abraham's service to G-d is to sacrifice his service to G-d. This is the ultimate test of true service. If you are really concerned about doing the will of G-d then simply do what He asks. G-d is saying to Abraham, "I know you're a big Rabbi and you are spreading My name on earth and I know this is going to destroy everything, but that is what I want." So this is the greatest test. Did Abraham truly dedicate his life to the service of G-d or was his mission really just an ego trip in disguise? If Abraham truly worked for G-d than he accepted that whatever the boss says goes. Abraham understands: I do not own this world and I am not the Master of history. I just work here serving to infuse this world with G-d's presence according to His will.

This is the subtle challenge of a truly G-d centered life. Am I really on spiritual journey serving G-d or just another ego trip?

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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, The Secret Life of G0d, and Endless Light: The Ancient Path of Kabbalah to Love, Spiritual Growth and Personal Power , Seeing G0d 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.

© 2010, Rabbi David Aaron