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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 June 9, 2006 / 13 Sivan, 5766

Getting the Divine View on You

By Rabbi David Aaron


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How to make worlds of a difference


“And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the picture of the LORD shall he view.”

                       — Numbers 12:6-8

Several years ago, I gave my kids Cheerios for breakfast. It said on the front of the Cheerios box that on the back of this box is a three-dimensional Cheerios bumblebee. So I looked at the back of the box and saw a distorted, blurry thing. Have you ever looked at a 3-D book without the goggles? You see a mishmash of misprinted, distorted images.

There were no goggles inside the box of Cheerios, but the instructions on the back said to put the picture up to your nose and slowly move it away from your face. Well, I was sitting there waiting for the kids to finish breakfast, so I figured, why not? I put the box up to my nose and slowly moved it away from my face. I didn't get it right. So I put the box up to my nose again, and slowly moved it away. I noticed one of my daughters kicking her sister under the table, like, "Daddy's gone crazy! We knew he was studying Kabbalah or something, but this is crazy. Why doesn't he just eat the Cheerios instead of trying to stuff the box into his nose?"

I wasn't going to give up, however, because it said that there's a three-dimensional bumblebee on the package, and having paid for that box of Cheerios, I wanted to get the full experience. So again I put the Cheerios box up to my nose. I slowly pulled it away, and suddenly I saw it! I shouted, "Oh my gosh!" My kids jumped up and ran away from the table. Now my kids no longer eat Cheerios. They're afraid it might affect them, too.

The profound lesson on that Cheerios box was that by changing our perceptual focus we can see something that was virtually invisible to us before. The way we see things really determines the way they look.

When Jacob was on his way to Egypt, G-d said to him, "Jacob, don't worry. Joseph will close your eyes."

The Zohar explains that when a person passes away, according to Jewish law, someone has to close the eyes of the deceased. So Jacob was told, in Egypt you're going to pass away, but your beloved son Joseph will be the one to close your eyes.

The Zohar asks: Why do we have to close the eyes of the deceased? And the Zohar answers: Because the colors, the texture, the shapes of this world are in your eyes; in order to see the next world, someone has to close your eyes.

According to the Kabbalah, we do not see reality as it is. Rather, we see our perception of reality, which is the world we live in.

To better understand this, let's borrow some terminology from the philosopher Immanuel Kant. Kant said that there are two aspects to truth: "noumena" are things as they are in themselves, the constituents of reality; "phenomena" are these things as we perceive them. And how we perceive reality can be very different from reality itself.

A familiar example of this discrepancy between reality and our perception is our sense that the world is stationary. Scientists assure us that our planet is whirling around the sun at a speed of 67,000 miles per hour, but my empirical reality testifies that I am totally stationary as I sit here at my computer desk, because the velocity sensors built into human anatomy are limited by gravity.

Similarly, sometimes you meet a person who you feel is worlds apart from you. And she really is: the world that you live in is not the same as the world that she lives in. That's because the way you see reality is very different from the way she sees reality. And the way you see reality actually creates your world. This is what is meant by phenomena.

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The Kabbalah teaches that there are three worlds of phenomena. They are referred to as the world of action, formation, and creation. They reflect reality as it appears to us, with our limited perspective. Noumena, reality as it is, makes up the world of atzilus, the world of emanation. As we ascend higher and higher through the three worlds, we get a broader perspective and come closer to discerning more and more what is true about reality but has been hidden. As we ascend higher and higher we come closer and closer to seeing reality from G-d's perspective. Indeed, Moses was able see life from the highest vantage point humanly possible. Moses was able to get a glimpse of G-d's take on life; G-d's picture and perspective on life.

Therefore the revelation of the Torah that Moses received is knowledge that guides us in our world based on G-d's perspective. Revelation begins where human experience ends. Experience can take me only to the outer limits of my own perspective. Revelation is information bestowed from a higher perspective. The very definition of revelation is knowledge bestowed from a Divine perspective.

To give a simple metaphor, revelation is like the traffic station on the radio. You are driving down route 83, and you wonder which is the quickest route to your destination. Is there a traffic jam ahead? Should you get off at the next exit and take an alternative route? Or take your chances with the traffic lights on the main thoroughfare? There is really no way for you to know; you cannot possibly see the next two miles of roadway. But the traffic helicopter hovering overhead sees everything. From its perspective, all the highways and traffic patterns are perfectly visible.

So you tune into the traffic station, and you hear the clear message: "Traffic jam on route 83 between Kilmer and Havington. If you're traveling north, exit at route 144." Even the most deluxe, state-of-the-art automobile can never know what the helicopter knows, unless the helicopter communicates to it. That is revelation.

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Our journey in life is all about perspectives. The goal of a Torah life is to empower us to achieve the greatest perspective, which is the highest world. From that world we will come the closest to seeing everything from the perspective of the source of everything. We will come the closest to getting G-d's perspective and picture as did Moses.

That's when the hidden will be found. That's when G-d's oneness and love will become obvious, and we will bubble over with joy and laughter at the realization of how it was there all the time—only our limited perspectives fooled us and hid this truth.


For more on this topic see "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, 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.



© 2005, Rabbi David Aaron