Archive | April, 2013

the Spirit is in all sorts of places….

22 Apr

I was doing a facebook/internet wander and came across the name Ravi Shankar – we all know him but just not by name. Then I remembered the Indian-influenced Beatles songs I used to listen to when I was young (actually, my parents made me listen to them) and did another look-up on you tube to jog my memory.
The words are really what hit me:
Within You Without You

We were talking-about the space between us all
And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth-then it’s far too late-when they pass away.
We were talking about the love we all could share when we find it
To try our best to hold it there-with our love
With our love we could save the world if they only knew.
Try to realize it’s all within yourself
No-one else can make you change
And to see you’re really only very small,
And life flows ON within you and without you_____
We were talking-about the love that’s gone so cold and the people,
Who gain the world and lose their soul….
They don’t know they can’t see-are you one of them?
When you’ve seen beyond yourself-then you may find, peace of mind,
Is waiting there….
And the time will come when you see
we’re all one, and life flows on within you and without you.

I regret that God is not mentioned in this song. It’s close, but not quite. I would change the words to
‘When you’ve gone beyond yourself- you may find
that GOD, your real peace of mind
is waiting there……’


may God give me peace of mind as I write

22 Apr

Usually when I write a blog I have some kind of spiritual idea I wish to convey. The problem is right now I am right down bogged down again in this mysterious, frustrating, saddening and maddening world and am finding it hard to reach out to the One, who with one pull of His Hand can unravel this huge mess (or mess as I see it).

1. The Boston Marathon: evil rears its head and as much as I try to move on, it looms like a dark fog over me – my thoughts are with those who have lost life, limbs and loved ones. The evil is incomprehensible, senseless and overwhelming.

2. Dealing with evil in my own personal life – dealing with those who wish to do harm simply because they can and those who stand by and watch simply because they don’t have the backbone. It’s like having my head  pushed under water, being given a few seconds to breathe and then being pushed under again. 

3.Having two good friends going through the hell of divorce like I did. It’s hard to watch them make mistakes but you can only learn through them. It’s just a sea of pain, really. Divorce, whatever way you look at it, is hell.

4. Dealing with change once again. We are relocating and I have my fears, who doesn’t.

I could add a few more things, like trouble raising kids and finances and…and…and…

But the more numerous my irks become the more God tells me, gently, in only the way that God can


many problems……one answer

It doesn’t matter where you go, God is there. He is the one. There is no mess. It is just the mess of my mind that refuses to believe that God will help me. The same part of my mind that refuses to remember the countless times when he already did.



Le peuple juif …

20 Apr

Le peuple juif après de très longs siècles d’errance est retourné sur sa terre, mais le passage parmi les nations qui l’ont accueilli a laissé ses traces profondément ancrées en lui, à tel point qu’il croit quelles font partie de son identité juive !
L’influence des nations et de l’exil se retrouvent dans notre façon de penser, de célébrer les fêtes, de prier, voire même dans notre habillement…
Exemple de croyances et autres superstitions : casser un verre à la fin des mariages pour éloigner un démon qui s’attaque aux couples ; conjurer le mauvais œil avec la main (hamsa) ou des amulettes (kamea) ; parler de poisson et de chiffre cinq pour attirer la prospérité ; croire que le nom d’une personne a un pouvoir sur la vie de celui qui le porte ; utiliser des prières ou pratiques kabbalistiques pour obtenir quelque faveur ; se rendre sur les tombes de rabbins ou autres enseignants décédés pour leur demander une bénédiction… Où est donc le Dieu d’Israël dans tout cela ?

Toutefois, le plus lourd vêtement diasporique que nous portons est la religion rabbinique. En effet, dans la Bible nous ne trouvons nullement la fonction de rabbin, ni dans notre passé, ni dans les prophéties à venir. En fait les rabbins sont les descendants d’un mouvement (les Pérouschim ou Pharisiens) créé en réaction à la corruption des prêtres du temple, issu du peuple, et qui décida de régler sa vie d’après les interprétations qu’il faisait de la Loi. Afin de maintenir l’unité du peuple autour d’eux, ils instaurèrent un lieu de culte d’inspiration diasporique, la synagogue. Puis au cours de la dispersion, chaque groupe a intégré des coutumes et façon de se vêtir locaux : les vêtements des orthodoxes, les chants différents des prières inhérents à chaque pays d’origine… Tous ces efforts sont des efforts humains que notre Dieu ne réclame nullement. Il serait peut-être temps de les laisser et de chercher ce que le Dieu d’Israël veut pour son peuple !

Demandons-nous d’où viennent nos coutumes, habitudes et croyances et dépouillons-nous de ces habits de diaspora afin de rechercher quelle est notre véritable identité, celle d’avant l’exil, au temps de nos premiers pères quand il n’y avait pas de séfarades ou d’ashkénazes, de religieux ou de laïcs, seulement des Juifs avec leur Dieu. Ainsi seulement notre peuple pourra s’unir en une seule entité, sans conflit de croyance ou d’appartenance !

a facebook post from my friend, Sara – here is an approximate translation

RID US OF OUR DIASPORA CLOTHES!The Jewish people after very long centuries of wandering returned to their land, but the passage among the nations who have welcomed them left its traces deeply rooted in them, to the point that they believe them to be part of their Jewish identity!
The influence of nations and of exile itself has affected our way of thinking, of celebrating the holidays, praying, or even in our dress…
Examples of such beliefs and other superstitions are: breaking a glass at the end of weddings to ward off a demon from harming the couple; warding off the ‘evil eye’ with your hand (hamsa) or amulets ; fish images and  the number five for drawing prosperity; believing that the name of a person has power over the life of the person who wears it; using prayers or Kabbalistic practices in order to obtain favour; going to the graves of rabbis or other deceased teachers  to ask for a blessing… Where is the God of Israel in all of this?However, the weightiest diaspora clothing we wear is the garb of Rabbinic religion. Indeed, in the Bible we did not have anyone acting in the function of Rabbi, neither in our past, nor in the upcoming prophecies. In fact the rabbis are descendants of a movement (the ‘Perushim’ or Pharisees) created in reaction to the corruption of the priests of the temple, by the people, and who decided to set their life according to the interpretations of the law. In order to maintain the unity of the people around them, they established a place of worship  inspired by the diaspora, the synagogue. Then during the galut, each group integrated its own customs and way of dressing: like the clothing of the Orthodox,  each with different songs prayers inherent to each one’s country of origin… all these efforts are human efforts that our God does not claim to be His. It might be time to leave them and ask ourselves what God of Israel wants for his people!

Ask yourselves us where our customs, habits and beliefs come from and strip yourselves of these clothes of the diaspora in order to find what is our true identity, that of before the exile, at the time of our forefathers when there was no Sephardi or Ashkenazi, religious or laity, only Jews with their God. Thus only our people will be able to unite into a single entity, without conflict of belief or membership! (my rendition of the Bing translation)

why religion?

6 Apr

As the days go by, I feel myself more and more distanced fromreligion. Not just chareidi Judaism, orthodoxy or any other streams of Judaism but also tbe blind rhetoric of world religion. I simply feel that no individual, group,society or body can possibly claim to have a monopoly on God. 

Yet I spent 15 years of my life dedicated to the chareidi way of life. I was unquestioningand dedicated, striving to ‘do the right thing’ – how can it be that now I see the precepts of this religiosity asnothing more than a design to use fear and pressure to keep the power over the masses in the hands of a few individuals?

I am currently typing from an android and am finding that my fi nger is doing half-speed tomy thoughts so I will, God willing continue these thoughts and musings when I get to  my laptop.