Archive | May, 2013
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so true…..

27 May

so true.....

The Ten Lies of the Religious

25 May

anti-christian cartoonReligion is built upon dishonest claims that can never be proven and are to design to touch mankind’s most tender spots; such as fear and a need for predictability and security. Here are some of the lies that religion depends upon to gain power and authority:

1. We are moral representatives of God

God is a great and powerful being, inaccessible to the average Mr Brown and in order to access God you must turn to religion as God’s intermediary.

Who says? It’s certainly not stated anywhere in Tanach! Indeed God says himself ‘I am close to whoever calls out to me in sincerity’ (psalms). We are all under the mistaken belief that in order to be close to God and to find out what He wants from us we should turn to religion. And this is how the religious want us to feel about God. It is a downright lie.

2. Superiority

We all have a longing to feel like we have it right. Feeling superior can come along with that. Well, if you become religious you can feel automatically superior, even if you continue to be a complete loser, simply because of the fact that you have something that others don’t, religion.

3. Religion= morality

Wrong and wrong again. Religion is responsible for so much war and bloodshed. But maybe if you equate ‘righteous’ to ‘good’ enough times, you even begin to believe your own lies.

4 We have history on our side

The religious love to bring a bit of historical folklore in to prove that they have been around for eons and therefore they must know what they are talking about. Falsification of history is a classic tactic by the religious.  However, if you look at the history of the main world religions and see how much these religions have changed and evolved due to politics, power-plays and other elements – to the extent to which religious practices today that are considered ‘fundamental’ may not have been practised at all as little as three hundred years ago. Take an example of the separation of the sexes at the wall – there are pictures to prove that this was not the status quo in the early nineteen hundreds.

Historical distortion is common practice of the religious and the tendency is to bombard those who know little about religious history with false information, putting them into a situation of false trust.

5) A religious life is blissful and perfect

Religious will happily take you to the homes of happy clappy religious families – the idea is that you come out of these homes feeling they have something you don’t. For those who are single, the dream of a perfect family draws them in, for those who have social issues, they feel they will have a place of acceptance, for those who are under too much academic and professional pressure they feel the bliss of a ‘freedom’ from these secular chains. However, for every ‘happy clappy’ family you will meet a dozen miserable ones, plunged into self-imposed poverty, unable to handle growing families and feeling overwhelming social pressure to conform to the rigid constraints of the religious world.

6) if you don’t follow our precepts you (or your children) will rot in hell

A tactic to keep people religious when they are already questioning the validity of religion, or simply to keep everyone in line is the fear of divine punishment. There are certain things that go around with no proof from anywhere but are simply generally accepted – such as, terror attacks happen because people don’t keep shabbat, tzniut etc. There are certain hocus pocus practices that are kept in order that your children should  be healthy or God-fearing. These practices have NOTHING to do with God and are adopted from superstitious Catholic beliefs but boy-oh-boy, do they have power.

7) Analogies

I am so sick of a question being answered with an analogy. I’m sorry, this is such a manipulation of the truth and a way of running away from genuine questioning.

8) Blinding trust in leaders

Didn’t you know that God himself picked your rabbi for you – his word is Divine- don’t question it otherwise you may be, God forbid a denier.

9) Suspicion and mistrust of ‘others’

To chareidim it’s the derogative name ‘goyim’ and to the muslims it’s the ‘infidel’ – you are in a camp and it’s ‘them’ and ‘us’ and even if ‘they’ can be pleasant and helpful and nice, their motives can never be trusted. This keeps the masses exactly where the religious need them, deeply entrenched in the religious camp, fearful of anything ‘different’.

10) Religious ‘sensitivity’

Why is it that we have to be aware of the sensitivities of the religious but they cannot adapt their behaviours if we are sensitive to them. Being religious means requiring separate and special treatment by the non-religious, in the same way as handicapped demand wheelchair accessible access to certain places. Except the religious are not handicapped, they are people just like us.

But I guess there’s something kind of comfortable about being able to demand certain allowances.

Oh I could think of some more, but this is enough to chew on for the time being. We are being sold a very carefully crafted lie which is keeping us from calling out to God from our own hearts and hearing what He has to say to us. When will we see the truth?

Haaretz Cartoon by Erin Wolkovski October 28, 2009 - Mehadrin buses copy

איך מתקרבים לאלוהים בפשטות?

18 May

לדבר עם אלוהים ולתקשר עימו זה הדבר הכי פשוט לעשות: זה כמו ללכת לאבא אוהב ולהתכרבל בזרועותיו.

אלוהים רק מחכה שנבא אליו, וניתן לו לטפל בנו:  אין צורך במאמצים להיות ראויים, אין צורך בתנאים של קרבנות ומצוות, אין צורך להפוך לדתי לרוחני או לקבליסט, אין צורך ללמוד ולהתקדם בהארה וגם לא לעלות בדרגות או להשתייך לקבוצה. רק להרשות לו והוא יבא ככה פשוט. והכל בחינם!

אם אנחנו פוחדים לשחרר שליטה או לא מעזים להראות חלשים ואבודים, או מבולבלים מכל התיאוריות הקימות עליו, נבקש עזרה מאלוהים והוא יעזור.

הצעד הראשון הוא לרצות, כי אלוהים לא נכנס בכוח לחיי אדם שלא מזמין אותו: אלוהים אני בוחר לרצות אותך בחיי.

הצעד השני הוא לבקש עיניים כדי לראות אותו ברוח, כי בעיני הבשר שלנו אנחנו רואים אלוהים מעוות: אלוהים תן לי עיניים לראות שאתה לידי עכשיו.

הצעד השלישי הוא לבקש אזניים כדי לשמוע אותו, כי באזניים שלנו אנחנו שומעים רק קולות זרים ומבלבלים: אלוהים תן לי אזניים לשמוע רק את קולך.

הצעד הרביעי הוא לבקש אמונה שהוא באמת כאן בשבילנו, כי התרגלנו לחשוב שלא איכפת לו, ושהוא אדון קשה, או בכלל לא קיים: אלוהים תן לי אמונה בליבי להאמין שאתה אוהב אותי, כאן ועכשיו.

הצעד החמישי הוא להזמין את אלוהים לליבנו, כדי שישתתף בחיינו, כי התרגלנו לחיות רחוק ממנו: אלוהים אני לא רוצה להיות ילד יתום, אני רוצה אותך בתור אבא.

הצעד השישי הוא לבקש ריפוי לנפש הכואבת והריקה מכל האשמה שאגרנו: אלוהים סלח לי על כל חטאיי, ומלא אותי ברוח חסדך, בחינם.

הצעד השביעי הוא להעז ולהתחיל לקרא בתנ”ך, ההוא ממבחני הבגרות בתיכון, ושבכלל לא הבנו ורק רצינו לשכוח כמה שיותר מהר מרב שעמום: אלוהים תן לי את רוחך הקדושה כדי להבין את מילותיך, פתח לי את עולמך כדי להכיר אותך.

זהו…זה הנס, הכדור במגרש שלכם עכשיו.

אלוהים ואני

לדבר עם אלוהים ולתקשר עימו זה הדבר הכי פשוט לעשות: זה כמו ללכת לאבא אוהב ולהתכרבל בזרועותיו.

אלוהים רק מחכה שנבא אליו, וניתן לו לטפל בנו:  אין צורך במאמצים להיות ראויים, אין צורך בתנאים של קרבנות ומצוות, אין צורך להפוך לדתי לרוחני או לקבליסט, אין צורך ללמוד ולהתקדם בהארה וגם לא לעלות בדרגות או להשתייך לקבוצה. רק להרשות לו והוא יבא ככה פשוט. והכל בחינם!

אם אנחנו פוחדים לשחרר שליטה או לא מעזים להראות חלשים ואבודים, או מבולבלים מכל התיאוריות הקיימות עליו, נבקש עזרה מאלוהים והוא יעזור.

הצעד הראשון הוא לרצות, כי אלוהים לא נכנס בכוח לחיי אדם שלא מזמין אותו: אלוהים אני בוחר לרצות אותך בחיי.

הצעד השני הוא לבקש עיניים כדי לראות אותו ברוח, כי בעיני הבשר שלנו אנחנו רואים אלוהים מעוות: אלוהים תן לי עיניים לראות שאתה לידי עכשיו.

הצעד השלישי הוא לבקש אזניים כדי לשמוע אותו, כי באזניים שלנו אנחנו שומעים רק קולות זרים ומבלבלים: אלוהים…

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איך מתקרבים לאל…

18 May

My rough translation of Louisa’s latest blog posting:

How do we get closer to God in simplicity?

God is just waiting for us to come to Him, and He can take care of us; there is no need for us to be ‘worthy’, no need for specific conditions such as sacrifices or mitzvot, no need to make ourselves religious or spirituals or even kabbalists, no need for us to learn or become teachers, or to climb ladders of spirituality or become members of a certain group; we should just allow Him and He will come to us in simplicity.

If we are afraid of losing control or are worried that we will seem weak or lost, or confused about all of the theories that are circulating around about Him, we should ask for help from God and He will help us.

The first step is to desire it, for God doesn’t come in to our lives uninvited by forcing His way in – we choose to want Him in our lives.

The second step is to ask God to give us eyes that will see Him in spirit, becausewith our earthly eyes we see Him in a distorted way: God, give me eyes that see You by my side now.

The third step is to ask for ears that will hear Him, because our with our earthly ears we can only hear foreign and confused voices: God, give me ears that only hear Your voice.

The fourth step is to ask for faith that He is really here for us, for we are used to thinking that He doesn’t care, that He is a strict master, or that he simply doesn’t exist: God give me faith in my heart to believe.

The fifth step is invite God into our hearts in order to be active in our lives, for we are used to being far from Him: God , I don’t want to be an orphan, I want You as my father.

The sixth step is ask God to heal our aching  souls and clean us from our collective guilt, God forgive me for I have sinned, and fill me with your loving kindness, without cost.

The seventh step is to venture to begin to read the Tanach, the same one that we were tested on in our matriculation exams, and that we didn’t understand and we just wanted to forget as quickly as possible out of boredom: God give me your holy spirit to understand Your words, open Your world to me in order for me to get to know You.

That’s it, that ‘s the miracle,  the ball is in your court right now.

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partnership and marriage

17 May

My partner of 2 years and I have ‘tied the knot’ – we declared our intent in front of a respectable audience, signed a contractual agreement and exchanged rings. It was a modest affair; everyone brought a dish and there was a genuine willingness to bring God into the picture, and for us, that was enough.

So we have joint names, joint accounts, , a joint roof – indeed there is very little that we don’t share. No, we have not asked permission from the rabbinate to give their ‘seal of approval’ over our relationship and we do not intend to. We both feel strongly that to bring an institution that is outdated, corrupt and in love with its own power will only serve to ‘treif’ our relationship, God forbid.

Our ‘marriage’ has not come from massive pomp and ceremony, it was merely a concretization of what already is – a willingness to find God together, and to be with Him together.

It was almost a polaric opposite of my first marriage, where everything was perfectly coordinated and organized – a fairytale wedding to remember. But our marriage was based some kind of vain notion that if you go through all the motions and do it right, then everything will come together, somehow (which it didn’t).

My husband and I have walked into this with our eyes wide open, acutely aware of the other’s failures and inconsistencies (and how much they often mirror our own). We are also aware that being married and being together with God is a contract that needs constant renewing. We initially wanted the contract to automatically expire each year unless we renew it – it’s just legally a bit hard to enforce. But the idea is still with us.

No relationship is a ‘given’. It is simply given to us by God. 

I thank God for all of his gifts.

 

 

moving (again)

4 May

We have just moved. Again. This is the third time in two years. Should I say I wish it was the last? No, actually not. I hope that we can stay here for as long as God wants us to. I hope that this will be a base for us to grow with Him and for Him. The idea of being rootless doesn’t scare me because my roots have to be in something permanent. And nothing in this world is permanent.

Moving is just tiring, that’s all. It demands total focus – numerous problems to be solved and that shaky question of ‘where will I be next year, in two year’s time?’

Somehow during this move I found my head and heart in two different places. I was oddly detached from everything, but we succeeded in having the apartment up and running within a couple of days.

My heart was saying ‘this isn’t where it’s at’. I’ve been there, planning and designing the ‘perfect home’, giving thoughts as to what is the ideal neighbourhood, street etc for me and the kids. I did it, I even moved in. But God threw me yet another one of H

is curve balls and showed me how all of my petty calculations were really a waste of time. My new beautiful home was exactly the opposite of what I intended it to be; a place of insecurity and unsureness – a place where I didn’t feel accepted and didn’t feel, well, at home.

I moved out a year later and left the town. It was probably the best thing I’d done in years. I thank God for that.

9 months later, we’ve moved again to a different part of town. Once again it was plain as plain could be that it was time once again to move.

As human beings on this earth we are never static, our thoughts, words, and actions are forever in motion. So really, what we call a base is unimportant. The importance is to have the broader, all encompassing base of faith that God will ultimately take us to where we need to go. If we let him.

Video

a very thought provoking talk

3 May

there is no mention of God here but it’s very much in the spirit, I think. Very moving.