21374 · 100 · 213.74

+ 292 What moves me is neither ethnocentric pride nor sectarian arrogance. I make no claim that Jewish culture is superior to other cultures. But it is mine. Theodore Bikel

+ 321 Sometimes people who are Jewish are held to a higher standard which sometimes we take great pride in. Gary Ackerman

+ 344 The scientific organization and comprehensive exposition in accessible form of the Talmud has a twofold importance for us Jews. It is important in the first place that the high cultural values of the Talmud should not be lost to modern minds among the Jewish people nor to science, but should operate further as a living force. In the second place, The Talmud must be made an open book to the world, in order to cut the ground from under certain malevolent attacks, of anti-Semitic origin, which borrow countenance from the obscurity and inaccessibility of certain passages in the Talmud. Albert Einstein

+ 424 The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. … For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them. Albert Einstein

+ 362 But to return to the Jewish question. Other groups and nations cultivate their individual traditions. There is no reason why we should sacrifice ours. Standardization robs life of its spice. To deprive every ethnic group of its special traditions is to convert the world into a huge Ford plant. I believe in standardizing automobiles. I do not believe in standardizing human beings. Standardization is a great peril which threatens American culture. Albert Einstein

+ 338 It is easy to follow in the sacred writings of the Jewish people the development of the religion of fear into the moral religion, which is carried further in the New Testament. The religions of all civilized peoples, especially those of the Orient, are principally moral religions. An important advance in the life of a people is the transformation of the religion of fear into the moral religion. But one must avoid the prejudice that regards the religions of primitive peoples as pure fear religions and those of the civilized races as pure moral religions. All are mixed forms, though the moral element predominates in the higher levels of social life. Albert Einstein

+ 303 The highest principles for our aspirations and judgments are given to us in the Jewish-Christian religious tradition. It is a very high goal which, with our weak powers, we can reach only very inadequately, but which gives a sure foundation to our aspirations and valuations. Albert Einstein

+ 365 In my opinion, condemning the Zionist movement as "nationalistic" is unjustified. Consider the path by which Herzl came to his mission. Initially he had been completely cosmopolitan. But during the Dreyfus trial in Paris he suddenly realized with great clarity how precarious was the situation of the Jews in the western world. And courageously he drew the conclusion that we are discriminated against or murdered not because we are Germans, Frenchmen, Americans, etc. of the "Jewish faith" but simply because we are Jews. Thus already our precarious situation forces us to stand together irrespective of our citizenship. Zionism gave the German Jews no great protection against annihilation. But it did give the survivors the inner strength to endure the debacle with dignity and without losing their healthy self respect. Keep in mind that perhaps a similar fate could be lying in wait for your children. Albert Einstein

+ 273 The sad and horrible conclusion is that no one cared that Jews were being murdered... This is the Jewish lesson of the Holocaust and this is the lesson which Auschwitz taught us. Ariel Sharon

+ 379 For as long as the power of America's diversity is diminished by acts of discrimination and violence against people just because they are black, Hispanic, Asian, Jewish, Muslim or gay, we still must overcome. Ron Kind

+ 285 All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit. Thomas Paine

+ 305 Since Hiroshima and the Holocaust, science no longer holds its pristine place as the highest moral authority. Instead, that role is taken by human rights. It follows that any assault on Jewish life - on Jews or Judaism or the Jewish state - must be cast in the language of human rights. Jonathan Sacks

+ 272 I was raised in a Baptist household, went to a Catholic church, lived in a Jewish neighborhood, and had the biggest crush on the Muslim girls from one neighborhood over. Will Smith

+ 276 I marvel at the resilience of the Jewish people. Their best characteristic is their desire to remember. No other people has such an obsession with memory. Elie Wiesel

+ 280 In my office in Jerusalem, there's an ancient seal. It's a signet ring of a Jewish official from the time of the Bible. The seal was found right next to the Western Wall, and it dates back 2,700 years, to the time of King Hezekiah. Now, there's a name of the Jewish official inscribed on the ring in Hebrew. His name was Netanyahu. Benjamin Netanyahu

+ 295 Growing up in a Jewish matriarchal world inside the patriarchal paradise of Salt Lake City, Utah, gave me increased perspective on gender issues, as it also did my gay brother and my lesbian sister. Our younger sister is the perfect Jewish-American wife and mother, and is fiercely proud of that fact. Roseanne Barr

+ 298 Our forces saved the remnants of the Jewish people of Europe for a new life and a new hope in the reborn land of Israel. Along with all men of good will, I salute the young state and wish it well. Dwight D. Eisenhower

+ 281 Zionism demands a publicly recognized and legally secured homeland in Palestine for the Jewish people. This platform is unchangeable. Theodor Herzl

+ 326 First of all, Arafat is wrong. Jerusalem is Israel's capital, will never be divided, and will remain the capital of the State of Israel, the capital of the Jewish people, for ever and ever. Benjamin Netanyahu

+ 253 Won't it be wonderful when black history and native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book. Just U.S. history. Maya Angelou

+ 265 A Jewish woman had two chickens. One got sick, so the woman made chicken soup out of the other one to help the sick one get well. Henny Youngman

+ 295 A solution of two national states - a Jewish state, Israel; an Arab state, Palestine. The Palestinians are our closest neighbors. I believe they may become our closest friends. Shimon Peres

+ 314 When I was in college, my school newspaper accepted an ad from a Holocaust revisionist organization. This would have been offensive on most college campuses across the country, but I went to a school with a very large Jewish population, so the ad, as you might expect, stirred absolute outrage. Simon Sinek

+ 253 It is true that we aspire to our ancient land. But what we want in that ancient land is a new blossoming of the Jewish spirit. Theodor Herzl

+ 300 The Holocaust committed by the Nazis turned this country, where most of the European Jews used to live and where their culture used to flourish, into a massive grave. This is why initiatives to revive Jewish culture in Poland is so important. Marek Belka

+ 273 The Jewish people asked nothing of its sons except not to be denied. The world is grateful to every great man when he brings it something; only the paternal home thanks the son who brings nothing but himself. Theodor Herzl

+ 275 I'm Jewish and respect the traditions of Judaism, but through all the time I've spent photographing nature, I also have a deep appreciation for the power of the universe. No, not the power of the universe, but just celebrating life. Louis Schwartzberg

+ 429 As a convinced atheist, I ought to agree with Voltaire that Judaism is not just one more religion, but in its way the root of religious evil. Without the stern, joyless rabbis and their 613 dour prohibitions, we might have avoided the whole nightmare of the Old Testament, and the brutal, crude wrenching of that into prophecy - derived Christianity, and the later plagiarism and mutation of Judaism and Christianity into the various rival forms of Islam. Much of the time, I do concur with Voltaire, but not without acknowledging that Judaism is dialectical. There is, after all, a specifically Jewish version of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, with a specifically Jewish name — the Haskalah — for itself. The term derives from the word for 'mind' or 'intellect,' and it is naturally associated with ethics rather than rituals, life rather than prohibitions, and assimilation over 'exile' or 'return.' It's everlastingly linked to the name of the great German teacher Moses Mendelssohn, one of those conspicuous Jewish hunchbacks who so upset and embarrassed Isaiah Berlin. The other way to upset or embarrass Berlin, I found, was to mention that he himself was a cousin of Menachem Schneerson, the 'messianic' Lubavitcher rebbe. However, even pre-enlightenment Judaism forces its adherents to study and think, it reluctantly teaches them what others think, and it may even teach them how to think also. Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

+ 307 The mashiach will bring about the political and spiritual redemption of the Jewish people by bringing us back to Israel and restoring Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). He will establish a government in Israel that will be the center of all world government, both for Jews and gentiles (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 42:1). He will rebuild the Temple and re-establish its worship (Jeremiah 33:18). He will restore the religious court system of Israel and establish Jewish law as the law of the land (Jeremiah 33:15).

+ 302 The mashiach will be a great political leader descended from King David (Jeremiah 23:5). The mashiach is often referred to as "mashiach ben David" (mashiach, son of David). He will be well-versed in Jewish law, and observant of its commandments (Isaiah 11:2-5). He will be a charismatic leader, inspiring others to follow his example. He will be a great military leader, who will win battles for Israel. He will be a great judge, who makes righteous decisions (Jeremiah 33:15). But above all, he will be a human being, not a god, demi-god or other supernatural being.

+ 213 The Jewish people will experience eternal joy and gladness (Isaiah 51:11)

+ 400 In 28 June 1996, The Jewish Press published a paid advertisement signed by Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik. follows. "Before the passing of the Rebbe, I included myself among those who believe that the Rebbe was worthy of being Mashiach. And I strongly believe that had we, particularly the Orthodox community, been united, we would have merited to see the complete Redemption. Insofar as the belief held by many in Lubavitch - based in part on similar statements made by the Rebbe himself concerning his predecessor, the Previous Rebbe, including prominent rabbanim and roshei yeshiva - that the Rebbe can still be Mashiach in light of the Gemara in Sanhedrin, the Zohar, Abarbanel, Kisvei Arizal, S’dei Chemed, and other sources, it cannot be dismissed as a belief that is outside the pale of Orthodoxy. Any cynical attempt at utilizing a legitimate disagreement of interpretation concerning this matter in order to besmirch and to damage the Lubavitch movement that was, and continues to be, at the forefront of those who are battling the missionaries, assimilation, and indifference, can only contribute to the regrettable discord that already plagues the Jewish community, and particularly the Torah community."

+ 190 If You Are Jewish... Be Fully Jewish!

+ 220 If God gave you a gift, you are obligated to use it and develop it for the Jewish people.

+ 253 Every Jew feels a certain connection to some aspect of being Jewish – Chesed (kindness), prayer, helping others, visiting the sick, treating guests well, etc.

+ 220 A Jewish soul can never be extinguished. Every Jewish heart has good in it.

+ 245 Would you like to light Shabbos candles?
Do you know a Jewish woman or girl who might?
Click here to order your free Shabbos kit!

+ 199 The Jewish Sabbath is a day when we try to make everything we do holy.

+ 206 Jewish Art - Miracle and Prayer

+ 210 The Kohanim must bless the Jewish nation daily — Num. 6:23

+ 247 Not to let Moabite and Ammonite males marry into the Jewish people — Deut. 23:4

+ 245 Not to prevent a third-generation Egyptian convert from marrying into the Jewish people — Deut. 23:8-9

+ 205 Not to let a mamzer a child born due to an illegal relationship marry into the Jewish people — Deut. 23:3

+ 200 Not to let a eunuch marry into the Jewish people — Deut. 23:2

+ 193 A hired worker or a Jewish bondsman of a Kohen must not eat Terumah — Lev. 22:10

+ 215 Redeem Jewish maidservants — Ex. 21:8

+ 186 Betroth the Jewish maidservant — Ex. 21:8

+ 224 Remember what Amalek did to the Jewish people — Deut. 25:17

+ 187 “L’Chaim!” – a traditional Jewish toast.

+ 246 “Ani ma’amin be-emunah shelemah” (“I believe with perfect faith”) – Rendition of Maimonides’ thirteen-point version of the Jewish principles of faith

+ 294 “Never before have Arabs made a capital in a kind of holy city. Take Saudi Arabia. They have Mecca, Medina, to build their capital there. They took a village called Riyadh and turned it into a capital. The Jordanians had Jerusalem, but they built a capital in Amman and not Jerusalem. I think the Arabs have — the Muslims have great rights in Jerusalem and they must be safeguarded to the tiniest little bit, as the rights of other Christians ... We were there a little earlier. In another four or five years, we celebrate 3,000 years since David the King came and made his capital of the Jewish Kingdom in Jerusalem. When we came back to a unified city after the Six-Day War, we were attacked, we drove them away, the city became one. We didn't touch any of the holy places. We gave freedom of access and freedom of prayer, of course, and freedom of education to every one of the many groups in the city.” Teddy Kollek; Mayor of Jerusalem (1967-1993)

+ 304 “For three thousand years, Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish hope and longing. No other city has played such a dominant role in the history, culture, religion and consciousness of a people as has Jerusalem in the life of Jewry and Judaism. Throughout centuries of exile, Jerusalem remained alive in the hearts of Jews everywhere as the focal point of Jewish history, the symbol of ancient glory, spiritual fulfillment and modern renewal. This heart and soul of the Jewish people engenders the thought that if you want one simple word to symbolize all of Jewish history, that word would be ‘Jerusalem.’” Teddy Kollek; Mayor of Jerusalem (1967-1993) Jerusalem, (DC: Washington Institute For Near East Policy, 1990), pp. 19-20.

+ 274 We regard it as our duty to declare that Jewish Jerusalem is an organic and inseparable part of the State of Israel, as it is an inseparable part of the history of Israel, of the faith of Israel. David Ben-Gurion; Israeli Prime Minister

+ 403 Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where—as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen—even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their meetings.

I still haven't submitted that expenses claim. The misgivings I had were of two types, both of them ineradicable. The first and the simplest was the encounter with everyday injustice: by all means the traffic cops were Jews but so, it turned out, were the colonists and ethnic cleansers and even the torturers. It was Jewish leftist friends who insisted that I go and see towns and villages under occupation, and sit down with Palestinian Arabs who were living under house arrest—if they were lucky—or who were squatting in the ruins of their demolished homes if they were less fortunate. In Ramallah I spent the day with the beguiling Raimonda Tawil, confined to her home for committing no known crime save that of expressing her opinions. (For some reason, what I most remember is a sudden exclamation from her very restrained and respectable husband, a manager of the local bank: 'I would prefer living under a Bedouin muktar to another day of Israeli rule!' He had obviously spent some time thinking about the most revolting possible Arab alternative.) In Jerusalem I visited the Tutungi family, who could produce title deeds going back generations but who were being evicted from their apartment in the old city to make way for an expansion of the Jewish quarter. Jerusalem: that place of blood since remote antiquity. Jerusalem, over which the British and French and Russians had fought a foul war in the Crimea, and in the mid-nineteenth century, on the matter of which Christian Church could command the keys to some 'holy sepulcher.' Jerusalem, where the anti-Semite Balfour had tried to bribe the Jews with the territory of another people in order to seduce them from Bolshevism and continue the diplomacy of the Great War. Jerusalem: that pest-house in whose environs all zealots hope that an even greater and final war can be provoked. It certainly made a warped appeal to my sense of history.
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

+ 293 One of the questions asked by al-Balkhi, and often repeated to this day, is this: Why do the children of Israel continue to suffer? My grandmother Dodo thought it was because the goyim were jealous. The seder for Passover (which is a shame-faced simulacrum of a Hellenic question-and-answer session, even including the wine) tells the children that it's one of those things that happens to every Jewish generation. After the Shoah or Endl?sung or Holocaust, many rabbis tried to tell the survivors that the immolation had been a punishment for 'exile,' or for insufficient attention to the Covenant. This explanation was something of a flop with those whose parents or children had been the raw material for the 'proof,' so for a time the professional interpreters of god's will went decently quiet. This interval of ambivalence lasted until the war of 1967, when it was announced that the divine purpose could be discerned after all. How wrong, how foolish, to have announced its discovery prematurely! The exile and the Shoah could now both be understood, as part of a heavenly if somewhat roundabout scheme to recover the Western Wall in Jerusalem and other pieces of biblically mandated real estate.

I regard it as a matter of self-respect to spit in public on rationalizations of this kind. (They are almost as repellent, in their combination of arrogance, masochism, and affected false modesty, as Edith Stein's 'offer' of her life to expiate the regrettable unbelief in Jesus of her former fellow Jews.) The sage Jews are those who have put religion behind them and become in so many societies the leaven of the secular and the atheist. Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

+ 333 One of the questions asked by al-Balkhi, and often repeated to this day, is this: Why do the children of Israel continue to suffer? My grandmother Dodo thought it was because the goyim were jealous. The seder for Passover (which is a shame-faced simulacrum of a Hellenic question-and-answer session, even including the wine) tells the children that it's one of those things that happens to every Jewish generation. After the Shoah or Endl?sung or Holocaust, many rabbis tried to tell the survivors that the immolation had been a punishment for 'exile,' or for insufficient attention to the Covenant. This explanation was something of a flop with those whose parents or children had been the raw material for the 'proof,' so for a time the professional interpreters of god's will went decently quiet. This interval of ambivalence lasted until the war of 1967, when it was announced that the divine purpose could be discerned after all. How wrong, how foolish, to have announced its discovery prematurely! The exile and the Shoah could now both be understood, as part of a heavenly if somewhat roundabout scheme to recover the Western Wall in Jerusalem and other pieces of biblically mandated real estate.

I regard it as a matter of self-respect to spit in public on rationalizations of this kind. (They are almost as repellent, in their combination of arrogance, masochism, and affected false modesty, as Edith Stein's 'offer' of her life to expiate the regrettable unbelief in Jesus of her former fellow Jews.) The sage Jews are those who have put religion behind them and become in so many societies the leaven of the secular and the atheist. Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

+ 334 There's a certain amount of ambiguity in my background, what with intermarriages and conversions, but under various readings of three codes which I don’t much respect (Mosaic Law, the Nuremberg Laws, and the Israeli Law of Return) I do qualify as a member of the tribe, and any denial of that in my family has ceased with me. But I would not remove myself to Israel if it meant the continuing expropriation of another people, and if anti-Jewish fascism comes again to the Christian world—or more probably comes at us via the Muslim world—I already consider it an obligation to resist it wherever I live. I would detest myself if I fled from it in any direction. Leo Strauss was right. The Jews will not be 'saved' or 'redeemed.' (Cheer up: neither will anyone else.) They/we will always be in exile whether they are in the greater Jerusalem area or not, and this in some ways is as it should be. They are, or we are, as a friend of Victor Klemperer's once put it to him in a very dark time, condemned and privileged to be 'a seismic people.' A critical register of the general health of civilization is the status of 'the Jewish question.' No insurance policy has ever been devised that can or will cover this risk. Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

+ 304 The Jews had a love-hate relationship with the Greek culture. They craved its civilization but resented its dominance. Josephus says they regarded Greeks as feckless, promiscuous, modernizing lightweights, yet many Jerusalemites were already living the fashionable lifestyle using Greek and Jewish names to show they could be both. Jewish conservatives disagreed; for them, the Greeks were simply idolaters. Simon Sebag Montefiore, Jerusalem: The Biography

+ 219 Happy Jewish New Year to all my friends. We pray for the peace of jerusalem.

+ 244 No city in the world, not even Athens or Rome, ever played as great a role in the life of a nation for so long a time, as Jerusalem has done in the life of the Jewish people. David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel

+ 242 Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial. Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel

+ 262 First of all, the Jewish religion has a great deal in common with the Christian religion because, as Rabbi Gillman points out in the show, Christianity is based on Judaism. Christ was Jewish. Barbara Walters

+ 240 A traditional rabbi is the man to whom the community and its members turn to rule on what Jewish law requires of them, particularly in cases of doubt. David Novak

+ 265 The first profile piece on myself came about after my Rabbi sent information to the Jewish Chronicle on what I was up to. The story was then picked up by one of the nationals and things grew from there. Benjamin Cohen

+ 317 The evidence from anthropology concurs with history in refuting the popular belief in a Jewish race descended from the biblical tribe. From the anthropologist's point of view, two groups of facts militate against this belief: the wide diversity of Jews with regard to physical characteristics, and their similarity to the Gentile population amidst whom they live. Both are reflected in the statistics about bodily height, cranial index, blood-groups, hair and eye colour, etc. Whichever of these anthropological criteria is taken as an indicator, it shows a greater similarity between Jews and their Gentile host-nation than between Jews living in different countries. ...The obvious biological explanation for both phenomena is miscegenation, which took different forms in different historical situations: intermarriage, large-scale proselytizing, rape as a constant (legalized or tolerated) accompaniment of war and pogrom. The Thirteenth Tribe (1976). Arthur Koestler

+ 106 If you have to choose between being kind and being right, choose being kind and you will always be right. Jewish Proverb

+ 116 Change what you cannot accept. Accept what you cannot change. Jewish Proverb

+ 121 Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. Philo of Alexandria, First Century Jewish Philosopher

+ 106 I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders. Jewish Proverb

+ 66 Jerusalem is the heart and soul of the Jewish people.

+ 72 For three thousand years, Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish hope and longing.

+ 70 Jerusalem must remain the world's Jewish spiritual capital, not a symbol of anguish and bitterness, but a symbol of trust and hope.

+ 98 For me, the Jew that I am, Jerusalem is above politics. It is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture and not a single time in the Koran. Its presence in Jewish history is overwhelming. There is no more moving prayer in Jewish history than the one expressing our yearning to return to Jerusalem. To many theologians, it IS Jewish history, to many poets, a source of inspiration. It belongs to the Jewish people and is much more than a city, it is what binds one Jew to another in a way that remains hard to explain. When a Jew visits Jerusalem for the first time, it is not the first time; it is a homecoming. The first song I heard was my mother's lullaby about and for Jerusalem. Its sadness and its joy are part of our collective memory. Elie Wiesel

+ 93 Since King David took Jerusalem as his capital, Jews have dwelled inside its walls with only two interruptions; when Roman invaders forbade them access to the city and again, when under Jordanian occupation, Jews, regardless of nationality, were refused entry into the old Jewish quarter to meditate and pray at the Wall, the last vestige of Solomon's temple. It is important to remember: had Jordan not joined Egypt and Syria in the war against Israel, the old city of Jerusalem would still be Arab. Clearly, while Jews were ready to die for Jerusalem they would not kill for Jerusalem. Elie Wiesel

+ 77 Jerusalem must remain the world's Jewish spiritual capital, not a symbol of anguish and bitterness, but a symbol of trust and hope. As the Hasidic master Rebbe Nahman of Bratslav said, "Everything in this world has a heart; the heart itself has its own heart." Elie Wiesel

+ 90 Elie Wiesel was a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor.

+ 78 By law, by religion, by emotion, Jerusalem is the center, the core, the heart of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Ilana Brown

+ 79 Jerusalem is part of the Jewish people in the same way that the heart is part of the human body. Ilana Brown

+ 102 After that fateful day, our Sages understood that the memory of a Jewish Holy Temple in the heart of our sacred city would not necessarily remain in the hearts of our people living in exile from the Land of Israel. Therefore, they took care to introduce a number of practices whose purpose is to remind us of Yerushalayim and the Beit Hamikdash. Dr. Elana Yael Heideman

+ 87 It is an old custom amongst Jewish children, to become war-like on the 'L'ag Beomer.' They arm themselves from head to foot with wooden swords, pop-guns and bows and arrows. They take food with them, and go off to wage war. Sholom Aleichem

+ 82 Ah, how many luxuries has the good God prepared for his Jewish children. Sholom Aleichem

+ 95 The Torah Is the Spiritual Holy Land

Just as the Community of Israel develops its special qualities to their full extent only in the land of Israel, so does each Jew only develop his special spiritual qualities by means of the Torah.

The Torah is the spiritual holy land, corresponding to the unique nature of the Jewish soul. All other areas of knowledge are like other lands, and relate as such to the soulful greatness of the nation of Israel.

Orot Hatorah 12:7

+ 98 A Delicate Longing

The connection of the Torah with the Holy One, blessed be He, is the foundation of the holy service of the unique few.

We concern ourselves with Jewish law, with its analysis and details. We know—generally—that all the words of Torah are the paths of God, flowing from the source of supernal life.

But still, doesn’t a divine longing live within our soul? Doesn’t the pleasantness of God pulse within it? Closeness to God is more pleasing to our soul than all pleasures. This is a delicate longing that is felt as well in the heart of life: “My heart and my flesh sing for the living God.”

How may we lift up the noble feeling that is hidden within all crevices and details of the Torah to that same level of supernal, inclusive feeling that pours into the soul from the supernal pleasure?

This results from a mighty uplifting of the spirit. It has to do with connecting the Torah and the Holy One, blessed be He—that is, connecting the particularistic lower Torah to the inclusive upper Torah.

Orot Hatorah, 3:1

+ 97 Positive Mindfulness

When we elevate matters with our clarity of intent, our awareness continuously expands in the abundance of a superior reality. At that point, our desire—a desire of eternal love, of great love—for the light of the infinite is scented from the Eden of life. Then we shall gaze and be illumined.

But if our mindfulness is dislodged and grows impoverished, the face of heaven darkens. Beauty turns to mourning and to barrenness. Then that clarifying process that comes from heaven, which demands the right to play its role, depresses the special mission of humanity. It dulls the light of mindfulness and the complete contents of a full life. This clarifying process, reaching to the root of all being, is a necessity: deeply implanted and flowing without cease. Now, the wellsprings of the flow of life dry up because our hands are feeble in dealing with the supernal Torah.

But everything returns to its light and to its shining life when we engage in supernal repentance filled with knowledge and positive mindfulness, illumined with the light of Torah contained within the wisdom of the Jewish people, which is the inheritance of our patriarchs and which is filled with an eternal glory.

The text of the blessing, “He planted eternal life within us,” refers to the oral Torah: in all its levels and in the totality of its beauty.

Orot Hatorah 3:2

+ 92 The Inner Character

The Torah literally makes the Jewish soul.

Wisdom in general, that which is outside the concepts of Torah, makes the human soul.

When we gaze at the character of the core of the human soul, we will find the spirit of Israel alive within it. In the inner character of all betterment and wisdom, we will find the light of Torah.

Orot Hatorah 12:4

+ 88 The Secret of the Sacrificial System

The secret of the sacrificial system is, literally, the elevation of the animal’s animal spirit.

The existence of the Jewish people and its permanence, both spiritual and this-worldly, create a soul-power at its center.

When we elevate and offer a sacrifice of an animal or other kosher sacrifice, we raise these energies [of the sacrifice] to increase the power in the store-house of our people, in our strength for God. Then our spirituality and physicality rise. As a result, the entire world is blessed, because the “community of Israel” is, in general, the center of the world. All of our longing for the restitution of sacrifices with the building of the Temple is literally for the sake of perfecting our people and the world with new powers, exceedingly mighty. This can occur only when the world is improved with the building of the Temple and the building-up of our people on our land, which necessarily comes first, however it may occur, spiritually and physically.

When we gaze at the secrets of the inner Torah, we rise beyond the limited ideas of the thoughts of human intellect. We are not affected by their limited knowledge and grasp of what a sacrifice is. Instead, our thoughts broaden into a supernal breadth. “Open your mouth and I will fill it.”

Mishnat Harav, p. 81

+ 87 The Written Torah and the Oral Torah

We receive the written Torah through the most elevated and inclusive conception within our souls. From the midst of our souls, we sense the blaze and beauty of that living, encompassing light of all existence. It makes us soar higher than all logic and intellect. We sense a supernal Godly spirit hovering upon us, touching yet not touching, flying next to our lives and above them, gilding them with its light. This light blazes, sparkles and penetrates everything. It permeates whatever is under the heavens. This great light was not created by the spirit of the Jewish people. Rather, it was created by the spirit of God, the Creator of all. This living Torah is the foundation of the creation of all universes.

With the oral Torah, we descend to life. We feel that we are receiving the supernal light in the second conduit within our soul: the conduit that advances toward the life of action. We sense that the spirit of the nation, bound like the flame to the coal with the light of the true Torah, has, with its unique character, fashioned the unique form of the oral Torah. Without a doubt, this Torah of man is encompassed within the Torah of God. It too is the Torah of God. It cannot be that this flow of life through all portals could be hidden from the keen eye of [Moses, who received this Torah,] who gazed through the clear lens, who was trusted in all the house of God. As the sages stated, whatever a thoughtful student will one day conceive of was told to Moses on Sinai.

These two lights make one complete world, in which heaven and earth are nourished.

Orot Hatorah 1:1

+ 86 The Words of the Scribes

The oral Torah exists in the essential character of the Jewish people, which acquired its blessing with the revelation from heaven of the written Torah.

In its revealed state, the oral Torah is lower than the written Torah. The chief means of finding its path is the written Torah, which is the supernal relationship of the Jewish people with supernal divinity, with the goal of goals, with victory and splendor in the universes and higher than them all.

But in the inner form, is it not the case that the Torah is given to Israel for the sake of our inner, supernal unique being? It is this divine, hidden, unique being that caused the Torah to be revealed to us from heaven.

And so in its root the oral Torah is higher than the root of the hidden Torah.

“The words of the scribes are more beloved than the words of the Torah.”

Orot Hatorah 1:2

+ 118 Dark Alleys Shine

Once we learn much hidden Torah, whatever we understand and learn from the revealed Torah shines with a precious light.

Then the hidden Torah, with its special quality, appears in all those topics that the revealed Torah discusses.

This is found in the Jerusalem Talmud: since its authors were pious, their Torah was “blessed.” In contrast, the words of the Babylonian Talmud are merely “kept.” It seems that the Jerusalem Talmud deals with more elevated, pious people. Because of them, the Torah grows and becomes glorious. This is due to the appearance of attainments of holiness, starting from a small beginning and developing into great and powerful rivers. These people attain the light of Torah by prayer and deep study, as well as before and after learning. Such people constitute the body of Torah and the soul of Torah.

In this regard, there is a difference between the air of the land of Israel (where the holy spirit can flow upon the content of Jewish law) and elsewhere (where the holy spirit can spread openly only in aggadah, whereas Jewish law is judged by human intellect).

“‘In the dark places, You have placed me’ (Eichah 3:6)—this is the Babylonian Talmud” (Sanhedrin 24a). But from the midst of darkness, great light will sprout: “The nation that walks in darkness has seen a great light, those who dwell in a land of the shadow of death—light has shone upon them” (Is. 9:1). [“These are masters of the Talmud, who have seen great light, for the Holy One, blessed be He, illumines their eyes with what is forbidden and allowed, what is ritually unclean and clean” (Midrash Tanchuma Noach).]

In this way, these people bring down to the lowly avenues of life the illumination of God’s supernal Presence. In this way, they cause multitudinous dark alleys to shine. This aids numbers of those who are distant come, approach and connect to the supernal light of the glow of Torah in its might, the Torah of the land of Israel: “‘The gold of that land is good’ (Bereishis 2:12)—there is no Torah like the Torah of the land of Israel, and no wisdom like the wisdom of the land of Israel” (Bereishis Rabbah 16).

Orot Hatorah 13:1

+ 85 The Words of the Sages

The oral Torah exists within the essence of the nature of the Jewish people. And received our blessing with the heavenly revelation of the written Torah.

As it appears, the oral Torah is lesser than the written Torah. It is the written Torah that provides the chief method of discerning the path of the oral Torah. That path consists of the supernal relationship of the Jewish people with supernal divinity, with the goal of goals, with the might and glory in the worlds, and higher than their totality.

But on an inner level, the Torah was given to the Jewish people precisely due to our inner, supernal special quality [which is identified with the Oral Torah]. This divine, hidden special quality caused the [written] Torah to be revealed to us from heaven.

And so, the oral Torah is more exalted in its root than the root of the written Torah.

“The words of the sages are more beloved than the words of Torah.”

+ 84 The Sweetness

A diminution of the sweetness of the pleasantness of Torah results from something lacking in the Jewish nature of the soul.

[The soul] must be rectified by means of self-growth directed toward this lack.

And when our mind is engaged in rectifying this lack, immediately the supernal light of the holy nature of our soul again shines, and the sweetness of the Torah again begins to be revealed.

Orot Hatorah 7:4

+ 110 Before the war it was not uncommon for a Jew to live his entire life in a shtetl, a village, with a population of which ninety per cent were Jewish. For many, the only contact with non-Jews was when the so-called 'Shabbos Goy" came to their homes on Shabbat mornings during the cold winter months to light the stove. Now it so happened that Schmerel, a Jew from the shtetl, had reason to visit the Shtot - the big city. Schmerel was of course amazed by the tall buildings, the factories, the roads, which he passed on his way to the Jewish section. But what really shocked him was the small number of Jews compared to the huge number of non-Jews. Turning to a fellow Jew he exclaimed, "Why on earth do you need so many Shabbos Goys?"

+ 92 A Jewish woman from Chelm went to the market one day to buy herring and a loaf of bread. "How much is it?" she asked the storekeeper. "14 cents," answered the storekeeper to the lady. "14! For what?" asked the Jewish lady. "I think it's 11." The storekeeper explained: The herring costs 7 cents, and the loaf of bread costs 7 cents also. So together it comes to 14 cents." "I know different. To the best of my recollection, 7 and 7 is 11." "What are your saying?" "As far as I know, 7 and 7 is 11...I had already had 4 children when my first husband died. When I married a second time, my second husband also had 4 children from his first wife. After getting married, we had 3 children together. So each of us had 7 children, and together we had 11! Obviously, 7 and 7 is 11."

+ 99 A man is out in the woods when he comes across a bear. Frightened for his life, he runs as fast as he can to escape the bear and hides in a cave. He is horrified to find that the bear has run after him into the cave, and now the man is trapped. He closes his eyes and begins to recite "Sh'ma Yisrael" in anticipation of his final moments. When he is finished, he opens his eyes and is surprised to see the bear in front of him with his eyes closed - also praying. The man thinks to himself "how lucky am I to be cornered by what must be the only Jewish bear! We're mishpocheh - I'm saved!" And then he listens more carefully to the bear's prayer "hamotzi lechem minhaaretz"

+ 103 So the Synagogue got really fed up with its Rabbi. The Executive Committee met and ne-too-reluctantly, concluded that they'd have to let him go. Trouble was - who'd want to take him - especially if it got out that he'd been fired? So the Executive Committee decided to give him a glowing letter of recommendation. It compared the Rabbi to Shakespeare, Moses and even G-d Himself. The recommendation was so warm that within six weeks the Rabbi succeeded in securing himself a pulpit in a major upwardly-mobile Synagogue 500 miles away, at twice his original salary and with three junior Rabbis working under him. Needless to say, in a couple of months the Rabbi's new employers began to observe some of his imperfections. The President of the Rabbi's new pulpit angrily called the President of the old Synagogue charging "We employed this man mostly on the basis of your recommendation. How could you possibly compare him to Shakespeare, Moses and even G-d Himself, when he can't string together a correct sentence in English, when his knowledge of Hebrew is worse than mine and that on top of everything else, he's a liar, a cheat and an all-round low-life?" "Simple," answered his colleague. "Like Shakespeare he has no Hebrew or Jewish knowledge. Like Moses, he can't speak English, and like G-d Himself - 'Er is nisht kan mentch (He's not a human being!).

+ 102 Harry Goldberg has been elected the next president of the United States--the first Jewish boy to reach the Whitehouse. He is very proud and phones his mother in New York to invite her to the inauguration. Harry: Momma, guess what! I've just been elected president, won't you come to my inauguration?
Mother: Harry! You know I hate trains. I can't face the journey all the way to Washington.
Maybe next time.
Harry: Momma! You will take no train. Air Force One will collect you.
The journey will be over in 30 minutes. Come to my inauguration, please...
Mother: Harry, I hate hotels. The non-kosher food! Nahh, maybe next time.
Harry: Momma!! You will stay in the White House, a kosher chef to yourself. PLEASE come.
Mother: Harry! I have nothing to wear! Harry: I have someone on his way to take you to Macy's and Bloomingdale's to make you look perfect. You must come!!!
Mother: Okay, okay, I suppose I will come. Inaugaration day comes. Mother is on the front row, next to the Secretary of State. Harry is called up to become the next president. Mother digs the Secretary of State in the ribs and says, "Hey, you see that boy Harry? His brother is a very successful doctor!"

+ 122 A nice Jewish girl brings home her fiance to meet her parents. After dinner, her mother tells her father to find out about the young man. He invites the fiance to his study for schnapps.
"So what are your plans?" the father asks the fiance.
"I am a Torah scholar," he replies.
"A Torah scholar." the father says.
"Admirable, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in, as she's accustomed to?" "I will study," the young man replies, "and God will provide for us."
"And how will you buy her a beautiful engagement ring, such as she deserves?" asks the father.
"I will concentrate on my studies," the young man replies, "God will provide for us."
"And children?" asks the father. "How will you support children?"
"Don't worry, sir, God will provide," replies the fiance.
The conversation proceeds like this, and each time the father questions, the fiance insists that God will provide.
Later, the mother asks "so nu? How did it go?"
The father answers, "He has no job and no plans, but the good news is he thinks I'm God."

+ 97 An American Indian comes back to the Reservation to visit with his parents after spending some time in New York. He says to his father that he's fallen in love with a nice Jewish girl. His father is mortified and says " You're betraying your heritage and you'll break your mother's heart that you're not marrying a nice Indian girl. You know how Jews are, they'll feel the same way and you'll be ostracized in both camps." The son reassures his father, "Don't worry. They must have already accepted the situation because they have already given their daughter an Indian name." "Really?" says the father. "What name?" The son answers, "Sitting Shiva."

+ 97 Haredim Jewish residents in Brooklyn, home to the largest Jewish community in the United States, with approximately 600,000 individuals, about 23% Jewish of the borough's population in 2011

+ 62 God’s Law on mount Sinai. God's Law on mount Sinai Mankind on Earth is of the opinion that the word “impossible” applies to a lot of things. – We hold a different opinion, because the things we regard utopia to day, may be possible tomorrow. There are therefore practically no utopias. If one had told people 4,000 years ago about all the things you have today, one would have regarded all of this without exception as impossible. Utopias have become reality. Today’s generation’s fantasies are certainly realisable. This is why we absolutely cannot understand why one doubts our existence. Why can’t one comprehend that we travel beyond the speed of light? – Why does one doubt the possibility that dematerialisation exists? There is no utopia. Everything is possible, if one knows the way to realise it. It isn’t for instance utopia that we, respectively our forefathers, brought the LAW of HEAVEN down to Earth. The handing over of the LAW of HEAVEN took place on Mount Sinai. I have indicated details about this once before in the past. If the handing over of this important event didn’t take place conspicuously enough, then it is mainly due to the technological ignorance of the people at that time. What could they have known about spaceships travelling through space? – As far as Moses was concerned, the spaceship was “GOD’S ABODE” and the rest of the crew “HIS ANGELS”. The siren was the “divine trombone” and the ships antigravity was GOD’S promise to “put anyone to death” that crossed a certain line. All of this is so simple and so easy to understand if one is willing to use one’s mind. You have enough technical experience to correctly comprehend the LEGISLATION received on Mount Sinai. There is absolutely no room for doubt here, because any doubt would indicate mental derangement. He, who doesn’t comprehend this plausible LEGISLATION, also does not know how a car is steered and unaware of the energy that moves it. There is however also an evil will that prevents comprehension. Generally speaking, these people are not dumb; there are even some very famous authorities in politics and the sciences amongst them as well as people in the field of theology. This evil will is like a blinker for spiritual eyes. People do not want to know the TRUTH, because it perturbs them personally. Atheists doubt GOD’S COMMANDMENTS. They deem it impossible that GOD talked to a human being on Mount Sinai amidst thunder and lightning. God's Law on mount SinaiThe Israelites saw a fiery cloud moving in front of them. This pillar of fire hovered horizontally. This pillar of fire did not hover vertically as Jewish theology assumes. There is no mentioning of a vertical pillar anywhere. This pillar was one of our spaceships, that is to say, a mother-ship. Their aura of light can still be observed on all our flying objects by you. The material of the spaceships under our control consists of a glass-like mass that is harder than your normal glass. The colour is similar to a Nile-green. The bible describes its appearance as being similar to chrysolite. Antigravity is so powerful that the landing must take place on solid rock. Our spaceships of this size land on Mount Etna or similar mountain these days. So as not to suffer any injuries, the Israelites were advised to stay beyond a boundary, crossing this boundary could be life threatening. A siren of great sound intensity warned the people from crossing the indicated boundary. Moses could only cross this boundary after the gravitational force was switched off. He received an appropriate signal. There was neither thunder nor lightning, only the din of the spaceship and its alternating aura of light. When the antigravity field was switched on, the Israelites fled in all directions filled with fear and terror. Ashtar