Judgment invades your life when you judge others. To avoid this invitation to negativity, stop focusing on others’ faults, and start paying attention to their strengths. Today, be a horse with blinders. See only the good. This is a great secret for inviting more success into your life.
we get to learn a bit about the progression of human thinking/belief
about whatever topic we are on
(so, today, prayer)
this great group of people enjoy sharing
which makes learning fun
because we all have our own beliefs, customs
when it comes to prayer
some of us feel strongly
although we were learning a human progression across a couple thousand years
we were challenged to keep our own perspectives calmly to ourselves
(don't you just love it when people are happy to share?)
We read a piece from the Talmud (Rosh Hashanah 18a) and it had thoughts like:
People praying identical prayers some are answered and some are not why?
Some answers might be:
one person prayed a complete prayer and one person prayed an incomplete prayer.
(so, okay - if i put myself in here for a moment I think an incomplete prayer would be forgetting to say 'thank you.' AND I always want to add, for the kind of people who just send a 'shout out' when they are in trouble that it might be we need a relationship I mean, if you just have a friend - a real friendship with someone you would love them, have fun with them be glad to be in their company and one day you show up and ask for a quarter or a sandwich they would be happy to provide that for you and even more Wouldn't the Holy One be even more like that I mean even if you don't think the Creator as 'person-like'
even if you think the Divine is 'principle-like'
couldn't it be similar?)
Okay, Okay here's the next cool thought
One person added to the conversationthat the unanswered prayer was said after the decree.
(here i am again - is it possible a person would wait until the entire 'event' was over, concluded
before shouting up to the Eternal? A common way to understand this would be to have a car accident.
maybe the car has smashed into the back of another car and done a bit of damage
and when the driver of the other car
or a peace officer comes to ask for identification and an insurance card
suddendly a person prays there will magically be an insurance card in the glove box
although they have never had insurance
they just "pray" for a magic insurance card to be there
then they think - or suspect the Holy One has ignored them.
I know, my imagination works a little overtime
no one would drive without insurance.)
So, there was still one more thought in this text thank no matter what it's always good to pray whenever a person decides to do it even if they never get an answer
I once saw a cartoon that suggested mediocrity was far more difficult
it showed a character kicking a ball exactly the same distance as his opponent
angering the betting crowd . . . .
cartoonist humor - but, I learned a lot form it
(no mediocrity here, either . . oh well.)
Today I read a message from Yehuda
the last bit said:
"Don't Be Average.
Today, put your trust in a force higher than your logic. You may not know exactly where it wants to take you, but you can be certain that if you trust, it will be the right place."
I got a lot of trust goin' on a feeling of wandering in good places.
This was fun. Last Tuesday we finished a three week study on the question: "Is Torah the Revealed Word of God?"
I enjoy discussions like these. It's much easier here than it was in Brooklyn. There are interested, interesting people in the class and we've come to discover (AND everyone is willing to share.) We had the opportunity to look into diverse opinions - so, everyone was ultimately encouraged to think and have their own opinion.
In the past i have been in situations where the discussion was so passionate it became frightening. Once i was actually afraid someone might be thrown out a window - although it was more the emotional climate of the room and not the actuality of the situation - it just FELT super intense. Under those circumstances - thought exploration and free thinking are NOT encouraged. I guess that's why i enjoy these classes so much. We learn about a wide variety of opinion - and think for ourselves.
Back to our class.
The very end of the third day we got to consider differing ideas by discussing the question: "Is it alright to drive our car to services on the Sabbath?"
We were asked to work in teams, every team was given readings covering one perspective. My team got "Orthodox." After we read the assignment we huddled together and what was rapidly decided was . . (yikes!) . . I was to be our spokesperson.
I know, i know - I present for a living so what's the big deal, right? Except, the school i attended a few years ago considered me the outsider . . . (does every group have one? What's up with that, do you think?) I've become a little anxious - since i have such a right brain and inclusive attitude . . . . hmmmm
STILL - this time it was fun.
We learned (in this case) it is NOT okay to drive our car on the Sabbath (Shabbat to us.) It is also not okay to ride a donkey - BUT - driving a car is even more not okay.
So - there's spark and combustion - the thing about fire" - See, there is a list of actions we should not participate in - because we are supposed to rest. (It's supposed to be a good thing, a gift to humanity, actually) - These are things we did when building the Tabernacle so the Holy One had a tent among us. We lit and put out fires . . SO, on a day of rest, we should not light or extinguish fires (because we get to rest . . . ) We light candles right before the Sabbath - and we light candles right after . . but, during - we rest (like the Holy One rested.)
Then, when someone says - "I moved and it's too far to walk." The response would be "You are the one who moved so far away. Walk, or stay home, OR move to a place where you will find new community."
Then someone might ask, "what if I've gone on vacation?" Then, the response would be, stay where you are and remember the Holy One Rested.
BUT - it is NOT okay to drive the car.
Other teams (with their different assignments) had other answers - and, my community? Our parking lot is ALWAYS FULL.
Okay, okay - no matter what you believe about the primary question - and/or what you do about driving - let me give a personal insight, so you won't worry or think you have to change you current behavior - the Holy One did not mention Motor Vehicles from Sinai. (I bet you knew that,)