July 04, 2004

Leftover Shabbat- & Madonna/Esther

Most weeks whatever food is leftover from Shabbat is used to make dinner for however long it lasts. I have sometimes stretched this on to Tuesday, but usually Monday is the limit.

I decided to do the same thing here, with the leftovers from my "other" Shabbat table. The table of learning and Torah.

Just hang on a minute while I set up the scene.
This week I walked back up to the home of one of the women I work for to a Tehilim group. I had wanted to go last week, but I was too ill, so I was happy to go this week. After greeting each other the hostess passed out the little books which each had a portion of Tehilim in them; we mentioned the names of the people for whom we were praying and then began in silence, taking new books whenever we finished the book we were working on, so collectively we finished the whole of Tehilim. Then we went on to study the laws of pure speech which is the opposite of Loshon Hara.

Later in the day we had a shiur about the Parshah of the week, in English, with a different group.The Parshah last week was Bilam, you know him. The guy with the talking donkey; he went to curse the Jews and ended up blessing them. What we concentrated on in our shiur was the where he offered sacrifices to G-d. According to the commentators this was an attempt by Bilam to bribe G-d. I'll give you these sacrifices, you let me curse the Jews.

Talk about chutzpah!!!! That had to be the limit.

G-d is not bribeable.

BUT BUT BUT!!! I hear some of you protest, as protested a friend at the
shiur...we say Tehilim!!! Isn't that like bribing G-d?

And the answer given was Good question. No.

We aren't bribing G-d with our prayers. When we pray, we are suppose to be working on ourselves internally;changing ourselves just a little bit for the better. It isn't some sort of ritual that can alter G-d. What we have altered is ourselves; we are a different person and the edict hopefully will not stand against this new persona. And when we pray for another? Judaism acknowledges that we are all connected. Illness, death, and other negative situations affect us all; family members, friends, even people we don't know. We are all cells of the same body.

So where does Madonna/Esther come in?

It is the kind of Kabbalah that she is promoting; a kind which a friend wrote me about regarding a sibling; do this, do that and G-d will send you
money, ward off an illness or otherwise make this or that thing right.

Like I said; G-d isn't bribable. That isn't the point of Kabbalah. Kabbalah is meant to bring one closer to Hashem (G-d) and His Torah.
The change is suppose to be internal, and it doesn't start with wearing a red string.

It starts with the 7 mitzvot of B'nei Noach for those who are non-Jews, and the 613 for those who are Jewish.

Yes this is the orthodox Jewish point of view. What other view did you expect?



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