New Thoughts On Hillel

Hillel famously states (in Avot 1:14), אִם אֵין אֲנִי לִי, מִי לִי. וּכְשֶׁאֲנִי לְעַצְמִי, מָה אֲנִי. וְאִם לֹא עַכְשָׁיו, אֵימָתָי, Im Ayn Ani Li, Mi Li, “If I am not for myself, who is for me? U’k’sheAni L’Atzmi, Mi Li, And when I am (only) for myself, what am I? V’Im Ayn Achshav, Aymatai, And if not now, when?”

We usually interpret this as a balanced approach to life, keeping all three principles in mind at the same time. Perhaps we should also see it as describing the two modalities of existence, Olam HaZeh, today’s world as we know it, and Olam HaBah, the enlightened world we know is inevitable.

Although God’s Reality never changes, (אני ה′ לא שניתי (מלאכי ג:ו, “I, God, never change (Malachi 3:6)”, our realities and our perceptions of reality do change. Living, as we now do, in a world where most people have no conception that The Creator m’lo kol ha-aretz kvodo, fills the entire world with His Presence, His totally benign, endless light and energy, where He is Ha-m’chadesh b’tuvo b’chol yom tamid ma’ase b’reishit (daily liturgy), “The One who renews, from His Goodness, every day, the act of creation”, the fact that we, indeed, realize that life is far from a “zero-sum game” or, worse, a “negative-sum game” (that illusion that resources are limited and dwindling while the population, i.e. demand for those resources, is soaring out of control) forces us to live as if that nightmare were true. In other words, even though we know that God’s Shefa, Bounty, is endless, there are many people who are convinced that whatever we have is at their expense and the only path for them to acquire what they want or need is to take it away from someone who has already acquired it. Our vision of the ultimate reality and our confidence in it, however, doesn’t permit us to live above the fray. Throughout human history to date, the Jewish people have had to protect our very lives as best we can as many have perceived us as the obstacle to their own success. In this still-current paradigm, we, therefore, exist in the same state of perpetual strife and warfare as the rest of the world and to survive we must defeat our enemies at every turn. “If I am not for me, who will be for me”, indeed!

However, as we gradually and eventually succeed in truly being Ohr L’Goyim, that Light of wisdom to all the nations, revealing to them that The Creator really has provided for all everyone needs and that rather than stealing or despoiling the wealth of others, they can create and generate their own, we find ourselves moving into Olam HaBah, that world of the future which, indeed, will come one day. No longer necessary to fight and scramble, all mankind can finally realize the truth of “If I am (only) for myself what am I?”. Rather, we can begin to join together in Absolute Unity with The Creator and His Creation, to be at one with all.

Although it’s dangerous, foolish and counterproductive to pretend that we’re farther along the path than we indeed are, our impatience is in order. Our years of suffering (both as the Jewish People, but also, more broadly, as Humanity) have been endless. “If not now, when” shall we at least start to work towards Geula, the ultimate redemption from the very real, but ultimately false nonetheless, world of conflict?

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to New Thoughts On Hillel

  1. Mr. Cohen says:

    Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser said:

    “Today, too, we must pray for Divine assistance in spiritual matters.

    We must not make the mistake of thinking that we can escape the depths of depravity surrounding us merely by will.

    Instead, we must pray for constant Siyata DeShemaya [Divine assistance] and for deliverance from our spiritual exile.”

    SOURCE: Freedom of the Soul Haggadah (page 40, commentary on Avadim Hayinu) by Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser, year 2002 CE, Judaica Press, ISBN-10: 1880582864, ISBN-13: 978-1880582862.

  2. Mr. Cohen says:

    Anti-Semitism at Democratic National Convention:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m8dPzIYCf0

    PLEASE help SUE the terrorists in court:

    www dot IsraelLawCenter dot org

    www dot TheLawFareProject dot org

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!

  3. Mr. Cohen says:

    Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski MD taught:

    “Lust should be directed toward love for G_d, hate toward despising evil, envy toward aspiring to the achievements of those who have acquired knowledge and wisdom.”

    MICROBIOGRAPHY: Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski MD is a Chassidic Rabbi and founder and Director of the Gateway ehabilitation Center. He was born in 1930 CE and traces his ancestry to the Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement. He wrote more than 60 books. His web site is: www dot AbrahamTwerski dot com. His channel on YouTube is named AbrahamTwerski.

    SOURCE: Let Us Make Man (chapter 17, page 78) by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski MD, year 1987, ISBN-13: 978-0933711013 ISBN-10: 0933711018

  4. Mr. Cohen says:

    Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski MD taught:
    “The ultimate test of faith in G_d is the acceptance of adversity,
    and suffering is without doubt the greatest strain
    to which one’s faith can be subjected.”

    MICROBIOGRAPHY: Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski MD is a Chassidic Rabbi and founder and Director of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center. He was born in 1930 CE and traces his ancestry to the Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement. He wrote more than 60 books. His web site is: www dot AbrahamTwerski dot com. His channel on YouTube is named AbrahamTwerski.

    SOURCE: Let Us Make Man (chapter 20, page 104) by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski MD, year 1987, ISBN-13: 978-0933711013 ISBN-10: 0933711018

    PLEASE help SUE the terrorists in court:

    www dot IsraelLawCenter dot org

    www dot TheLawFareProject dot org

    THANK YOU!

  5. Mr. Cohen says:

    Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski MD taught:
    “Justice is what Torah refers to as justice.
    Compassion is what Torah designates as compassion.
    Non-Torah ideas of justice and compassion have played no small part
    in the moral decadence so prevalent in modern civilization.”

    MICROBIOGRAPHY: Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski MD is a Chassidic Rabbi and founder and Director of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center. He was born in 1930 CE and traces his ancestry to the Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement. He wrote more than 60 books. His web site is: www dot AbrahamTwerski dot com. His channel on YouTube is named AbrahamTwerski.

    SOURCE: Let Us Make Man (chapter 19, page 93) by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski MD, year 1987, ISBN-13: 978-0933711013 ISBN-10: 0933711018

    PLEASE help SUE the terrorists in court:

    www dot IsraelLawCenter dot org

    www dot TheLawFareProject dot org

    THANK YOU!

  6. Mr. Cohen says:

    Rabbi David Ashear:

    “There are many people who have reason to complain, but they walk around with a smile, happy and content, and in doing so, they create a Kiddush HaShem.”

    SOURCE:
    Living Emunah (chapter 4, page 32) by Rabbi David Ashear, year 2014, published by ArtScroll, ISBN-10: 142261512X ISBN# 9781422615126

    PLEASE help SUE the terrorists in court:

    www dot IsraelLawCenter dot org

    www dot TheLawFareProject dot org

    THANK YOU!!

  7. Mr. Cohen says:

    Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski MD taught:

    One of the reasons we do not achieve our maximum mental potential is because we squander our mental energies on devarim betailim [useless words or activities].

    SOURCE: Let Us Make Man (chapter 25, page 133) by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski MD, year 1987, ISBN-13: 978-0933711013 ISBN-10: 0933711018

  8. Mr. Cohen says:

    Rabbi Nachman of Breslov explained by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski:

    When Rabbi Nachman [of Breslov, born 1772 CE and died in 1810 CE] said that despair does not exist in reality, he meant to say that: If you feel hopeless, [then] you should have the presence of mind to recognize that this feeling can have no basis in reality.
    You should realize that the feeling of despair is a distortion of reality, a hallucination, or delusion brought about by the sitra achra [the side of evil].

    SOURCE: Let Us Make Man (last page of chapter 30, page 167) by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski MD, year 1987, ISBN-13: 978-0933711013 ISBN-10: 0933711018

  9. Mr. Cohen says:

    ========================================
    Two Quick Quotes from Leading Arabs and Muslims:
    ========================================

    In December 2015, the New York Times described Imam Yasir Qadhi as
    “one of the most influential clerics in American Islam”. Imam Yasir Qadhi said:

    “If filthy Jews and Christians do not convert to Islam, [then] their
    life and property are halal [free for the taking] for the Muslims.”

    In June 2016, Sultan Abu Alainin [a member of the
    Palestinian Authority Central Committee, and a
    top advisor to Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas] said:

    “Whenever you see an Israeli, slit their throat.”

    PLEASE help SUE the terrorists in court:

    www dot IsraelLawCenter dot org

    www dot TheLawFareProject dot org

    THANK YOU!!

  10. The Power of Thanking HaShem by Mr. Cohen

    The following true short story happened to me on 2016 August 10:

    I went to a hardware store to make three sets of keys.
    After the three sets of keys were made, I left the hardware store.

    When I arrived at my destination, the third set of keys was missing.

    I checked all my pockets and my knapsack and any place where I might have put them – more than once. I could not find them at my destination, so I thought that I must have left them in the hardware store.

    On my way back to the hardware store, I thanked HaShem for giving me the new keys. Then I thanked HaShem in advance for helping me find the lost keys. Less than five seconds later, the lost keys popped out of a compartment in my knapsack that I never noticed before, right before my eyes. The lost keys were found!

  11. Mr. Cohen says:

    The Power of Thanking HaShem by Mr. Cohen

    The following true short story happened to me on 2016 August 10:

    I went to a hardware store to make three sets of keys.
    After the three sets of keys were made, I left the hardware store.

    When I arrived at my destination, the third set of keys was missing.

    I checked all my pockets and my knapsack and any place where I might have put them – more than once. I could not find them at my destination, so I thought that I must have left them in the hardware store.

    On my way back to the hardware store, I thanked HaShem for giving me the new keys. Then I thanked HaShem in advance for helping me find the lost keys. Less than five seconds later, the lost keys popped out of a compartment in my knapsack that I never noticed before, right before my eyes. The lost keys were found!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s