Sunday, January 30, 2011

Why do we count our own?

I wish this post should be about first reactions on my book.
But it is still not available to purchase. Only what I can say at this moment is that – maybe next week I-H.
Meanwhile, read my new post if you wish so, and enjoy it.

There is a biblical prohibition of counting Jewish people or in another words making census. Though a counting did take place three times in Jewish history.
Twice when heeding to HaShems voice Moishe Rabayni counted the Jews BaMidbar – in the desert.
The third time it happened when Duvid HaMelech begin to count the subjects of his kingdom.
It ended tragically; thousands of people died and King Duvid’s crown was only bearly saved.
He clearly breached a prohibition of the Torah. The only way to count the Jewish people was by counting half shekels – coins, given to the Jerusalem Temple once a year from every Jewish person, but counting Jews is prohibited to do just any time.
When we hear or read the news, especially those tragic stories, we often ask “Were there any Yiden involved, were there any Jewish victims?
This is one of those questions that are asked in random conversations and on news blogs. Why is it that we worry so about our own people? Why we only count our own?
Some of us rush with critics - what about the non Jewish victims? Are their lives without value or is their value somehow slighter than the value of the Jew? Why don’t we simply ask how many victims were there?
This question and the problem are very delicate to ask as well as to answer but nevertheless I will try to answer with the help of G-d.
It so happens that I’m not limited to the English speaking media and I can read and listen to the non Jewish media outlets of a few other nations. Even a person that is only English speaking can follow the foreign media to some extent, and learn how this topic is treated among people.
Whoever has access to foreign news channels, knows that these kinds of questions are not characteristic for Jewish people only. When an accident happens somewhere in the world, in any country on Earth, nations are asking about their own people. How many Russians, how many Italians or French were there? Are any of them dead or injured? Is our embassy taking care of them? That’s just how it is; it’s the nature of the matter. However, unlike other nations, we live in Diaspora – Golus, we are citizens of those countries we are currently staying in. Why than do we ask about our fellow coreligionist?
I suppose that there is nothing wrong with it. Jews are the children of one father and four mothers; we can even go back one generation to Yitzchok, who with his wife are the biological parents of all the Jews. Jews are not only a group of people connected by a common faith but they are also family, a folk connected by the ties of common DNA.
Some may argue that all the converts, including me writing these words, somehow watered down the Jewish blood through the generations. Yes, there was some number of converts who joined the people of Israel from the very beginning of the history of this nation, but Jews are not some kind of horses or puppy dogs that have to be protected from any admixture of foreign blood.
The first and most important leader of our nation married a women born to a Midian priest. The leader we are talking about is Moyshe Rabaini (Moses) and his wife, Tzipoira bas Yisro.
His direct successor Yechoshia Bin Nun (Joshua) married another woman born to a non Jewish family. According to the Midrash he married Rachab, the women who hid him from the persecutors in Yericho. She was not only of ‘spoiled’ blood but also of spoiled morality before she converted. She became a full member of the Jewish family and the wife of its second Leader. No one was concerned about ‘diluting’ the blood of the Jewish nation. The reason is because it is not the purity of blood that has to be protected but the purity of life.
When a Jew asks about his fellow brother with fear it is precisely the apprehension of loosing something of this purity. Even when this victim Jew was not living to the high standards of purity, as a member of the family of Yakov, he has the potential to reach the levels of his fathers.
We are concerned about and value the life of every human being on this planet. It is the Jewish Bible that brings a message to Humanity: that all people are decedents of a common ancestor – Adam. And still, the members of our family are somehow closer to us.  That’s just the way it is!

Matys Weiser

Sunday, January 23, 2011


News after news, what was hot news yesterday is hardly remembered a few days later. In this case, what I write below is the character of big reports and is especially visible due to the tragic event in Arizona, which became an even bigger story as is well known. Who remember that two weeks ago the homeless man from Columbus Ohio - Ted Williams was the hero of the day, the celebrity of the worldwide media?
The man with the pleasant sounding voice, a baritone, who became the most interviewed fellow in America for a couple of days. I guess that if it weren’t for the Arizona story, the topic of Ted Williams would be continued for at least a couple of weeks instead of days.
Why is it that the story of this homeless man is so popular? Why is it so appealing to the hearts and minds of so many people?
Many have already said something about redemption, a second chance, a G-d given gift of voice…..
However one thing was somehow shoved away from the whole center of the story, although Ted put the main accent on this aspect in all of his interviews. The media did not discuses the aspect of Ted repeatedly declaring that he prayed to G-d.
Ted said it many times in to the cameras, he says that he discovered G-d and that he has accepted his place on earth with gratitude, but he still asked for improvement and promised so that not to waste his life but to get a second chance. We wish Ted the best, and hope he keeps his promise because only that way can he guarantee success in his future.
Let’s just think for a minute, what state was in Ted when he began talking to G-d?
A homeless guy, sleeping somewhere in the bushes next to the highway in the rather cold climate of Cleveland and although he had family it was as if he didn’t have anybody in this world. He betrayed them, and he betrayed himself, and he finally admitted to it to himself through prayer. Without any doubt, the Compassionate One listened to his prayer.
I can already hear critics telling me that it is impossible due to the fact that Ted did not know the true G-d. I agree, he didn’t, and that’s exactly what I want to clarify to my fellow Yiden.
Ted - a lowlife with a criminal past, a guy who doubtfully even knew the basics of the Bible, which would surely have given him the knowledge about the One we Jews serve. He was a person who probably called G-d with a strange name, but this Ted got help from the only One who can provide help. How much can we ask of Him and receive? He is the only One that is waiting to give, as he is constantly giving to us all.
Yes, in this confused world, Ted, as most people don’t even know who they’re talking to when they raise their eyes and voices to heaven, yet they know as it is deeply imprinted in their consciousness, that there is One Who listened and can answer. And yes, The One listens and answers prayers of those who pray and admit to who they really are, those who acknowledge their lowliness and helplessness, the lack of their own powers to improve the wrong within them.
If anybody, even a person that doesn’t know who he is praying to, can achieve results trough his prayer, how much more legitimate is this when it comes to Hashem’s chosen children that are the ones praying, and they know who The One they pray to is.
He is the One who chose them to be witnesses for Him, to serve Him and to carry the mission of Tikkun – Restoration. In exchange for this declaration of readiness, the children of Yisroel have a special protection and an everlasting existence.  
We, the Jews, have a special connection to the Creator of Heaven and Earth; due to the promise given to our forefathers by the Almighty, due to our declaration “Naase ve Nishma”. We promised our Father in Heaven that we will fulfill his will no matter what it is. He, Hakudoish Burich Hu, declared to adopt us rather as children than as servants.
Do we understand our position? Do we use this opportunity to talk to our Father in who as the Sefer Tania puts it ‘Stays on our right side?’ Do we open our mouth when we need to? Do we use this tremendous opportunity that was given to us?
Our king, our national poet – Duvid Hamelech thought us how to use our tongue to connect our inner selves to the higher spheres of spirituality. His Psalms are the most translated and most read literature in history of mankind. His words poured from his heart and can open almost anyone’s heart.
Anshey Kneses Hagdoila – The Sages of the great assembly composed blessing and prayers for the Jewish people, we pray with those words three times a day. This make us Jewish, by the reciting of Amida and other blessings, we signify a part of a national and spiritual body of the unified people of G-d. Those words, as the words of Tehilim – Psalms, are supposed to connect us to Hashem and inspire and teach us how to talk to our Father in Heaven.
Yes, talk to him like a child talks to his earthly father. No matter the kind of prayer, written by prophets and sages, or using your own words in your most understood language. This later kind of prayer opens the gates of hearts and minds that no other words are able to do.
When we pray with our own words, as many Jewish masters taught us to do, we reveal things to ourselves, things we hide even from ourselves. And even when we make our daily Heshbon Haneifesh – self reflection, we can be masters of deceit to ourselves, we can lie and cheat our conscience, staying convinced that we really do everything in our power to do the best. We fool ourselves as long as we do not to allow the ultimate Witness and Judge of our conscience to be involved. This involvement happens when we open our mouth to talk to Him – Aibishter.
Our prayer allows us to listen to our conscience; we are not able to lie to ourselves anymore. We can not deceive ourselves to reside in convenient but imaginary reality. In prayer we can see ourselves for who we really are. When we grasp this, than with tears, we can ask for help. No matter what we ask for, He will listen. He will listen because we will finally recognize what is really important to us, and that is what we will ask of Him. 

Matys Weiser

Sunday, January 16, 2011

List of my Convictions

As was promised, you can find the short list of my principals and beliefs below.
With some of them you may agree and with others you will not.
As a Jew I reserve myself the right to a list, a catalog of my principals as I understand it within the borders of Halacha written in the Shulchan Aruch.
My convictions are based on the Hashkafa we received from the previous generations, from the sages. It is established by the continuity of ideals and ideas rooted and proved by the writings of those sages, yet within the borders of different Shitos contained in 3,500 years of Jewish history.
There is One G-d, and the only question about existence can be asked regarding our existence.
We were created and placed into this reality where our creation can be justified or rejected.
The nature, the substance, the true matter of our creation and what we call reality is unknown.
The justification of our creation can be achieved only by fulfilling the will of our Creator. The will of our Creator is revealed in what we call nature and the revelation given for the Children of Israel on Mount Sinai. Most of humanity can learn the will of the Creator from Nature that was created according to the Plan – which is the Torah.
The Children of Israel are people chosen for a special mission, a mission of perfecting the world from its stage of destruction and bringing the whole of humanity to the service of the Creator by a non missionary menace but by setting a positive example.
The source of recognition of G-d and the only source to learn the will of G-d is the Plan of creation – the Torah reviled on Mount Sinai, the holy writings as well as the oral tradition that was transmitted through all generations of Holy Teachers, from Moishe Rabaini until today.
There are 7 requirements from the Creator toward humanity. Any non Jewish person fulfilling the 7 Mitzvos Bnai Noach is guarantied to pass to the next stage of existence with a reward for fulfilling those commandments. However there is a punishment for the people rejecting this service of the Creator.
A Jew is equipped and designated for different kind of tasks. In order for a Jew to pass to the next stage of existence, he is obligated with the mission of fulfilling the 613 Mitzvois of the Torah.
In today’s day, the number 613 is rather symbolic and limited due to the fact that the Jewish people are living in the period of the Golus – Diaspora, and Bays Hamikdash -Jerusalem’s Temple is in ruins.
However every other commandment that does not depend on our presence in the Holy Land must be fulfilled, including all restrictions from the holy sages.
Man was created as a male and female with the possibility and the urge to multiply. It clearly indicates that this form of union should be sanctified and supported by both Jew and Gentile alike. It should be protected and encouraged.  Family itself is a demeanor of service for the Creator. The happiness, the peace, and the active and passive love that it gives; the feeling of belonging but also the challenges that give us the opportunity to fulfill the will of the Creator by shaping our inner selves into the ideal of a man, and in the case of a Jew – a Mentch Yisroel (RSRH)
We were not created in the emptiness; we are part of the nature and a part of the society. The nature was given to us as an environment to fulfill our tasks and obligations.
According to our sages we should be the caretakers of nature for our common good, rather than exploit it behind the border of recognition. We should not turn nature into a modern kind of cult as some do; but we should respect and protect our natural environment according to the teachings of Chazal.
We live among other creatures like ourselves. Most of the tasks in obeying the commandments of G-d, both for the Jewish and not Jewish part of humanity require changing and engaging our selfish inner being into love toward a fellow creature (bria). It may be exercised by active participation in the society of our congregation, neighborhood, city and country where we dwell in.
There is a G-d in Heaven, and that He is the only Creator and Sustainer of everything. It is He who gives life to every human. He controls life and He takes it away when He wishes to. There is absolutely no reason, which would justify any human taking the life of his fellow man; either by killing him or ruining his health. There is no army or war that can justify doing an action that belongs only to the Creator.
Matys Weiser

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Opening Post

Book, website and now blog?
What is this buzz about? Did I fall entirely in to this mode of self-promotion and perhaps even worse, am I’m selling myself in to the public?
Well, writing an autobiography was already a very strange experience that somehow was against everything I believe a man and servant of HaShem should be.
Raising a family, concentrating on the constant perfection of my soul and devoting my body to the fulfillment of the Mitzvos HaShem – the law of G-d.
But He didn’t put us on an empty planet where our task is simple like the life of a “Little Prince”. Neither self perfection, nor building a family is the end and the limit of what we can do or we should do in His service.
When I first decided to write the story of my life given to me by the Almighty and then twelve years later decided to publish it, it was always with the conviction that there are 6 billions of individuals that I have my unique message to tell to. I always had the people on my mined, the people that would take what I want to share with them and enjoy it, that they’d take something from my message for themselves.
But the very first condition for such an assumption is that there has to be something that I have to offer, to share with those people. And is there?
It can only be counted by the number of books sold or by the clicks clicked on the website, and still, this is only a partial answer to the question above.
However, the initial step to determine this is to write the book and publish the website or blog.
So I do exactly that, B-H!
I will try to write a page weekly, in order not to make my reader tiered of my ideas and convictions.
Some of you will be controversial, some or most of you will disagree with it and some may even be seditious after a first glance. But I promise that my words will make you think hard, no matter what group you are from. Not that you’re not a thinking person right now, but it will make you think in a way that no one else will provoke you to reflect ever.
Provoking is not the goal of this blog. I will repeat after RAMCHAL as it is said in Mesilas Yeshurim, that I will write things that most of you already know but need to see as written words. It will be nothing new under the sun as, Shloimie HaMelech wrote 3,000 years ago.
We are constantly whirling the same words, the same ideas, and the same convictions all over again.
But sometimes for some of us they are as striking as the lightning form a blue sky.
And this is exactly what I hope to deliver on the sites of this blog.
I can’t promise that the lightning will happen every time you open this blog, but there is a big chance that it will be happening from time to time.
It is important to me to list my convictions and beliefs right here so that when you will sometimes see something that you hold holly seam as if I am trying to degrade it, you can always look back to the post titled “List of my Convictions”. Even when you will be under the impression that I somehow derailed from whatever I said previously, you can always check below and see my divagations trough the prism of my principals.
Some of my views will definitely change from time to time because as long as I’m alive I’m searching how to serve my Creator in a better way and how to understand his perfection in a more perfect way.
Well, it looks like I came to my promised weekly limit of how much I allow myself to write and you will find the list of principals in my next weeks post I-H.

Matys Weiser