By way of preface:
The "Jewish Spirituality" mailing list is an outgrowth of several conversations in which people told me that they felt "alone" in their quest to develop their relationship with Gd. I knew they weren't alone, just from my own interactions with other people, and so I extended an invitation to the Jewish community of Rhode Island to join in a weekly mailing list exploring issues within their relationship with HaShem.
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Jewish Spirituality - Volume 21
Re: Gd and Fatherhood
Awe of Gd
Topic: Re: Gd and Fatherhood
By: Anne Schwartz
Being a grandparent of 67 years life experience, I don't assume that I can rival King Solomon's wisdom, but here goes:
>As everyone knows, there are many places in Jewish literature where G-d
>is referred to as Father. And, this analogy, of course, is being made with the human
> father of eachperson. In discussions I have been having, the question of how tightly
> does the analogy hold, has come up.
>Meaning, if we are going to refer to G-d as Father in certain contexts,
>how far do we take this analogy?
ANSWER: Since G-d is also referred to as the King of Kings, He is also the Father of all humankind (this includes human fathers; we are his "Children of Israel".
>1. Can I ask G-d for specific things, as a child would ask his human father?
ANSWER: G-d's answer to such requests is manifasted through the message he gives your soul. He tries to do what is best for you. In denying a request therein lies an esoteric answer. e.g. If you request a new car to replace the old one, and you can't exactly afford a new one. You pray to Ha-Shem for sound advice; his answer will be the rationale he places in your mind and soul to absolve the problem. After your mind evolves several options, you'll come to a decision--the
one that Ha-Shem helped you to decide upon, for better or worse.
> a. How (in what form) will I receive the response to my request?
> b. What should my response be to His response, when I am happy with the response?
ANSWER: A prayer of thanks
> c. When I am not?
ANSWER: Also a prayer of thanks that imbues your mind with the thought that Ha-Shem does everything with a grand design in mind; it is a good lesson of life that we do not receive everything we want or need.
> d. If not, is it reasonable to be unhappy with his response when what he does is for the Good?
ANSWER: It's human to be unhappy with His response, but with prayer in which is included asking for forgiveness for any misdeed, etc. your piety will develop a good philosophy that will sustain you throughout life.
> e. Are there ways to change the response in the future?
ANSWER: In December 1998 when I sat by my dying husband's bedside, I held his hand every evening and recited David Melech's 23rd Psalm which begins:
"The L-ord is our shepherd, His rod and His staff they comfort us....Ye though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we shall not fear, for the L-rd is with us. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lifes, and we shall dwell in the house of the L-rd forever."
The change of Ha-Shem's response is the change He places in your heart to understand how he prepares us for all of life's challenges, disappontments, and tragedies. These events actually strengthen our souls and character, giving us a good philosophy of life, and that is G-d's greatest gift to us.
>2. Does G-d love us as individuals?
> a. How would I know that, were it true? How does He express love?
ANSWER: I'm still grappling with these questions. Destruction, exile curse and blessings, pogroms, inquisitions, the Holocaust then finally redemption.
How can we worship Him if we are destroyed? He took us out with a strong arm and an outstretched hand. "Remember what I did for your fathers in the land of Egypt."
>3. What does G-d provide for me?
ANSWER: Out of every negative situation, you shall find a positive situation. e.g. I'm a parent and grandparent of an Israeli family 6,500 miles away, but sadness does not overcome me. I know my children are builders of Zion and are contributing their beautiful lives and education to the upbuilding of Israel. And when I finally am able to visit with them, we have a very special reunion. I've missed the young growing years of Uri and Shira, but when we are together in my old age, I know we have a very special bond, so unique that I can't find the words to express the emotions.
So through these living experiences, G-d provides us with strength and a "greater
love hath no man."
> a. What does He not?
ANSWER: G-d gives us free will to make both good or evil choices. What we do with this gift is entirely our choice, but G-d is watching in the wings to either meter out punishment, redemption or reward for our actions or inactions.
There are more questions than answers, but we all strive for Tikun Olam and the redemption of a tortured world. Have a lovely, peaceful Shabbat.
Grandma Anne Schwartz
Topic: Awe of Gd
By: Mordechai Torczyner
A quick, simple question: What is the purpose of Gd's demand that we have awe of Him (Yiras HaShem)?
Have a good Shabbos,
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