Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 3, 2008 / 4 Tishrei 5769

The ‘living dead’ are all around us

By Rabbi A. Henach Leibowitz


Printer Friendly Version

Email this article


How to perform resurrection


“The days approach that you [Moses] must die.”

                        —  Deut. 31:14


The Torah definition of life and death goes far beyond having a regular pulse and respiration. In explaining the above verse, the Midrash (Tanchuma, Vayeilech, par. 4) tells us that a rasha — an evil person — is considered as dead, even though he seems to be healthy and alive. Why?


Because his physical body may be alive and well, but in spirit he is dead and buried.


Man is endowed by the Divine with abilities of perception and understanding. We can see and recognize the beauty and complexity of the universe and thereby can come to realize the greatness of the Designer and Builder of all creation. This realization triggers an automatic outpouring of gratitude and praise to Him for these delightful wonders. As we look at the world around us, we are constantly bombarded by "everyday miracles" and the astonishingly harmonious interaction of all the forces of nature. Seeds grow into plants. Babies are born. Our hearts beat unceasingly every minute of the day. Our eyes see, our ears hear.


Anyone who does not respond to these stimuli by praising the Creator is considered to be in a spiritually comatose state similar to death. Because the evil person does not appreciate the blessings of life bestowed upon him, not only does he not live life to the fullest, he does not live at all. If we, on the other hand, understand that the Divine renews creation everyday and we appreciate each new sunrise and every heartbeat as another gift from the Almighty, we will truly experience life and its pleasures.


Rabbi Nosson Zvi Finkel, known by the by the Yiddish appellation "The Alter of Slabodka" (1849-1927), suggested that we observe an infant as it begins its life in this world. At first he or she stares blankly into space. By the third month he or she visually follows an object and even begins to reach out to grab it. Soon this baby will make sounds and sit upright, eventually will walk, talk, and have a complete repertoire of fully developed motor and mental skills.


At each stage of the infant's development, the parents will be overjoyed and awed by the new advances their baby has made. Long-distance phone calls will be put through to the grandparents to inform them of their grandchild's latest tricks. Each nuance of the baby's development is appreciated, and his or her parents thank G-d for the wonderful miracles He is performing every day.


All of these developmental stages, the Alter explained, occur to each of us every day. When we are asleep, our metabolisms are slowed and our conscious functions are completely incapacitated. Nevertheless, each day the Divine opens our eyes and returns our skills and talents to us. The Alter of Slabodka emphasized that we must appreciate our abilities as if they were suddenly bestowed upon us this very day and we must rejoice each morning just as a mother celebrates each step of her child's maturation.


The more we open our eyes and minds to appreciate the blessings of creation that the Almighty constantly bestows upon us, and the abilities that are rejuvenated in our bodies every day, the more we can be considered vibrant and alive.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes inspiring articles. Sign up for our daily update. It's free. Just click here.


INSPIRED BY THIS ARTICLE?
BUY THE BOOK ...
at a discount by clicking HERE .

Comment by clicking here.

One of America's senior Torah sages, Rabbi A. Henach Leibowitz has been the dean of the Rabbinical Seminary of America, in Queens, New York for more than 50 years. The institution has branches and affiliates all across North America and Israel.

This article was prepared by two of the sage's disciples, Rabbi Aryeh Striks and Rabbi Shimon Zehnwirth, and excerpted from the just released book, "Pinnacle of Creation: Torah insights into human nature".


Previously:

We have the power to alter another's destiny — use it well
The Crowning Glory of Creation
The Divine's eternal, unconditional love
Perverting sincerity
Do 'clothes make the man'?
Divine vindictiveness?

© 2007, Mesorah Publications, Ltd.