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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 April 30, 2004 / 9 Iyar, 5764

The Divine is present where He is welcomed

By Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski


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Rethinking the conventional understanding of sin and the sinner


“The Tent of Meeting that dwells with them in the midst of their impurities.”

                        —   Leviticus16:16



“Even when they are in a state of contamination, the Divine Presence is with them.”

                  —   Talmud, tractate Yoma 57a


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Although disobeying the Divine will sets up a barrier between man and G-d, it is somewhat like a one-way mirror. We cause ourselves to be distant from G-d, but He is never distant from us. This is rather easy to understand. We sometimes see children who reject their parents, but regardless of how defiant the child may be, the parents' love for him is as intense as ever, and they long for his return to them.


When R' Mendel of Kotzk first joined the court of R' Simchah Bunim of P'shis'che, the latter asked him, ''Young man, where is G-d?'' R' Mendel answered, ''The entire world is full of His glory.'' R' Simchah Bunim repeated, ''Young man, I asked you, where is G-d?'' R' Mendel answered, ''There is no place that is devoid of Him.'' R' Simchah Bunim persisted, ''Young man, I am asking you, where is G-d?'' R' Mendel said, ''If my answers do not satisfy you, then you tell me.'' R' Simchah Bunim said, ''G-d can be found wherever He is welcomed.''


''He who is haughty of eye and large of desire, him I can not tolerate'' (Psalms 101:5). Of a vain and arrogant person the Talmud quotes G-d as saying, ''He and I cannot share the same dwelling'' (Talmud, Arachin 15b). G-d is indeed everywhere, but He withdraws His presence from a vain and arrogant person.


Committing a sin is not necessarily a denial or rejection of G-d. A person may simply have been overwhelmed by an urge that he did not suppress, or may not have realized that a sin causes him to be distant from G-d. However, a vain, egotistical person is one who is his own G-d. Inasmuch as there cannot be two G-ds, if a person thinks himself to be G-d, he cannot believe in the true G-d. There is no form of idolatry as absolute as the person who worships himself.



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In my writings on self-esteem, I suggested that vanity and conceit are desperate defenses whereby a person tries to cope with a sense of unworthiness. I was thrilled to find that no less an authority than Rabbeinu Yonah validates this concept. ''The vain person seeks to compensate for his feeling of defectiveness by means of grandiosity'' (Rabbeinu Yonah al HaTorah, p. 156). A person with healthy self-esteem does not seek the praise and recognition of others to remind him that he has value.


If a person truly believes that he possesses a Divine neshamah (soul), he will realize that he has great worth, and even if he may have gone astray in his behavior, he is nevertheless worthy by virtue of his Divine neshamah. Anyone with a profound feeling of unworthiness must be in denial that he has within himself the breath of G-d. Man's closeness to G-d is by virtue of his neshamah, which craves to be united with its Source. Denial of having a Divine neshamah precludes a close relationship with G-d.


G-d is with us even if we have sinned. As long as we feel a desire to be close to G-d, we know ourselves to be of His essence, and that we are capable of becoming more spiritual. This opens the door to teshuvah (reptentance), and this is why the above verse is contained in the narrative of the Yom Kippur service.

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Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D. is a psychiatrist and ordained rabbi. He is the founder of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh, a leading center for addiction treatment. An Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he is a prolific author, with some 30 books to his credit, including, "Twerski on Chumash" (Bible), from which this was excerpted (Sales of this book help fund JWR). Comment by clicking here.

© 2004, Mesorah Publications, Ltd.