5 Elul 5769; August 25, 2009

Shalom to one and all...

Thank you all who have been showing your support for KOSHERTORAH. Please keep your support coming... Especially now as we enter the period approaching the High Holidays, please support us as generously as you can. Thank you again.

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Attention Kitten Lovers! We have for adoption four (4) eight week old kittens. Anyone who is sincerely interested in adopting one (or more) should contact me by email. Click here for pictures and details.

Hodesh Elul is here now! Please pass these KosherTorah essays around to your friends and others on your email lists. Let's see if together we can make a real difference...

All classes, old and new will resume in September. The new schedule will be posted in coming emails...

ATTN: I will be out of the office all this week... one last summer road trip to the national parks, mountain climbing, caving and hiking... if I don't get lost (intentionally) I'll be back in action Tuesday, Sept. 1st. Until then, please remember to support KosherTorah. Thanks.

Yosemite Nights
By HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok. Copyright (C) 2009 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.
I am sitting here tonight after gazing at one of the most beautiful skies I have ever seen. Watching the sunset over Yosemite is awesome. The great mountains, the majestic view fill the normal heart with majesty and awe of G-d.

It is mind boggling to me how people can be so impressed with urban living, big cities and the so-called "fancy" night life. The technological terrors of modern life are so insignificant when compared to the natural power of HaShem. And you see the Divine Hand in the majestic beauty of what He has made.

Not for naught does the Torah and later prophets tells us to go out into nature and to there allow the awe and wonder of nature to be absorbed into us. This is how we see G-d.

HaShem created the natural world. Human beings created the civilized world. HaShem's natural world manifests the awe and wonder of its Creator. Humanity's civilized world manifests only his shortsightedness and disconnection from everything sacred, holy and natural.

I pity those who despise a walk in nature, or a camping trip or a week long (or longer) voyage off trail into the great wilderness of creation, especially at times of unhospitable weather. I pity those who prefer air conditioning over the rustic fresh air of the great outdoors. I pity those who are so disconnected from the natural world that they only prefer that which is artificial and unnatural. And people ask why they feel so lost and disconnected from G-d!

I hear from so many people who ask me how to draw close to G-d. Well, I tell them the truth. I tell them what is simple. I tell them what is natural. There is no need for elongated philosophical lessons, no need for books to teach this. Drawing close to G-d is simple. G-d is Elokim, Elokim is HaTeva. You want to find G-d? Well then, go out into G-d's creation and you will find Him in what He Himself made.

You will not find G-d in that which humanity has made. Although G-d is everywhere and in everything, still G-d is mostly concealed by humanity's work, just as G-d is concealed and hidden in the individual overly-analytical mind. What is hidden from one's mind is obviously going to be hidden by one's work, which are the byproduct of one's mind. Therefore, it is hard to find G-d in the civilization created by humanity, whereas it is easy to find G-d in that which He has created.

Go out away from the city lights and see the lights of the stars of the sky. See the magnificence of that which G-d has made. Look for G-d where He is to be found. Draw near to Him where the veil of separation and illusion is thinnest. This is the easiest place to punch through the lies and penetrate to the truth.

Get out of the artificial box which you embrace so tight, and instead let go of the lie. Surrender to the Higher Hand and go back to the natural way. Indeed, you will have to give up much that is unnatural and artificial, but in place of what you give up, you will gain so much more; more than what words can describe.

Go out and look at the mountains, gaze up at the skies, remember you are G-d's creation. Act the part!


Shalom, HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok

phone: 818-345-0888
Stop! Take a moment, and say a sincere "thank you" to G-d for all the the good things you have right now.

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