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With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful.
23, 2009, on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. *** Soon after my bar mitzvah, just as I was discovering my interest in the opposite sex, I began to be bombarded with information about intermarriage—about how one in every two Jewish people would marry a non-Jew and how more than half of the children of those unions would not be raised Jewish.
Rather, it is just a matter of how each person chooses to react to a given situation.
Today, think of a problematic aspect of your life, and then try to imagine how life would be different - not if the situation changed, but if your attitude changed.
The Sages are empowered to make "protective fences." This is part and parcel of the Torah, and is not considered extra.
(Though of course, the Sages will specify that their fence is rabbinic in nature, to avoid confusion with the Torah law.) As one example, the Torah says: "Do not boil a kid in it's mother's milk." On a Torah level, this only refers to meat from the three domesticated animals - cow, goat and sheep.
When you reflect on life, you will see that many of the things that happen to a person are not inherently good or bad.
Can we then say that people would be better off being less spiritual so that they would not be subjected to as much suffering?
No, for if we carry this argument to its logical extreme, we would be still better off being cows in the pasture and not suffering at all. The Rabbi of Kotzk commented, "Maybe so, but let me suffer and be wise rather than be tranquil and a fool." try to have the faith that God will give me no greater burden than I can bear(see tomorrow's tidbit).
I resolved that I would only go out with Jewish girls. I attributed this to the fact that I was kind of nerdy: My extra-curricular activities included musical theater, video games, and Dungeons & Dragons, not exactly the types of things that made a guy popular with the ladies. I had numerous opportunities, on the other hand, to date non-Jewish women.
In high school, this decision proved to be mostly moot. I tried not to follow up on them at first, but I was frustrated and lonely and had finite willpower.