With Jewish Self Confidence and Love

Securing the Land  of Israel with Jewish Self Confidence and Love

By: Gedaliah Aronson

Inspired by The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s assurance that when we will have faith and trust in Hashem that the Land Of Israel belongs unequivically to the Jewish people than “no one will contest the matter.”

We, the Jewish People, must finally and firmly move on from the idea that we have to get the world to accept us and our right to exist. The fact is that Israel exists and the Jewish people exist regardless of whether anybody accepts this reality or “our right” to this reality or not. We do not exist by virtue of others giving their approval. It is not their approval to give. The fact that we exist, have existed, and will always exist is a reality not determined by the approval of other finite beings; it is a reality continually created and re-affirmed at every moment by the Creator of all things. Why should we care if anyone denies our right to existence? If you were sitting on the bus and someone approached you, and out of nowhere started shouting “you have no right to exist” would you waste your time “proving” to him that you have a right to exist? Would his statement actually make you doubt your right to your own existence? It certainly would be a strange occurrence and the person’s behavior would be puzzling, but you would move on rather quickly. No one can claim that anything lacks the right to exist because they did not bring it into existence. Even within the context of trying to impress upon others our right to exist, most of the people who we are trying to convince have already stated and shown very clearly that they do not accept that right. In fact, it just empowers them and they see it as a weakness to exploit. They see that we care so desperately for their approval and they do not approve, so psychologically they use this against us and will continue to do so until we assert with confidence that we could care less what they accept.

When attempting to “prove” our legitimate existence, as faulty and futile as it is to begin with, we always point to things that just don’t hold up and the world doesn’t accept anyway. For instance we point to the United Nations partition plan of 1947 and how the Arabs rejected it and we accepted it etc. It has been said regarding the United Nations that the only thing they unite on is condemning Israel. The same body that apparently we rely on for legitimacy prolongs the conflict by establishing refugee status laws and refugee camps that encourage a continued refugee problem as well as hatred towards Jews and Israel. This is the only “refugee crises” in the world that has it’s own agency (The UNRWA united nations relief works agency) and has had it’s own agency for over 60 years! Their definition of a Palestinian refugee is anyone who was living in the area between 1946-1948 and either fled, were pushed out (because of the 1948 war initiated by Arab invaders) or willingly left on their own accord. This status extends to their descendants as well! I have a feeling there is no desire here on the part of the U.N to make peace. Sadly the Palestinian refugee “crises” has become a business and a calculated political operation. Descendants of descendants and so on; according to the U.N’s own standard the Jewish People are far more legitimate than the “Palestinians” considering that we have been forcefully removed from our homeland repeatedly for thousands of years. It’s as if they stole the idea of right out of our Holy Torah. G-d promises Avraham (Abraham) that he is giving the land to his descendants through Yitzchak (Issac) as an eternal inheritance. Perhaps it’s yet another attempt to deny and cover up the very deeply rooted Jewish connection to the Land of Israel. The UNRWA has founded and funded schools, camps, and hospitals, and in these places it has been found that no concern on their part is made about the indoctrination of children by the various terrorist militias and it has been found that they have even aided these groups in their efforts against Israel. The ironic tragedy and injustice in all of this is that generations of innocent and unwitting Palestinian children are being, and will be used (G-d forbid) as political pawns by the very organization established to help them… and yet the world condemns Israel. The U.N. needs to prove their legitimacy far before we do. Additionally, the whimsical and very Israel hostile U.N could make a resolution tomorrow condemning our right to exist! Would we then conclude ourselves that our existence is illegitimate?

The Balfour declaration is by now overlooked and almost forgotten. Regardless it is certainly not considered by the world as binding. Even if it was considered “binding,” what is considered binding by international law today can be thrown out tomorrow. So the Balfour Declaration is not worth the argument either. If we are going to engage in the discussion of our legitimacy let’s make a real claim that reflects our Jewishness: G-d gave this land to the Jewish people as an eternal inheritance.

Furthermore, it is crucial for us to stop stressing our unwavering commitment to the peace process, the goal of which is quite clearly not our safety and security. We should also cease from pointing out all we have done over the years for the sake of peace. Quite frankly the other parties involved in the peace process and those who really don’t care for Israel are not interested in such actions or commitments and will always say that it is not enough. Unfortunately we cannot make peace with those on the terms we like if those we are trying to make peace with do not want peace! On the micro level, if you gesture kindly to someone and that person socks you in the face, would you return to him in an effort to make peace? If that is a person that you have to live and deal with on a regular basis your security from him and his respect for you is what matters. If you run after him seeking peace after he clearly showed you how he feels, he will walk all over you. So why do we do this over and over and over again on a macro level?

Who do we need to convince most about our right and our claim to our land? Ironically it is ourselves. Many people are inclined to talk about how terrible and destructive Obama’s policies towards Israel are (and they are!). Obama’s policies towards Israel are simply following the tradition of past administration’s policies. It may be becoming more apparent that whoever formulates, advocates, and dictates policy towards Israel for the past many years it has been moving in this direction does not have Israel’s best interest at heart. There is, however, no difference in trend between Bush’s policies and Obama’s. It’s not that I do not feel that these policies are absolutely abhorrent and have been so, but these policies would not be able to come to fruition whatsoever if we were unified as a people. Additionally, American and western policy in general towards Israel originally took its lead from our own continuous inner struggle and doubt about our rights.

Immediately after winning a defensive and existentially threatening war in 1967, emissaries were sent to Washington to express Israel’s willingness to return the territories they definitively and rightfully won. This stunned Washington and the Arabs. Imagine that for the first time in history territory that was won in a war was being readily returned, this is unheard of! Not only was it won in just any war, but a defensive war, a war for Israel’s very survival. Often we look at this and we are very proud of the fact that we were willing to show the world that we were not in it for the “spoils” of war, but that we just wanted peace and to be left alone in our own country. While this definitely shows our unique character and it is a character trait we should be proud of, we must be careful about how we express it. Does it and did it advance peace? It absolutely did not advance peace. The Arabs do not and have not responded to such overtures with grace to say the least; furthermore if Washington and the west as a whole wanted to formulate some sort of policy in the Middle East, for whatever reason, it became very clear whom they could readily pressure and who was readily willing to concede. Since then, and because of the unexamined script we have always come to repeat, we have become the De Facto party on all sides to receive all the pressure no matter how destructive what we are being asked to do is to us.

None of this is to ignore or undermine the absurd standards the world wants to hold only us to, which so often has to do with blatant anti-Semitism. This is all the more so why we must be strong and unapologetic about protecting our people and our land regardless of world opinion. I believe first and foremost we need to strengthen our own faith and trust in ourselves, in each other, in our unquestionable claim to all of Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel), and in The ONE Above, who’s promise to us is the only thing that makes our claim unquestionable and eternal. We must also increase in the all-encompassing Mitzvah of Ahavat Yisrael (love of one’s fellow Jew) this goes for every single Jew without any distinction. It is said that the destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem was caused by baseless hatred amongst Jews and that the rectification of this is baseless love. This is a love that is not based on logic as it goes far deeper than logic. This is a love that just needs to be uncovered and not developed because it is inherent to our souls. The best way to combat anti-Semitism is not to convince the rest of the world to love us or to disprove the canards of those espousing them, it is rather to love each other first…. than we can deal with the rest, if it even remains.

Understanding OCD

Understanding OCD

By: Gedaliah  Aronson

The basic formula for OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is the same no matter how the disorder manifests itself in each individual. OCD has been labeled over the years as “the doubting disorder.” It is important to understand that all OCD sufferers are involved in a very intense battle with uncertainty. There is nothing in life anyone can be sure of with 100% certainty; there is always room for doubt no matter how small. Even if we can be 99% sure of something, there is still a 1% window of doubt. That small portion of doubt can be focused on, amplified, and therefore inflated to appear as though it is actually incredibly larger than it is. If we were to look at that doubt “particle” under a microscope it would no longer appear small or insignificant. I believe this can be used as an analogy to describe, in some way, what is happening emotionally in the midst of obsessing. Sufferers of OCD are very familiar with the question “what if…?” and have an amazing ability to delve deeply into that question. OCD requires a great deal of creativity and an ability to imagine what it might be like in “what if” scenarios to the point of actually feeling as though one is within the scenario.

This comes with much pressure, stress, anxiety and overall discomfort. It should be pointed out that this is not something that an OCD sufferer engages in willingly because they enjoy doing it. OCD is an exhausting and painful disorder and among the factors involved are biology and brain chemistry. In fact, the distinctive brain activity of OCD sufferers can be seen in a PET-Scan. There have even been cases where OCD sufferers, not yet aware that they had OCD, have gone to see neurologists for fear that they were suffering from serious physicals problems within the brain. In at least one situation a neurologist was familiar enough with the characteristics of the brain activity associated with OCD that he was able to lead the person in the direction of proper treatment for the disorder.

Dr. Jonathan Grayson points out in his book, “Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,” that OCD sufferers have an ability to suspend their own realities and imagine what something might be like in various situations. This is often why OCD sufferers make good listeners, and are frequently the ones that friends choose to seek out to talk about difficulties, because the same quality that can make an obsession feel exceedingly real and tremendously scary is also the quality that allows them to place themselves in  the shoes of a friend in need.

In the process of OCD a person experiences a “trigger” or “spike” which is a thought involving a word, phrase, idea, situation or scenario that is bothersome and intrusive. The intrusive part of the thought is the doubt and uncertainty present within it, i.e., the unwanted and therefore very scary possibilities implied, “if that’s true then that could mean…” Here an obsession cycle begins because the possibilities are endless. Sometimes the cycle of doubt can begin with the question, “why did I have that thought and what does it imply about me?” After much focus, attention and rumination, all of which happen incredibly fast, the doubt is magnified on an emotional level as if it were being viewed under a microscope.

To better understand this we can take an example from something we experience everyday. We cannot be 100% percent sure that the roof above our heads will not collapse as we sit under it, so why do we risk our lives everyday by going into buildings or living in our homes? We accept, with very reasonable evidence, that although we cannot be 100% certain of such an occurrence, the possibility is slight enough that we can feel safe in taking such a “chance.” This is an example of uncertainty tolerance and we all accept uncertainty to some degree or we would never be able to do anything in life; we would be frozen still. If there is a realistic possibility and certainly a probability of hazard, we would take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and others. If we had enough evidence that a certain building was unsafe and should not be entered because it would be a realistic risk to do so, we would not enter and we would publicize the problem to protect others until the hazards could be eliminated.

Within the context of an obsession there is, in the emotional realm, very terrifying “evidence of hazard.” The OCD sufferer takes measures to remove the doubt, uncertainty and anxiety and these measures are called rituals. This is true with regard to the many manifestations of the disorder including contamination obsessions and rituals (like hand washing), “Inflated Responsibility” OCD,” and what is sometimes called “Pure-Obsessional” OCD, where both the obsessions and rituals take place cognitively without overt physical action.

A fascinating factor of OCD is that the sufferer is aware that what he or she is doing to combat the overwhelming anxiety is excessive and unreasonable. Sufferers do not enjoy ritualizing any more than they enjoy the terrible anxiety they are trying so hard to fight. People with OCD are not experiencing a disconnect with rationality, they are pained by the cognitive dissonance, i.e., “I know this is ridiculous, but it just feels so real and I feel I have to engage” is not an uncommon description of the inner turmoil.

There is much logic within the OCD as well. For instance, if someone is very concerned with environmental issues and values not being a litterer, they may be very meticulous to throw out their own garbage. If this person had OCD and was bothered by the garbage that is left on the street by others, the OCD may engage in an argument that they are hypocritical by not picking up other people’s trash. In fact, by ignoring it, they may be just as in the wrong as if they left it there themselves. OCD sufferers are very intellectually honest and this thought would be very intriguing and bothersome because they are willing to look into the thought and ask themselves, “is this true?!” They may engage in the following thought process: “I should pick up the garbage that I see as I walk down the street. But I can’t because that would take up so much time. But what if it’s up to me to set an example for others to follow suit? But I can’t be responsible for everybody’s actions; I can only do my part. But doesn’t that mean I don’t really care as much as I think I do about the issue? No, of course I care! But perhaps I’m not showing that I care by ignoring the garbage of others.” At this point, or further on in this internal argument, the person may feel compelled to pick up the garbage and that would be a ritual, and the additional difficulty is how far will it go?

Fortunately there is help. A combination of both medication and a specific facet of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) called Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) is the recommended treatment. In general, one function of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is to help people examine their thought processes and identify possible cognitive distortions (erroneous notions and/or unhealthy and unexamined beliefs), and put them under the lens of logical scrutiny and analysis. The behavioral component then works in two ways: Firstly, changing behavior based on this cognitive process, so that by modifying the way we think we utilize our mind to help guide our emotions, make better decisions, and take more positive and healthy action. Secondly, taking steps to change behavior in the first place has a positive effect on mood, i.e., by changing our behavior; we can have a positive effect on the way we think and feel. We do not have to wait until there is inspiration and motivation to act, rather taking action can eventually stimulate inspiration, motivation and positive mood.

The cognitive element works a good bit differently with OCD. Since OCD’s underlying challenge is the intolerance of uncertainty and persistent doubting, analyzing cognitive distortions specifically about obsessions could actually be a form of ritualizing. For someone who struggles with social anxiety it may be remarkably helpful to review any unhealthy and unexamined beliefs they may have, and be able to see, through self-evaluation, where their thinking is flawed. If one holds a double standard for themselves regarding what is appropriate behavior at a party for instance, they may always live in great fear that everyone is judging them for the “fool they make of themselves.” In this case it would be helpful, and eventually very satisfying, for them to see where they are misjudging and holding themselves to a standard that they would not expect for anyone else. With OCD however, there always remains the window of doubt, the ever cycling, “but what if?!” The goal in ERP is not to show where the OCD sufferer’s reasoning does not add up, because with regard to their obsessions they are already painfully aware of the cognitive dissonance. Additionally, no matter how much it is proven that they have nothing to worry about there is always the “but what if?!” The goal of ERP than is to help gain an acceptance of uncertainty. This is an exceedingly challenging and difficult task, but it continues to be very effective. In Exposure-Response Prevention, OCD sufferers are exposed to the discomforting stimuli and encouraged to accept the uncertainty by not ritualizing and seeking reassurance.  The acceptance is two fold. On the one hand accepting to live with uncertainty in general, just as it is accepted within things not pertaining to one’s obsessions. On the other hand accepting uncertainty within the specific obsessions. The acceptance is intellectual at first, the most difficult element is putting this acceptance into practice when the instinctual urges to ritualize are stimulated. This is not an overnight process by any means, and is something that requires much bravery and determination, as well as, personal understanding and love, in addition to the love and understanding of family members and close friends.

ERADICATING EVIL

ERADICATING EVIL (Updated)

Eradicating Evil

Fighting evil head on is a difficult task, and sometimes we get hung up on this head on approach. Though it is a noble task and certainly the efforts behind it are not wasted, it has been said that this is not the most practical task in our times. The task in our times is to fight evil by smothering it with goodness. When in dark times light a candle. In a dark room a candle dispels much darkness, imagine billions of candles…The darkness will cease to exist. When it seems that the darkness has the upper hand shine forth your light with more intensity by increasing in deeds of goodness and kindness We may think very little about our deeds of kindness, we may feel the sense of accomplishing nothing but this is only our subjectivity and our human condition. Evil may make a lot of noise but in truth this noise always dissipates and fades away. Goodness on the other hand is eternal and it is accumulative, in fact it is only because of the good deeds of all previous generations that we are still here today. Darkness is hanging on only by very loose threads (the proof is that it is making so much noise because it knows very well it’s end is near, Like a wrestler who knows he is about to loose so he makes one last very desperate attempt to overthrow his opponent yet he knows this is for naught)..All we must do is shine. Think of one more positive thing to do each day and do it! The darkness will soon be transformed to light. Dawn is very close.

Some Ideas:

Sending a Nice Surprise:
Mail a card or letter, or send an e-card.
Give an unexpected present or send flowers.

Putting the Phone to GOOD Use:
Call an old friend, or call your children just to say hi.
Call to compliment someone on a job well done.

Kind and Thoughtful Speech:
Suppress an urge to gossip.
Thank someone for their efforts.
Look for and speak about the good qualities of others.

Devoting Time for Others:
VOLUNTEER.
Make a new friend.
Visit someone in a hospital or nursing home and cheer them up.

The Joy of Giving:
Donate your magazines to a nursing home.
Give some charity every day (money and/or kind acts).*
Put money in an expired parking meter (besides your own!).

etc…etc.etc.etc. the list is infinite!

NEW SOUND FUSE ALBUM FREE DOWNLOAD!

Click the link below to Download the new album

http://www.driveway.com/d6z2j8u7c7

SONG ORDER:
1. Soaring
2. Forever
3. Buoy Up
4. Bongo Donut
5. Nights on Fire
6. Throw Forward
7. Come Together
8. Back N Forth
9. Weslike
10. Junkyard Blues
11. Feel Good
12. Hope Dies Last

THE SOUND FUSE combines the talents and musical exploratory spirit of John Lukenbaugh and Matt Aronson. The duo creates a diverse fusion resulting from their broad range of musical styles and influences. Their sound has a distinct and versatile character. Styles and influences include HIP-HOP, Reggae, Drum n’ Bass, Rock and Jazz and all sounds in between. Aronson and Lukenbaugh began writing and recording together in 2007, and have just recently released their first album via free download titled “Much Higher to Go.” They believe firmly in the power of music to affect positive change in the world and to bring to light the unity that exists therein. Collaborations with other musicians are also highly valued elements to their sound. Always audibly unpredictable, unafraid to experiment and explore, THE SOUND FUSE is sure to delight your soul and ears.

THERE IS ONE

There is only ONE. One existence, One Reality. We only exist because of the truth of his existence. Our

world exists within him. If he did not continually re-invest himself in his creation at every moment, than

we would revert back to naught and nothingness G-d forbid! Many ask the question “does G-d exist”

however not so many ask “Do we exist and if so why?”

LINKS

316656gmok_w-1.jpg The following links are places on the web that I highly recommend 😉 Hope you enjoy!

http://www.myspace.com/mattaronson: Hear some of my music

http://www.thewellsprings.org : Learn Rabbinic Lurianic Authentic Kosher Kaballah with Rabbi Yossi Markel

http://www.Revealtheessence.com : Learn Hasidic Philosophy and discover your inner essence

http://www.truekaballah.com: Another great sight for Kosher Kaballah and Hasidic philosophy

Feminen and Masculine dynamics (Quote Corner 2)

“From your father you may learn the things you must do; from your mother you learn who you are.”
-The Lubavitcher Rebbe

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