5 Kislev 5778 / Thursday, November 23, 2017 | Torah Reading: Vayeitzei
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A Religion Without G-d    

A Religion Without G-d

The soul wants to connect to something higher than itself. That's how we feel alive in this world. We feel greater by plugging into something bigger…


For they bow to vanity and emptiness and pray to a god which helps them not. But we bend our knees, bow, and acknowledge our thanks before the King Who reigns over kings, the Holy One, blessed is He.

The Aleinu Prayer


Hashem gave us two selves, the physical self, and the spiritual self. Both are hungry. If we don't serve Hashem with the same consistency that we eat our meals, terrible things can happen.


Hunger is the best spice. The hungrier we are, the tastier any type of dish becomes. Foods you promised never to enter your lips suddenly become very appealing.


The same applies for the soul.


But what nourishment does the soul want?


The soul wants to connect to something higher than itself. That's how we feel alive in this world. We feel greater by plugging into something bigger.


This is food for the soul. The meals must be served one way or another.


How does the soul eat?


1. We connect to G-d. Hashem is the Universe and all that's in it. He is the Ultimate Bigness. The one and only place to surrender your soul. There is no greater way to feel a part of the infinite than to connect to Him. We do it by learning His Torah, performing His mitzvot, and living up to His standards of personal conduct. We do it with clear awareness that we are serving Him at every moment.


2. We pretend to serve G-d. This is the most dangerous way to live. We perform rituals, like not turning on our cellphones on Shabbat, or saying a quick prayer in the morning. We do it because we have to. We do it to get it out of the way so we can do what's really important to us. It is a religion without G-d. We don't connect to Hashem. Even as our bodies are replete with kosher food, our souls are empty. We still desperately need something to fill the void, and anything around looks tasty. This applies to all religions.


3. We don't serve G-d at all. We spend our days immersed in the material. It can be social media. It can be a constant news feed. It can be hip-hop, celebrities, movies, television, gossip, politics, and sports. We fill our bodies and emotions with everything this world has to offer to the point that we get obsessed with the next image that appears on our Smartphone. As each moment passes, our soul becomes more ravenous.


What happens then?


For those in categories two and three, representing the majority of us on earth, we become desperate for anything to connect to. We will listen to any message that makes us feel connected to something larger.


We self-sacrifice for Hillary Clinton. We self-sacrifice for Donald Trump. We self-sacrifice for the gays, the Syrian refugees, and the Palestinians. Why would we do such things? Because someone at the other end of the computer screen is telling you that you are making a personal sacrifice for them. They are convincing you that in submitting yourself to these lofty dreams, you are a part of something bigger than yourself. They are feeding your soul with pork chops and bacon.  


How could we be deluded into thinking that Barrack Obama had the power of a god? How can those who fervently follow Donald Trump see him not as a leader, but as their savior?


When we don't feed the soul by connecting to Hashem, we will take the most appealing substitute offered to us. The evil one of Germany never said murder. He never said pillage. He said that it was the greatest service to the nation to fight for the master race by eradicating those who would seek to destroy it. ISIS and Hezbollah don't say torture. They don't say rape. They call it jihad. They call it holy. They hypnotize you by telling you that service of the Almighty is in performing those acts He specifically calls evil. But since they say you are serving a higher cause in doing so, people swallow the bait.


The worst tragedies in history happen when demonic sociopaths offer starving souls exactly what they crave.


They know it, too. Hitler's closest confidant was the man who spread his message. Joseph Goebbels was head of propaganda for the Nazi regime. He had total control over all of the media. How vital did the evil one of Germany see this role? In his will, Hitler named Goebbels as his successor.


Nothing's changed.


A "media soldier," in ISIS, who promotes their message of jihad through social media, forums, blogging, and all channels of communication to the world, makes seven times the salary as a combat soldier in the battlefield.


How do we combat such coordinated attacks on our lives? Hashem gives us the answer. The first two commandments are direct warnings against what evil conspires:


1. I am Hashem.

2. You shall have no other gods before Me.


As long as we connect to Hashem, we feel absolutely no need to connect with anything else. His presence shields us from any foreign influence trying to infiltrate our conscience. If we fail to connect to G-d, by either living a life devoid of mitzvot, or worse, living a life full of mitzvot but devoid of acknowledging Who we are performing them for, we become vulnerable to attack.


How do we know we are being perverted into something we weren't put on this earth for?


If you hear the names Barrack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump and you immediately focus more than you would at the mention of Hashem and anything in His Torah, this is your warning signal.


Be vigilant to serve the King of all kings, and not just a king. They can come for you at any time.


* * *

Dovber Halevi runs the website http://www.proudlycandid.com/. On it you can find 1,001 Reasons to Love Israel.

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