Everything I Wanted to Say to my Teenage Daughter that She didn’t Want to Hear

I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how to write the “super blog”. So if you’re among the few thousand readers who logged on to this post, thank G-d! I made it. However, if you’re the only person in the world who clicked here today, then I thank G-d even more; because I finally got you to pay attention to what I have to say.

Please understand that it’s not that I want to do all the talking. I also want to listen to you and validate your feelings; but you don’t tell me things anymore. So how can we communicate if you won’t listen or share? I know it must have been frustrating sometimes, that your mother and I didn’t really know when to stop treating you like a child, but we made the effort and if you don’t meet us even part of the way you will never know how good our relationship can be.

You know, we all have unique personalities by which we develop our familiar ways of being. You don’t learn it and you don’t earn it. In fact, we all have an always-already way of being that starts in the womb. Your anger issues must have started then because during your mom’s pregnancy, she used say that she had better eat before you start kicking her again.  It was as if you had figured out how to let her know that you were getting hungry. Then you showed your stubborn streak during your birth. You were halfway down the canal and then suddenly stopped. You mother tried pushing with all she could muster but to no avail, so the doctor had to drag you out kicking and screaming with a pair of forceps. When you finally emerged you looked like you were in need of anger management therapy.

Yet, once the nurse swaddled you and put you in the bassinet you became quiet; looking around trying to size up the situation. In the next moment, I stepped up behind you and snapped a picture with a flash. What a Kodak moment that was! Your eyes opened wide and you turned your little peanut head in the direction of the flash. The two doctors and two nurses were laughing, astounded; they said that they had never seen a newborn do that (maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but we were all surprised and impressed). Thus, you made a grand entrance and you were the star attraction; a real headliner. I knew then that I was in for the ride of my life and you proved me right.

Nonetheless, with all of the aggravation and heartache, I knew that you had the makings of a star and that someday you would learn how to wire up your head to your heart and connect them. I wanted to be there always to guide you, even though I had to end up shoved into a remote corner like a useless broomstick by the time you were fifteen. I also remembered that when I was a teenager, one of the favorite topics of conversation was kids complaining about their parents being too . . . whatever. That’s why, I knew it was going to be my turn, but I never wanted you to think of me as one of those fuddy-duddy parents who could never understand their kids; I guess that was just unavoidable.

Anyway, as you were growing larger by the minute, there was always this driving force within you; a huge amount of emotional energy like a boiler that has to blow off steam or explode. You also had an amazing psychic awareness that had us all gawking in wonderment. When you were two years old, we were living in the top half of a duplex with a flight of stairs leading from the front door to the living room. Every time someone was unlocking the door, knocking or ringing the bell, you would say who it was before he or she came in. Whenever you did that, I was flabbergasted; especially when you would say your brother’s name and he would show up two minutes later. I use to think that the police might one day ask you to solve their crimes.

You also hated being confined; but rather than complain, you sat quietly in your playpen planning your escape. I never did figure out how, but you dug a gaping hole in one corner big enough to crawl through. It took two months but you pulled off a perfect prison break.

Then all of a sudden, you were wearing pigtails with those big eyes and dimpled smile. Everybody marveled at what a beautiful child you were. You danced your way into the hearts of your teachers at the Robert Mann Dance School in Bayside. Tip tapping to “Little Grass Shack in Hawaii” with that hula skirt during your first recital was a riot, but I was crying. The teacher put you front row center because you were the only kid who had the timing right with the heel-toe thing.

A year later, we found out you could sing too when we sent you to pre-school at the YM-WHA. The teacher got into a fit because you were humming the theme to “The Godfather” movie. She thought you were watching inappropriate material.

You have all the qualities for survival and success; unstoppable determination. But you also have no impulse control, because you haven’t had enough time to learn to evaluate the unintended consequences. I tried to guide you and sometimes I lost it with some anger impulse of my own. You see, this internal struggle never ends and get more complicated as you get older. Now you are only responsible for yourself, but as you get older you will be responsible for others. Nonetheless you still have a profound effect on your younger sister and the rest of your family.

However, as you reach adulthood, your decisions will actually alter the life path of others and may even determine the result in life or death situations. Thus it becomes even more imperative to assess and evaluate the different possible outcomes of your choices before you make them. But you didn’t listen to me and decided to ride the whirlwind. I rode it with you. It broke my heart to see you in prison gray at the kiddie jail. We learned a lot about each other during the family group therapy sessions that followed in the “Second Chance” program. My heart then swelled with pride when I looked at your high school diploma and I was doing mental cartwheels on your first day of attending college.

Now you just turned twenty and the teenager roller coaster ride is over for me. I am a little wobbly in the knees, but as I watch you now with your new-found dedication to your school work, I couldn’t be prouder. Perhaps we had to go through the whole father-daughter storm after your Mom and I got divorced, but I am glad that you chose to live with me.


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The Line

We are always dealing with an unseen truth that governs our lives and exists beyond our capacity to notice.

Tow the line, line up, stay in line, you’re way out of line, walk a straight line, don’t cross that line, take a number and wait in line, don’t cut in line, make that deadline or it’s the end of the line, so let’s get our ducks in a row, which is not an exact match but in line with what I’m saying.

The line is also merely an icon; a concept; and it’s the gateway to all shapes and perceptions; but in our physical reality, like the point, it doesn’t exist. Think about it; the entire universe – all physical existence arises from something that has one dimension and joins two points of no dimensions. Therefore, it has no physicality; hence, the line has no physical existence. You are most probably going to say, “It does exist because you can draw it on paper and there it is.” But the line you drew is really a skinny rectangle on close inspection, and even though you could draw it in one stroke, it has to have at least two dimensions in order for you to see it on the paper. So if it has two dimensions, then it has to have four sides; thus you actually drew a rectangle.

However, if your drawing divides the paper in your mind and you move your finger from one side to the other, then you have crossed your made-up line with one digit. Similarly, the edge of the paper is also a line, but only if you look at the structure as it exists with its finite dimensions. In other words, if you look at the edge of the paper you are looking at something measurable; a paper thin rectangle. But if you look at its surface from above and move along crossing over from paper to no paper you have crossed the line to a space where it doesn’t exist.

Moreover, when we speak about lines we are talking about straight ones for which the classic definition is the shortest distance between two points. So if it has any wiggles or waves it is not a line but rather a series of arcs joined together in a regular or irregular fashion. On the other hand, in the mathematical world the line is a one dimensional figure than continues infinitely in two opposite directions, so when we speak of the shortest connection between two points we have to call it a finite segment of an infinite line. However, the only practical way to define a line is to talk about a limited distance from one point to another; moving through space and time. Now, the mind blowing reality is that there is no such thing as a straight line because according to Einstein’s calculations, space is curved.

Therefore, as you move from one spot to another in a “straight” line you are actually moving along a curve. Accordingly, if you pick two points far enough from each other and connect the dots with the shortest distance between them, you will end up exactly where you started and will have completed a circle. But when we look we only “see” the straight line segments and there are innumerable mathematical formulas and theorems centered on the relationship between them in how they intersect or how they remain apart from each other; all the while we are really working with the segments of one very large circle. So the straight line is, in the ultimate reality, an arc, which makes me wonder, “What is the undetected reality of the arc?” Therefore, any sane person with intelligence will have to agree that we are always dealing with an unseen truth that governs our lives and exists beyond our capacity to notice. Most of us refer to this unseen truth as “G-d”.

However, the definition of the line is the key to understanding the role of an entity that doesn’t exist but forms the foundation of all existence. The line is the boundary that sets limitations. It is the contraction of infinity to the finite. It is the formation of something from nothing because a line has no physical substance; not even energy. But you can declare that it exists between two points and if you cross over you are on the other side. Sometimes you can go back but don’t want to, sometimes you wish you could but can’t and sometimes you can bounce back and forth like a ping pong ball until some one close to you screams, “I wish you’d make up your mind already!”

Thus, the line has two opposing applications: stationary structure and change vis-à-vis movement through time and space. First, the line straight or curved is the one component of all shapes. The process of building all structures is connecting points in three dimensional planes with lines. Hence, this non existent line provides the formation of our cities and highways, which in turn establishes how we live. People put lines and circles together in different configurations to develop buildings and roads that meet our needs and allow us to live more conveniently.

At the same time, the buildings and roads cause us to live within an organized framework. We have to get up at a certain time and go to school, work or place of worship. Likewise, structure also means regulation, boundaries, rules and a line of demarcation between right and wrong. Every decision is an answer to the question “Should I or shouldn’t I?” To be sure, there are ethical questions for which the answers are not so clear like, “Should I support embryonic stem cell research or shouldn’t I?” But, we all live in a society of laws and we need other people to guide us to where that line of demarcation is so we can land on the side of decency. There are many arguments and rationalizations but it all boils down to yes or no for you; on which side of the line you want to be. Once you take a side, you live with the consequences, which have a rippling effect.

Finally, this concept applies also to morality and ethics; i.e. the line of demarcation between right and wrong or good and evil. Although some would argue that such lines are often fuzzy and that there are gray areas of controversy, the fact remains that there are truly two opposing sides to every issue.

Then, of course, there is the underlying motive for choosing to do or not do anything; which can be for self gratification, or to help someone you know, someone you don’t know, the community in which you live or all of humanity. Sometimes however, self gratification is the right motivation and other times it leads to trouble for the short sighted. The great Hillel said about two thousand years ago, “If I am not for me who will be and if am only for me, what am I?” Thus, we even have choice between the reasons why we choose what we do.

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The Point

That which cannot be measured is the start of everything measurable.

Stay on point. Make your point. It’s pointless. Point it out. It’s not polite to point. Where are you pointing? Get the point? There’s a point to all of this. It’s a point of reference as it’s an icon of precision, which provides many distinctions in our language that actually govern our thought speech and action.

The point defines an exact location in space, yet has no width, length, area or volume; in short, it has no physical existence. Therefore, that which cannot be measured is the start of everything measurable. The point, in the abstract also defines an exact moment in time and defines a process with respect to beginning, middle and end. In other words, we use the concept of point as it is defined in the physical sense to mark the beginning, middle and end of every aspect of our being; i.e. conversations, movements, relationships, thoughts, speech, war, peace, tests, line segments, journeys, music, stories and life.

Furthermore, since the point has no dimensions, it is not possible for us to locate any physical object by a single coordinate in space because any dimensional object regardless of size covers an infinite number of points. In other words, finite objects limited to a specific size have within their shapes a realm of infinite locations in space, i.e. points; all structures emanate from the connecting of non-existent dots. Thus we begin to see that the finite arises from the infinite so we can further conclude that infinity is G-d and everything finite is his creation of something from nothing.

To go one step further, the fact that everything stems from nothing requires continuous creation. To explain, if a human conceives an idea and paints it into a picture, he or she created something from something. The canvass and paint were there; ready for the artist to utilize the raw material. So, the painter merely reshaped existing objects. Once the painting is finished, the artist walks away and the artwork is free standing. It no longer depends on the painter to exist. The relationship between the artist and the artwork is over. They are now two separate entities.

However, G-d brought everything into existence from utter nothingness. To explain further, the foundational groundwork of all matter is energy, which has to have a constant production source, otherwise the energy stops, dissipates and all matter reverts back to nothingness. Moreover, we know that the production of all energy in the universe is in wave form, or in bursts; more like on-off in such rapid succession that it appears continuous. Therefore, we can conclude that G-d recreates all existence with every instant of time and since the source of all finite existence is infinite light, that which cannot be measured is the start of everything measurable.

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How to Eliminate Anxiety from your Daily Life

Anxiety or fretfulness is a persistent feeling of uneasiness over the unfolding of future events. On the one hand this can be good in that it provides us with motivation. The fear of being hungry and homeless provides the drive to go out to work. In such cases, when we see the paycheck and settle into a routine we usually calm down. On the other hand there are many for whom this apprehension persists regardless of the circumstances. This can be either specific, whereby there is an identifiable object of worry or nonspecific, for which there is no apparent reason for being so vexed. This level of discomfort is the opposite of trust and confidence. Thus the root cause of anxiety is in not understanding the relationship between us and our Creator. Even those who truly believe in the Almighty are unable to acknowledge that he is in control of all events and that everything that happens is for our good.

Moreover, the dark spirit within us wants to foster the feeling of independent existence. It has a distinct advantage because G-d has deliberately concealed his presence to allow for self awareness. Hence when we operate our five senses we cannot experience G-d’s presence. We can only learn about it through reading and studying. However, once we come to learn and understand that the Omnipresent has created reality within Himself, we begin to realize that nothing is left to chance. Therefore, to fret over what will be is the same as declaring a lack of trust in G-d.

What If . . .?

With specific anxiety, there is the worry over any number of planned activities. The fretful person is always asking “What if “ questions like, “What if I am making the wrong decision? What if something happens? What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t make the sale? What if the car breaks down? What if a terrorist bomb goes off? What if it rains? What if the agent or editor rejects my book proposal? What if my book gets published and doesn’t sell?” Since most people go through such questions everyday, it is a miracle that anyone can make a decision. The question that people should be asking is, “What if I just accept whatever happens and thank G-d for it?”

I’m Worried about something . . . I just Can’t Put my Finger on it

With nonspecific anxiety there is a constant feeling of uneasiness that the person cannot identify. This symptom has undoubtedly become more prevalent since the proliferation of suicide bombings that began around the turn of the new millennium. However, the underpinning of this kind of stress is uncertainty. Most people gravitate toward predictable outcomes. The realization that a situation exists for which the outcome is unpredictable gives rise to apprehension.

The Resolution – Finding Faith

As said previously, the root cause of anxiety is not being able to trust in the Almighty. It is that simple. The question then is, “How do we fix it?” Developing such total faith in  G-d requires transformation. For most people G-d is a mere concept, because He does not allow us to see His glory, to hear His voice or to feel His presence. On the other hand, G-d’s revelation is here in the physical world in plain sight. It is the Torah, which is comprised of the Five Books of Moses, the books of scripture from Joshua to Isaiah and the books of the Talmud, much of which is accessible in many different languages. This is the will and wisdom of our Creator. And, as we have learned from the Tanya, everything that originates from G-d stays within Him, especially His written and spoken words.

Therefore, as the Alter Rebbe has said many times in the Tanya, to study Torah is the same as being one with The Almighty. Once you receive this revelation, no doubt remains that there is one true G-d who controls the world. At this point you can direct your thoughts and speak to Him to declare out loud your complete faith and trust.

Furthermore, you need to begin to realize that in reality you are totally dependent on G-d for every breath. We all walk around in a sea of air. The weight of that column of air that is above us at all times is bearing down on us. This is called atmospheric pressure. It is this heaviness that would prevent our lungs from expanding to fill up with air if not for the thin sac around the lungs in which there is a constant vacuum. If any air gets into this sac the lungs would collapse and the atmospheric pressure would cause death. Moreover, we seem to know exactly how fast and how deeply we need to breathe to regulate the amount of oxygen in the blood without giving it a single thought. Hence it is G-d’s loving care that keeps us breathing an average of 20 times per minute, 1,200 times per hour, 28,880 times per day, 202,160 times per week and 10,512,320 times per year.

Additionally, when we eat, what prevents us from chewing on the inside of our mouths or biting off pieces of our tongues? Again, it is G-d’s loving care. Add to that all of the other thousands of chemical reactions with hormones, enzymes, ions and the flow of millions of electrical impulses every minute and you can easily see that every heart beats with the same rhythmic Divine intervention. If all of the complexities of the human body aren’t enough, what about the ecological systems by which the earth and its trees bear fruit or the animals that give us meat and clothing. Want something to worry about? What if all of these things that keep us alive were left to chance?

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Taking Shape – The Geometric Keys to Joy and Success

“Why do I need to learn this Stuff?” Tobias, a fifteen year-old boy, was talking in group family therapy about how much he hated school. A teenager who hates school; what a surprise! But his stating that Geometry was a waste of time because he couldn’t see what possible use he would ever have for it, struck a familiar chord. This was exactly the same conversation some forty-five years ago among students in the same high school. It was amazing that after four and a half decades, no one is bothering to teach kids how to relate. So children are still asking the same question, “Why do I need to learn this stuff?” And, the only answer they used to get was, “You’re going to have to balance your check book some day.” But now we have computers that allow our youngsters to go light years beyond balancing a checkbook, so the question still stands, “Why do I need to learn this stuff?”

Accordingly, it was time to show Tobias and his friends how to have access to a little joy in their learning, so I asked him, “Did you know that the circle is the foundation of all existence?” When he looked at me he seemed a little less bored, so I knew that I was on to something. “Circular motion is the nature of time and space. If you were able to walk in any direction for 26,000 miles you would end up where you started. Everything constantly moves in circles even when we’re standing still and there is no such thing as a straight line. Also, the circle has one unique property; it has no beginning and no end. So I want you to think about this next question. If the circle, which is the foundation of the created universe, has no beginning and no end, when did it begin?” Tobias looked mesmerized. He was probably trying to figure out what planet I just came from.

So, it’s all about shape, which Wikipedia defines as “the external two-dimensional outline, appearance or configuration of some thing — in contrast to the matter or content or substance of which it is composed.” The opposite of shape is shapeless, which one might think is a blob or liquid that takes the contour of the container that’s holding it. But, the blob or drop of water has its own shape; it’s just irregular and malleable. So “shapeless” has more to do with having no visible outline, like gas or energy. Nothingness is also shapeless, but then what are we talking about?

The interesting thing about this concept is that despite the connotation of physical structure we seem to be able to apply it also to the realm of intangibles, so these ideas about shape are taking shape. But the point here is that shape is the foundation and infrastructure of all existence and that the key to success and joy is in the forms and structures of the universe by which we shape our thoughts into action to achieve all objectives. Thoughts, for the most part are responses to stimuli emanating from the world around us, which is a hodgepodge of geometry. Hence, the shapes of this finite world influence, impact and inspire what we think, which, in turn governs all of our actions.

Some questions have answers and some don’t, but the bottom line is that we need to look at each of the basic geometric figures as they exist in our language, culture and the world around us so that we may uncover some of the secrets of life to achieve joy and success. Therefore, seeing stimulates thought, thought causes speech, speech transforms to action and action leads to success. So, look, see and enjoy.

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The Regression of Secular Progression

As a Jew, I find it both fascinating and alarming to watch the political/philosophical/moral debate raging in this country between the leftist secular progressives and right wing Christian fundamentalists. As most of us know, the secularists, who claim to be atheists, want all references to the Divine stricken from all public documents and monuments. As well, they want all public utterances in all forums to be devoid of any mention of spiritual matters. While they are rallying under the constitutional banner of “separation of church and state”, the driving force behind this campaign is to make morality a non-issue. These are the beginnings of a G-dless society in which government is the ultimate authority and there are no moral restrictions on private behavior. Anything that feels good is permissible as long as you don’t force it on someone else. There must be no impediment to the pursuit of pleasure. Those who call themselves “progressive” would be more accurately described as “regressive” because as King Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived once said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

This amoral secular regressive crowd is an interesting and dangerous group of misfits who believe that America’s support of Zionism is the root cause of hundreds of thousands of maniacal Muslims who live to spawn human bombs and perform public decapitations. Further observation of this movement reveals that the ACLU fights to protect the rights of perverts to prey on children and the members of PETA were seen protesting the genocide of Turkeys on Thanksgiving. Their leader has stated that eating a store-bought turkey is tantamount to hiring an assassin.

Moreover, there is a new lobby in Washington, D.C. called the “Church of Atheism” that was putting forth a considerable effort to get Congress to vote G-d out of office, so to speak, by removing “In G-d we Trust” from all of our currency. As a matter of fact, there was a church of Atheism representative on the Fox News cable network who said “We also have a place were we go to worship.” I wanted to ask her, “Worship what, yourselves?”

On the other hand, the conservative fundamentalists with groups like Christian Coalition, Right to Life, Paul Revere Society, Minute Men and the like, while they are fighting the good fight to preserve morality and justice, they articulate certain subliminal ideas that I find disquieting. For example, I keep hearing from pundits like Bill O’Reilly and others that the United States is a nation founded on “Judeo-Christian philosophy.” What exactly is “Judeo-Christian philosophy? If they are talking about monotheism, meaning the one true G-d who controls the world; that is exclusively Judaic. Moreover, the moral and legal principles of all civilized societies are based entirely on the Seven Laws of Noah, which come solely from the Torah (referred to by Christians as the “Old Testament”). Additionally, the principles of love, peace and foregoing revenge are also entirely derived from the G-d of Israel and expounded upon by our great Sages of blessed memory. Therefore, when it comes to morality and justice there is no “philosophy”, there is only the foundation called “Torah”.

Furthermore, the constitutional mandate of separation of Church and State is clearly there to prevent government from imposing or opposing any particular religion; not to create a godless secular society. In keeping with that principle the framers of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were very careful to avoid making any references to any particular religion. They simply recognized the one true G-d as the ultimate authority to whom all government leaders are forever answerable. Thus, it would be inaccurate to say that the United States of America is a “Christian society” even though a majority of its citizens are Christians.

To sum up, the connection between G-d and the nation chosen to live in compliance with His law and serve as an example to all others, is symbolized by the famous “Jacob’s Ladder”. We learn that when our father Jacob awoke from his vision, he called the land upon which he slept, “The gateway to Heaven”. Although the focal point was the future place of the inner chamber of the Holy Temple, this was also equivalent to the entire land of Israel. The ladder, i.e. two poles linked by rungs, being a symbol of the conduit through this gateway that connects the Land and its people to HaShem, begs the question, “Why not a staircase?” The simple answer is that a ladder is more difficult to ascend. The higher you go the more you need to rely on others to hold it steady and the more careful you need to be to keep from falling off.

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What, me Worry?

Jacob left his father Isaac’s house with great wealth and before he got very far, his nephew cleaned him out. Jacob gave him all he had so that the lad could go home to his father, Esau and report that he had carried out his murderous mission. This was true in a metaphorical sense since a man without means cannot perform G-d’s commandments and it’s as if he is dead. However, the morning after he spent the night on Mount Mariah, Jacob was so joyful that he felt the gladness from head to toe. It seems strange, though, because Jacob was embarking on a journey to leave his holy environment and descend into a place of darkness and put himself at the mercy of the great schemer, his uncle, the evil Laban. What’s more, he was destitute and jobless. On the other hand, Jacob had the greatest hope of all; G-d guaranteed that he would succeed in his mission. Jacob’s reality was a world with the Almighty managing every facet of life. He could bring the Holiness of Mount Mariah with him wherever he went because he lived with it in his mind and heart. Even the Angels of the Holy Land could not follow him because they did not have the power to transform any physical environment. G-d entrusted this power to Jacob and his descendants with the three garments of the soul; thought speech and action.

So here we are some 4,000 years later waiting for the Messiah after our Rebbe (Jewish leader) told us that we are the generation that will receive him. Thus, the more time that goes by the more impatient we become and we tell G-d over and over again, “We don’t wanna wait!!!” We demand in our loudest voice, “Mashiach now!!!” But then, I begin to wonder, “Why should we wait?” We have learned from the Rambam (Maimonides) and other sources that under Messiah’s rule, the world will change to the extent that everyone will be able to perceive G-dliness in all parts of the world. Therefore, the question stands, “Why should we wait?”

The difference is in the effort. After our redemption, perception of G-dliness will be automatic; it won’t take any exertion. However, if we are to perceive G-dliness now we have to work at it because it is anything but obvious. Hassidism teaches us that G-d hides Himself. This statement seems confusing at first glance because He told us, “Do I not fill all worlds?” Thus, this seeming paradoxical concept of the Omnipresent concealed begs the question, “If he is everywhere, then where is He hiding?” The answer is, He hides behind our egos. Yes, a puffed-up sense of self that believes only in its own independence is obstructing the natural inclination to perceive G-dliness. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all of the righteous people to this day were able to perceive G-dliness everywhere because they had no ego blocking their view.

On the other hand, for most of us, the idea of perceiving G-dliness without Messiah seems out of reach. Thus we need a practical way; something we can put into practice immediately. It really comes down to accepting that there is one G-d who controls the world. Everything that happens to us is G-d’s business. Nothing is independent of Him. Each time we relinquish our false sense of being in control of anything, realizing that our freedom of choosing one action over another has no bearing on the outcome; we can choose to be in awe of His greatness and trust Him enough to know that this too is for the good, even if we can only perceive the results to be undesirable. Moreover, if we take a moment to search for the good we can perceive Godliness in the mundane.

For example, the bank is a place where people transact business dealing exclusively with money; deposits, withdrawals, loans, payments, etc. How do we find G-dliness in that environment? The answer is that it is part of our job elevate it. I realized a while ago while I was in Citibank in disagreement with the branch manager. Apparently, the cash deposit that I had made the night before was posted to my account but was not reflected in my balance. At first, the manager argued with me saying that the account balance was correct and that I was a bad customer. She was threatening to close my account. Needless to say I was visibly upset, so I took a deep breath and said to myself, God is in control. The manager, then suddenly asked me to have seat and she would check further.

A few minutes later, the bank manager came out of her office apologizing profusely. “I have never seen this type of bank error in my twenty years of working here.”

I immediately saw the opportunity to elevate the whole situation to holiness. “Everything happens by Divine Providence,” I spouted.

The manager then engaged me in a conversation about G-d saying that she could not understand why children suffer. I explained to her that we have to defer to G-d’s infinitely superior mysterious wisdom. I told her that there was even a Divine purpose for what happened to my account; “If not for this mysterious error, we would not have had this conversation about G-d”.

The bank manager smiled and said, “You are right. I have been praying for more understanding and this conversation has helped me to perceive that G-d truly runs the world.”

In conclusion, when we work at perceiving G-dliness in everything that happens and bring that perception into our conversations we elevate that place to holiness. We need to continuously remind ourselves that nothing is as it seems and everything is as it should be, so if everything was as it seemed then nothing would be as it should and then everything would be for nothing; so WHY WORRY?

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