God, Religion, Spirituality

A Conversation with the Rebbe

Thank you for your talks. I don’t believe that any one is perfect as we all fall short of understanding the perfect love of God. I see very clearly, though, that when we, Jews and non-Jews who love, begin to love one another with unconditional acceptance, as we love ourselves, that is when we learn the perfect religion that is defined through our love for one another. I am you and you are me. We are ONE. No one is perfect until we become perfected through loving one another. Love what we know is God and everything else dies. Noticing what is wrong keeps what is wrong alive. It really is simple, but we are afraid that we will lose ourselves… we won’t. Instead, we find ourselves. Charity or time we give to knowing and understanding the other. Learn from the other opposite that complements the other.

From the Rebbe:

It is SO absolutely true that no one is perfect. Human beings in this corporeal experience of reality are always going to have some limitations in their experience of the truth. Maybe this imperfection could cloud one’s judgments and perspectives as well? This is why our tradition teaches us that the final decisions about how we live, our perspectives and beliefs, be determined by the higher power directly.

This is why our Torah was not based on one man’s opinion and beliefs and it was not based on the spiritual experiences of one person. Our Torah was given to us as a whole nation of close to 3 million people had the exact same clear transcendent experience of seeing and hearing God, feeling and knowing God, and receiving the same clear message. Our whole nation saw, heard and experienced the same God giving over the same Torah with the exact same 613 commandments. This is also why the Torah teaches us the importance of following our elder’s traditions and directly transmitted teachings. Protecting the sanctity and purity of the tradition “and thy shall not shift away right or left from the directives of your elders” (one of the 613 commandments).

This means that even when we think we see things absolutely more clearly than others and than those who preceded us we still recognize that we are not perfect and we might not be seeing things absolutely clear, so we humbly surrender to the will of God and the directives of our teachers and elders from the previous generations who always kept the absolute clear purity of our tradition.

I’m not saying anything here to contradict or oppose the truths you’re voicing, I’m just expressing another layer of truth that may many times be overlooked or unknown and which is at least just as important.

Our Torah is very clear about not trying to influence anyone in the world to convert to our religion. We believe that a person’s religious practice is their own decision. This is respect for the autonomy of people, and people of other religions. But, therefore, we also appreciate when we’re shown the same level of respect by people from other religions and they not try to influence us to their spiritual perspectives. Hundreds of millions of Jews have been murdered, tortured and burned to death by people of other religions throughout history in order to try and convert the Jews to their religions. This has only proven that we would rather be killed and tortured than denounce our faith and our Torah.

Even in today’s “enlightened” generation, there are Christian missionaries all over the world trying to convert us or influence us to “see it their way”. Then there are Jew-hating Muslims and atheists and Nazis all over the media, the UN, and all over the world who would rather the Jews die a terrible death than live another day. And yet we survive. This is the biggest miracle and testament of God’s existence and providence.

When in doubt, it always helps to remember the golden rule: “What you would not like done unto you, do not do to your fellow man

My Response:

Thank you Rabbi, I appreciate all you say and for your time and consideration to my message. I would just like to say that as a woman, I know the heartache that a blind man can inflict upon us, and it is, for sure, not an acceptable thing! I am not any of those that you have mentioned here. I am like you and respect you for who you are as you are different than me but yet the same. I encourage your Jewishness as it is a beautiful thing. There are also many like me who love the Jews but do not want to be Jewish as we are our own identity as God has also created us with our own unique journeys of understanding His love. Together we are Israel, but we can only be Israel when we learn together the complement we are for one another. Then we will see and experience the deep divine love that God wishes for us to know.

Shannie Alvarez — A Gentile with a Jewish Heart

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