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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Judaism

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Old 21-12-2016, 03:39 PM
Corina Corina is offline
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Location: Bucharest, Romania
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Experiencing G-d (also, afterlife)

Hi to everyone,

I'm curious to know what it means to experience G-d for a Jew (or even a non-Jew, for that matter). Some religions focus on direct communion with their divinity by magic ritual, others through meditation or through energies felt throughout the body; some rely on miracles to prove themselves. Judaism has it's one "mystical" branch, the Kabbalah, but I rarely, if ever, hear any Jews talk about successful magic or any sort of direct divine intervention in their lives, despite the fact it's such a popular topic in our skeptical modern world.

Also the afterlife, the most important aspect of a religion (for me, at least, and for many people I know) is hardly ever discussed. Jews treat mourning and the burial rituals very seriously, but I rarely read anything meant to reassure believers of life after this life.

(Lately, I've been having a serious existential crisis, I'm not sure what I believe in anymore, if I even believe in anything; my father is Jewish though and he's the only non-atheist in my family and, like me, he's also scared of death, so naturally, I'm seeking ways to comfort him and myself through faith, but I'm stumbling on a wall of skepticism that I'm trying to break. All help is appreciated).

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Old 26-12-2016, 12:21 AM
KabbalahWisdom KabbalahWisdom is offline
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I like your questions.

I am Jewish and have learned from Chabad. Jews experience G-d through action in this world and through prayer and meditation. The activity involves what is called performing "mitzvot". Mitzvah is usually translated as a good deed but really involves so many different practices that a Jew can be connecting to G-d all day long. Mitzvah contains the word for connection: tzav. Whether it's saying the prayer upon seeing a rainbow or a prayer after going to the bathroom, lighting candles on Shabbos or wrapping Tefillin, a Jewish person has a complete, ongoing spiritual practice that permeates daily life.

"Successful magic & Divine Intervention" in your life is discovered through prayer. Either to G-d directly or at the grave of a Rebbe. Look online for stories about the Baal Shem Tov or about the Chabad Rebbe and you'll read about lots of examples of miracles. Read the psalms of David which talk about divine intervention. Read about the holidays: Purim, Chanukah, Passover and you'll read about miracles and divine intervention.

There's a good book, the Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust where you can read about divine intervention. In fact, Hasidism, is the line of Kabbalah most accessible to the modern person. Look up Chabad.org and you'll be able to search on any topic of interest, especially - the afterlife.

Get your dad to meet with a Chabad rabbi. They have houses all over the world now. Let him experience a Shabbos with a Chabad family and he will feel and sense something else in this world.

Yes, there is a tradition of belief in an afterlife in Judaism. After you die, there's a time of cleansing of the soul which can be a difficult time but after that, the soul is free to learn in any way it needs to. One of those ways is to come back to earth. You come back to earth to build the final redemption when this world will be supernatural with no more war, illness or death. This world and working toward this goal is more important to the Jew than getting to heaven. Tell your dad that every good deed he does builds his eternal life here on earth.

We believe in the resurrection of the dead - which means that everyone who was once alive here comes back to life once the final redemption happens. Whoever had a hand in building this redemption comes back to enjoy it.

Hope this helps!
Happy Chanukah!
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Old 27-12-2016, 12:00 AM
KabbalahWisdom KabbalahWisdom is offline
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I just thought of something additional to post. It's a quote from Tzamach Tzedek (19th Century), one of the Chabad Rebbes. He said that there are 4 types of miracles:
1. Those that supersede nature entirely, such as occurred in the Exodus from Egypt.
2 Miracles flimsily dressed in a guise of nature, such as the victory of Chanukah and the Purim story.
3. Miracles of coincidence and synchronicity, where it is apparent that things out of the ordinary have occurred - yet all events have normal explanations.
4. Miracles that go unnoticed, perhaps even perceived as unfortunate.
This last form is the greatest of all. a time will come when our eyes will open and we will see these hidden miracles and say, "The miracles of Egypt are nothing in comparison to these".
Good luck with your dad. He needs to reconnect to the wisdom of his ancestors.
learn Kabbalah drip by drip through working with the cards I created: kabbalahwisdom.teachable.com/courses/freekabbalahcardsclass
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:06 AM
Corina Corina is offline
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Thanks, KabbalahWisdom!

I've started reading Hassidic Tales (non-Holocaust related) and most of it is about Baal Shem Tov- pretty cool guy :). I will check out what you've told me.
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Old 16-07-2017, 08:38 AM
Doron Doron is offline
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what it means to experience G-d for a Jew

Being a Jew we are taught to be aware of G-d at all times. Before we eat food we are supposed to say a blessing thanking G-d for providing us with the food.

When we see a site that is especially beautiful there is another blessing that we can say to thank G-d again.

G-d is always around us and we are constantly experiencing him.
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Old 19-07-2017, 06:54 PM
7luminaries 7luminaries is offline
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Nachman of Breslov...read any of his stuff. It is so powerful and moving, I cannot really put it to words. The stories reveal something deep and powerful about our struggles with darkness.
I can't recall what is there specifically about the afterlife, but there's bound to be something which alludes to it. Along the lines of how to be NOW...which is always modeled after the "world to come".

BTW - to KWisdom -- Miracle type #4 is by far the most touching and poignant...
I would hazard a guess it was the one R. Nachman would have viewed with the greatest warmth as the ever-present, daily reminders of God and our divinity...even when we don't fully understand. Probably especially then.

Peace & blessings
Bound by conventions, people tend to reach for what is easy.

Here we must be unafraid of what is difficult.

For all living beings in nature must unfold in their particular way

and become themselves despite all opposition.

-- Rainer Maria Rilke
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Old 20-08-2017, 02:18 AM
neemish neemish is offline
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 32
Were it not for the Jews we would have no insight as to the Spiritual aspect of our world...(The Jews and the Gentles)..And the promises made by Jehovah himself in the end times..written in the first three pages of revelations...Had the Jews not kept records from the beginning we would know nothing of the " Key of David " to open what no one can close and close what no one can open..Those whom do as Jehovah asked and go into their room and close the door behind them and take a candle and place it on the bible and use the prayer Jesus gave us will have that door opened within them and can pass into the spirit world and not be hurt by the second death..Its the test that has come upon the world in the end times...to test everyone alive...His candlestick church upon the seven continents of this planet... neemish
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