Walking down the street – you see people who seemingly are talking to themselves. Yes, they may have an earpiece. Some really do talk to themselves. Unfortunately, they have no one else to talk to.
Once a person held up another person with a gun. He didn’t want his money. He wanted to let off the problems he had on his chest. He forced the person to listen to his problems to get them off his chest.
The psychologist, therapist, social worker and personal coach industry is booming. Apparently people are lonely. They seek guidance and are even willing to pay for it.
Even People With Friends May Be Lonely
People with friends and family can also be lonely because they are not understood or people don’t have the patience to truly understand them. Others are lonely because their friendships are very superficial. There is commonality – but no depth to their relationship. Others have only a physical attachment to another but there is no emotional or spiritual bond.
Even with many friends one can be lonely. They get a temporary high when they get likes on the facebook page, but it is short satisfaction.
Judaism Creates Deeper Relationships Between People
In Judaism, we go to the depths of a matter. We overlook the superficial for truth and true satisfaction.
Take the Jewish law of Marriage. The Torah has a commandment for a man to get married. The purpose is to procreate, to populate the world and for man to reach his potential in the world. A man may reach perfection when he is united in marriage with a woman. A woman complements him and also puts him in his place when the need be. She provides him with the ability to have children. Gentiles have this commandment as well in the 7 Noahide laws.
A variety of Jewish laws exist to assure that a person will get the most from their relationships. Laws to assure that meaningful family activities take place – like having Shabbat and Holiday meals together. Good deeds to visit the infirm and help those in need. Judaism allows a person to attain a deeper relationship than just having a fun time. Day by day one appreciates his wife. He has children. He teaches, enjoys and appreciates the daily miracle of having and rearing children. He develops true communication skills for understanding, empathizing with and accommodating the feelings with others.
Three Types of Human Relationships
The Torah Recognizes the three types of relationships
– Between Man and Himself
– Between Man and His Fellow
– Between Man and G-d
In each of these relationships one can create an exchange or “connect” physically, emotionally, intellectually, or spiritually.
A man does exercise, he connects physically with himself. He cries, he connects emotionally.
A man can play football with another person, he connects physically with another.
A man gives charity to a Torah cause, he connects to G-d through a physical action.
Some have only a physical exchange. The relationship is no deeper than that. Thus the parties suffer because each is looking for a deeper, emotional, intellectual or spiritual relationship. The deepest relationship is when one can connect spiritually with another – through doing common good – like learning Torah or doing a Mitzvah together. Many suffer, because their relationship is relegated to a material plain. It stops short of the spiritual and thus the relationship stagnates or breaks.
This is one reason for the prohibition of a Jew to intermarry – because in the spiritual – the couple cannot be on the same wavelength. One has 7 Commandments to reach the spiritual the other has 613 commandments. At times they are mutually exclusive. Like – a gentile does not observe the Shabbat, a Jew does. The Torah thus says that a person should be on the same wavelength when marrying. The Torah says that those interested in becoming Jewish, should convert and then marry someone Jewish – to be able to reach a common spiritual ground.
Between Man and Himself
The Torah prompts a person to not accept the status quo. The fact that everybody is doing it isn’t necessarily that it is right. We live on the values that were given by G-d on Mount Sinai – in which Millions of people heard G-d Giving the Torah. No Other Religion Claims this – all other religions were started with one man. As opposed to Judaism – millions of Jews heard G-d talking with them. Thus the values of Torah are divine and the authentic will of G-d.
Now that we know what G-d wants from us – as he gave us guidelines in the Torah – we have clear goals in which to set our self-improvement efforts. We are guided by G-d’s laws and through our efforts we develop a better understanding of our strengths and weaknesses and slowly develop a more deep relationship with G-d.
When one learns does good and learns about their strengths, they appreciate themselves more and are able to help more people. The Torah makes a person grow.
Between Man and His Fellow
The story of Hillel teaches us the Attitude of the Torah towards others.
Once a gentile wanted to learn about Judaism. He went to the great sage, Shammai. He said – Rabbi I with to learn the entire Torah while standing on one foot. Shammai thought the man was mocking him. Shammai chased him away with his measuring stick.
Then them man went to the great sage Hillel. He said – Rabbi I with to learn the entire Torah while standing on one foot. Hillel replied gently, “What is hateful to you, do not do to others. This is principle the Whole Torah is based upon. The rest is elaboration. Go and Learn.” The man eventually became Jewish.
Many works Like – the Classic Mussar (Jewish ethic) Works teach us how to act properly with our fellow man. We must not embarrass, make a person feel badly, mock others, or lie. And much more. In Judaism, our relations are not an exercise in gratifying our desires – as society preaches – but are a development of a truly sincere, and meaningful relationship with others.
Many people Today are stuck in a one way relationship. Thus they feel lonely. They feel their partner does not understand them and they cannot connect. Some marry the people they think they love and after a year or so the marriage goes bad. Why?
Ask a seafood lover if he likes fish. They will answer – “I Love Fish!” Then ask them – if you really love it, why do you catch fish, and cut them up and then fry them. If you loved them you wouldn’t do that.
Many people use the term love as “I love the gratification that I get from the other. But I have no interest in the other as a person at all.” This is why some people feel lonely in relationship. This is one reason why some women fall for men – with the sweet voices. The man may be flattering to get his way. The woman, naive, thinks that this is a caring person. But really, he cares about her as much as the seafood lover cares for the fish.
Thus it makes more sense finding a person who has similar Torah values and grow with them – than finding someone that says he or she loves you.
Many a time a man leads a woman to think that he wants to marry a woman. She thinks all is fine but after many years she finds that she was just being used. The consequence of “Fish Love.” (There is a cute video on Fish Love oon Aish.com).
Between Man & G-d
Most people seek a deeper relationship with G-d. I heard the reason people travel is that subconsciously they seek a deeper spiritual relationship with G-d. They believe if they travel they might find it.
People are tempted and they go to exotic places like India, Tibet and the Far East to find spirituality. Really they should be traveling to Israel.
People jump to what seems exciting – without thinking. Their mind follows their heart. First they see what looks enticing and then they follow that. This is why many Jews fall to the snares of cults and other religions – it seems or feels right. They never asked the question “is it actually right?”
Many people don’t care if they are following truth – they just care if it makes them feel good. In a sense these people are in the same category as alcoholics, as they think – as long as it makes you feel good it is good.
Some people worship men. This is forbidden according to the second commandment of the 10 commandments and The commandment against idolatry in the 7 Noahide laws. Ask a person why he or she worships a man. Do they think that a man created the world. Apparently not. But they follow anyway. Ask – what makes more sense to worship a man as a god or worship the G-d that that man worshiped? But they remain attached because of feeling without thinking.
Learn Who is G-d – Ein Od Milevado
Before worshiping G-d, one must determine who the real G-d is. Otherwise one can find themselves barking up the wrong tree. The Jews Know who G-d is because He performed miracles and wonders for our entire nation in Egypt and in the Desert. He spoke with us from heaven. And those close to him see His Guiding Hand in our daily activities. We know that “Ein Od Milevado.” – there is only Hashem.
Judaism is different. It says start with truth and follow it. That will lead you to true spirituality.
Let’s start with a fresh page.
What is spirituality?
Basically it is the relationship between a person and G-d. When a person is a spiritual person – they have a close relationship with G-d.
There was only one time in the History of man that G-d appeared to millions of people and talked directly to millions of people and millions of people heard G-d talking. That is when G-d gave and spoke the Torah to the entire nation of the Jewish people at Mount Sinai about 3,300 years ago.
So a good point to start towards spirituality is to find out what G-d said. Ask an orthodox rabbi and he will explain that G-d gave 613 commandments to the Jewish People and 7 Major categories commandments to all of Humanity – the Noahide laws.
A person asked a Great Rabbi – I believe it was the Chazon Ish – how to get closer to G-d. He said follow the Halacha / Jewish Torah Law. This is the only way. G-d gave us a path to become closer to him. It does take effort and investment of time and resources and sacrifices, but with work this is the way that a person will truly arrive at feeling close to and loving G-d and at the same time doing the true will of G-d.
Torah Study and Doing Commandments are the vehicles to reach closer to a meanigful and fruitful relationship with the One that said “Let there be Light.”
Economics teaches us a principle, that explains why many relationships fail.
The Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility.
It means – the more consumption of a particular item – the less satisfaction you get from that item. It basically explains the attitude of the worker in the ice cream shop. First day – boss says eat as much ice cream as you want. The worker is thrilled. First Day wow. Second day. Good. Third day – Already tired of ice cream.
Society and marketers plays tricks on us.
They show us how you feel that first minute when you just get that car. When you just get that ice cream. When you get that house.
But it wears off. Society sells you glamour. So a person searches for glamour. Perhaps he finds it. Perhaps he doesn’t. Let’s say he does. After a couple days – it wears off.
Society will sell you on the short term. The moment of excitement. That’s why a movie changes shots about every 3 seconds.
So what do you end up with? People searching for that excitement, that romance, that date – but never achieve lasting satisfaction – because after that moment of excitement, the thrill is over. The person is as empty and as lonely as he or she was before.
The short term attitude – leads people to lead lives that do not build. Sometimes an attitude that is destructive.
A person who lives the single life. He goes on date after date after date. He meets many people, but the long-term loving relationship is lost. The building of the relationship is lost. The building of the family is lost.
It’s just jumping from one pleasure to another – and being left with nothing in hand.
G-d gave us the Torah for a person to build himself or herself. It takes the long term view of the world. It sees the end of the game at the beginning.
It gives us laws to build a person, a family, a community and a society.
The Torah has 613 (Taryag) commandments for Jews and 7 Noahide commandments for non-Jews.
Commandments that are common include : Getting married and having children. Working. Helping to build society. Establishing a relationship with G-d / Hash-m.
Observing the Observant Jews – we see many establish families with children and grand children and great grand children. They enjoy enduring relationships.
Why – because they followed the formula to a healthy and happy existence – the Torah.
Nowadays – many date and date and date – never settling down – willingly. It is their choice. It happens in religious circles also – but less often – not because they want to remain single but because “maybe they can find someone better.”
So sure they may have a good time – but they lose the opportunity to build a family and build the world through doing good deeds and the Mitzvah’s from the Torah.
They lose the opportunity to enjoy the joys, challenges and love that children bring.
So what can people that imbibed short sighted vision view of society do? Take one Mitzvah and do it. Learn Torah – and have the attitude when dating to find the right person that will be able to help you raise children that follow in the path of the Torah. Go to a Torah lecture or listen to an Torah audio or video lecture regularly. This will help you get a more clear view of your purpose in the world and to direct your actions to that goal.
Fixing Your Shortcomings
Man was brought to this world to fix their shortcomings. It might be anger. It might be stinginess. It might be disregarding truth in favor of one’s personal interests. Each person has strengths and weaknesses.
When a person makes an effort to fix their weaknesses, one is able to better live a happier life. For following the directives of G-d and fixing one’s shortcomings, they are better able to deal with people.
The Torah tells us to Make friends. Get married and have children. Develop your relation with G-d and community. Do mitzvot. Join Mitzvah Groups like Bikur Holim – who visit and help the infirm in Hospitals or Hatzala – a voluntary ambulance group.
When One follows Torah – They improve their relations between man and man and man and G-d. They are better able to enter into marriage relationships and Better deal with children. Everyday is a new day to enjoy. Every Day is a new day for improvement. Every Day is a new day to reach higher spiritual heights and live a deeper, satisfying life with the people around you.