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Bee

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PostSubject: Attaining Happiness   Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:09 am

You will be blessed by this video. One topic he talks about being designated a "loser" by family.Another topic there is a lady who ask a question about her purpose in life after her kids are grown, husband died and also a child. Her kids don't need her anymore and she wants to know if her life is just summed up by davening everyday?

http://www.torahcafe.com/jewishvideo.php?vid=f74ad43d3
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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:41 am

Thanks for the share.

Rabbi Twerski is wonderful. I have a few of his books.
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:30 pm

oh wow, thats great you have some of his books. My husband has been looking for his books for a while now. They are out of print and ebay or amazon has not turned up any. If you come accross a place that has one please let me know. Thanks.
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:07 pm

http://www.allbookstores.com/authors/Abraham+J+Twerski+M.D..html

Correct author?

Maybe I need to get "Without a Job, Who Am I?: Rebuilding Your Self When You've Lost Your Job, Home, or Life Savings" for my husband for his birthday. He's having trouble since his business has not been doing well.
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:30 pm

I pray things turn around for your husbands business, my husband went through it too with his business. Things always turn out for the best, Gd is good. The book he is looking for is called, " prayer with fire" ... forgot the title but its two parts and its about prayer. I sent my husband the link, thank you.
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:53 pm

aaaa...still no luck. That website has a good variety of his books but not the one we are looking for. I did find some books i want Very Happy
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:15 pm

http://www.zbermanbooks.com/Page.asp?ID=913866aaca735b055c48328a6c1074c7d146d2af85ba1e45c7fcf415dfe230e1&ProductID=134058&CategoryID=7936

Might this be what he's looking for?

This has a list of his published works, but I don't see anything entitled "Prayer with Fire," but that might be the name of an essay or lecture in a series by another name: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_J._Twerski
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:51 pm

Bee wrote:
Things always turn out for the best, Gd is good.

This is a bit of a hijack but do you really believe this? That everything always turns out for the best because God is good?
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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:18 pm

Maybe you can find it on his website?


http://www.abrahamtwerski.com/index.php/books


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esf

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:57 pm

Dena was asking what Bee thought, not what Twerski's views are.. :)
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:28 am

Yeah, I was asking Bee. Your opinion is fine too. Very Happy
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:53 am

Dena wrote:
Bee wrote:
Things always turn out for the best, Gd is good.

This is a bit of a hijack but do you really believe this? That everything always turns out for the best because God is good?

She mentioned her husband is going through it, I would never wish that experience on anyone. So I empathize, Things did turn out for the best for us, we lost basically everything but we have gained so much more . Gd is good, despite my circumstances that we got ourselves into...I know my Gd will help me through it. I did not say, "That everything always turns out for the best because God is good" I said things always turn out for the best, Gd is good. Two parts. It will work out and Gd is good... trustworthy.
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:01 am

study Thanks everyone for the links these are new resources for me.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:26 am

I am not trying to pick on you Bee, this is just something I've had on my mind and you happened to bring it up. I do often hear people say "it'll all work out for the best" and "God is good". I find the first a difficult concept because I see many situations where things do not seem like they work out for the best (like when a child dies from cancer or a family is murdered). I suppose we could just say we don't know what is best.
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:02 am

http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16294/showrashi/trueTehillim - Psalms - Chapter 73
(add Rashi commentaries)

I like this psalms because it deals with a similiar question.

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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:28 am

esf wrote:
Dena was asking what Bee thought, not what Twerski's views are.. :)


I'm guessing this is addressed to me?

Actually, I should have been more specific.

I was refering to Rabbi Twerski's website because Bee was looking for one of his books she couldn't find. :)



As for the other part of this thread, I believe it all works out for G-d's good. We may not understand why "bad things happen to good people" and things of that nature, but if we believe G-d is the Creator. then His world is quite different than ours.

Probably one we will never truly understand.

Not that everyone has to agree with me.

It's just my opinion.
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esf

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:11 pm

Ah, got it - a misunderstanding all round then :)
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:22 pm

Here's a story I heard from a rabbi:

There was a woman with a severely handicapped child. Although the child was a teen, she had the mental capacity of a 1-2 year old baby. She was confined to a special wheelchair.

This lady made an appointment to speak to one of the most preeminent rabbis in Jerusalem--a rabbi who was also a noted Kabbalist. When the lady came into his office, pushing her daughter's wheelchair, the rabbi stood up. After she was done with her meeting, and was ready to leave, the rabbi stood up again. The woman was curious, but too timid to question the great rabbi.

The child died not long after, and the rabbi came to the funeral. This stunned the family, as the mother had only gone to visit him the one time; why would such a great rabbi come to the funeral? Later, the woman's eldest son--the girl's brother--finally asked the rabbi why he had honored them.

The rabbi replied that the handicapped girl had been one of the most pure souls he had ever encountered on earth. He said he stood up because it would have been shameful to have been seated in her presence. Likewise, he had to come to the funeral to honor her.

Then he explained to the brother that the reason why some people are born in seemingly useless bodies is because their souls are so pure, they do not need to be able to perform mitzvot on earth for themselves. Rather, they are reborn in such a state so that others may perform mitzvot through them (e.g. the mitzvah of caring for the sick, taking care of the weak, doing charity for people who cannot work and support themselves, etc.). In other words, she didn't need to be reborn, but came back anyways in order to help others.

That story totally blew me away when I heard it. For one thing, I feel that everything the rabbi said is true. Secondly, it makes me look at the handicapped in a totally different way. Some people may see someone who has a severely handicapped child and pity their bad luck, or wonder why God is making the parents and/or child suffer, but if you look at the situation as the rabbi does, such a child is a blessing.

So, sometimes a situation is good or bad depending only on your perspective. I agree with Bee that God is good and that whatever He gives us, we have the ability to make good out of it, if we only look at it the right way.
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:35 pm

Beautiful story!
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:37 pm

Mychal,

The problem trying to look at misfortune as a "blessing" is that it rather implies that people burdened with taking care of the disabled as somehow needing to do the mitzvot because they weren't good enough people without it, or being "lucky" for having the burden. And if the situation is really a positive, then is the person who bares such burdens supposed to be "grateful" for misfortune? And are we then less sympathetic to their plight?

I resolve the problem of suffering by not believing that God micro-manages the world. God is not actively "making" someone suffer. The suffering need not be either a punishment nor a blessing. Similarly when an earthquake kills thousands of people, many of them with horrendous deaths, I don't believe that God planned it that way. It is a part of the whole universe which overall can be good even if parts of it are not "good". I came to these beliefs over many years on my own and only relatively recently learned that similar ideas are expressed in a philosophy called " process theology". I listened to some podcasts by Rabbi Brad Artson, dean of the rabbinical school of the American Jewish University, in which he explained process theology. Interestingly for this forum thread, R. Artson has an autistic son, and for some years that caused him to be really angry with God. Here is one of his articles: On Suffering- Spirituality and Theology

Here is my own personal example of why I refuse to believe the idea of the blessings of the disabled:
A woman in my minyan who is an Orthodox convert has three of five of her children with special needs or unusual difficulties. That's why she is a member of my non-Orthodox, but traditional minyan---because we are accepting of even her severely autistic son, who can be quite disruptive. I would certainly say that this woman is amazing in her ability to cope with what life has thrown at her. She gave up a career as a physician when her autistic son was born with many health problems in addition to spending the first several years of his life screaming for many hours a day. Later when the child was a teen, the mother was getting no sleep as with a newborn because he was waking up in the middle of the night and roaming around the apartment doing dangerous things like trying to turn on the stove. Because she can't work due to the needs of her children, the family also has to live on one modest income.

This woman is truly incredible. She herself has Asperger's (as does her husband), but I've come to understand her off-beat sense of humor and to appreciate her incredible Jewish knowledge (she has a BA in Jewish studies and has spent many years studying Talmud on her own in the original Hebrew/Aramaic). I am glad that I've learned from her about her very Orthodox outlook on religion and life, even if my own views are somewhat different. I truly admire her tenacity in the face of huge difficulties.

However, as one minyan member said to me once: he thinks he would commit suicide if faced with the challenges this woman has. This man is very kind and has borne his own life tragedies, but he was simply being honest in saying that he doesn't feel that he would have the strength to bear what this woman has.

Some people say "God only gives people challenges that they can bear". But that can't be reconciled with the people who do commit suicide due to problems they can't bear.

Anyway, I believe that God can be good without having to have every aspect of the world also be good just because it is a creation of God.
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:33 pm

Quote :
that people burdened with taking care of the disabled as somehow needing to do the mitzvot because they weren't good enough people without it, or being "lucky" for having the burden. And if the situation is really a positive, then is the person who bares such burdens supposed to be "grateful" for misfortune? And are we then less sympathetic to their plight?

It is not for the parents only to perform a mitzvah. No, we should not be unsympathetic; in fact, everyone should see an opportunity to perform a mitzvah. There is both support of the caregiver and support of the disabled which is needed.

And I don't think it implies that the person who has such a child is in need of the mitzvah; it is impossible to know for whom the child exists. It may not be for the parent's sake at all, but for the sake of someone else. In fact, I'd expect the people who get paired with such children are pretty high spiritually, because it takes a special kind of person to bear that--as you point out. Perhaps both the parent and the child's experience is a joint effort to elevate others--as you and others are elevated by your friend's patience.

And I'd never want to imply that parents are required to bear such a burden alone. Sometimes it's better for the child and the rest of the family if the child is institutionalized (if you have to worry about the child killing himself or the rest of the family, that would definitely be a case where institutionalization is probably necessary).

My husband worked for a time in a children's institution and dealt with somewhat-functional autistic children whose parents could not care for them. From what he's told me about it, I think he did good things for those children, and certainly he looks back on his work there fondly. He said he felt like he was doing some good in the world. Unfortunately, the place was underfunded, so there weren't enough counselors to go around, and he was working so many hours he couldn't take it anymore; he had no life. So he had to quit. But he has said he regrets that he no longer works a job which makes a real difference in people's lives.

Everything in the world is a vast web that's connected to everything else. Anything one of us does--for good or ill--ripples out like a stone dropped in water. You never know how far out the ripples will go, or if they will touch someone else and cause more ripples to go out in different directions.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Attaining Happiness   Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:16 am

I didn't like what the story implied about the child - that she existed for the sake of others. It's like saying the people at the hospital exist in their poor health so that I can visit them. I'd rather they just be well. I also don't subscribe to the idea that one set of particular parents is chosen to have a disabled child because they are very spiritual. I don't think life works that way. I think believe it's just up to chance, genetics and environment.
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