Entries in the 'New Publications' Category

“In Need Of A New Navigation System” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “In Need of a New Navigation System

The world is changing so fast that we can’t keep track. We used to study about globalization at school or university, but never felt it as a real issue in our lives. Now it’s enough to look outside the window in Western Europe and see the pale blue sky, turned grayish by the smoke from the fires in America’s West Coast, to understand that we really are in one boat. We’re navigating the world as if we live in a three-dimensional world, but we don’t; we’re living in a sphere, and every point in that sphere touches every other point. Anything we do, say, or even think touches everyone else in the world. It’s a scary thought, but nonetheless true. I agree with former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who recently connected the world’s problems to “a lack of global partnership,” but I think it’s deeper than partnership; our survival has become connected.

We can change the face of the Earth and the fate of humanity in a matter of months; it’s just a matter of switching from a negative attitude to a positive attitude toward others. If we exercise this, we’ll live in heaven on Earth. If we don’t, we won’t need to die to go to Hell; it’ll come up to us.

In fact, the first lesson that the coronavirus taught us was that we’ve shifted to a new dimension of existence, a spherical one, where every single element impacts every other element. Many people used the phrase, “An infection anywhere is an infection everywhere,” to describe our mutual accountability with regard to the coronavirus, but this is just as true with regard to everything else.

Therefore, even though we do not like each other, and in many cases wish each other the worst, we cannot afford to maintain this attitude; it will hurt us very directly and very personally. We have become responsible for one another in the full sense of the word. We should care about the fires and hurricanes in the US as though they are happening in our own town; we should care about the millions of people dying from Covid as though they were our own family, and we should care about the millions of people around the world who do not have sufficient food and water, shelter, or even sanitation. We should care about all the people who are suffering because they today are we tomorrow, as simple and as literal as that.

And it’s not as if there’s nothing we can do. There is plenty of food and water for everyone; there is much we can do to curb Covid and even cure it, and there is much we can do to help Earth balance her climate. But in the current dog-eat-dog attitude, we’re not going to do anything and we will all drown in Earth’s sinking boat.

So the first thing we need to do is change how we relate to one another. If we change the social atmosphere, it’ll suddenly feel very natural to help one another. When that happens, the vast resources we have stored for our own needs, and in order to deny them of others, will quickly find their way to where they are most needed. We can change the face of the Earth and the fate of humanity in a matter of months; it’s just a matter of switching from a negative attitude to a positive attitude toward others. If we exercise this, we’ll live in heaven on Earth. If we don’t, we won’t need to die to go to Hell; it’ll come up to us.

“A Shana Tovah Depends On Us” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “A Shana Tovah Depends on Us

We are on the threshold of a complete revolution — a substantial change in our attitude toward ourselves, society, humanity, and all of nature. Rosh Hashanah, in Hebrew meaning the “head” or “beginning” of “the year,” arrives at a special time, one like never before, in the midst of a global pandemic. We are aware of the far-reaching impact of the virus, but we need to ask ourselves for what purpose did it arrive? The answer to this question is the key to a good new year, a Shana Tovah 5781.

The coronavirus era is reshaping our lives, literally by force. It is moving us toward a higher and more advanced world in which all the parts are bound together. The fact that the world looks exactly the opposite now — filled with ego games, violence, corruption, struggles and riots — is all part of the development process.

The coronavirus is showing us just how our individualistic, self-serving behavior is leading us to destruction and pain. By looking ourselves square-in-the-eyes in the mirror, with complete honesty, we will want to reform and correct our nature into one that only wants mutual cooperation and unity.

The increasing challenges and predicaments we are experiencing awaken worldwide introspection in order to realize that the current path humanity treads is not leading us to a good place. This recognition alone is already a very important step in our development. The coronavirus has turned out to be a force that is awakening humanity to undertake a complete revision of its state.

Our current understanding of what is happening boils down to awareness that we are being beaten by this virus. But our discernments do not dig deeper than that. We have no idea what the blows are directing us toward, where they are coming from, and more importantly, for what purpose. We are as helpless and disoriented as a newborn baby who feels pain and will not stop crying, without any understanding of the reason for the situation.

Thus, our most important challenge is to discover the reason for the coronavirus, not in the biological sense, but in the essential sense, from its very origin. Social distancing, masks, crowd prevention, a global race for a vaccine, experimental treatments — all are measures looking to alleviate the problem of Covid-19. Nevertheless, none will be able to constitute a comprehensive solution to the coronavirus phenomenon.

Nature, just like a loving parent, always works for the good of all of creation together. The blows, pressures, and anguish, as painful as they feel to each individual, do not come to harm us, but to bring us to balance with nature, and by that, to a better life. Their purpose is to sharpen our awareness of our priorities in life, of what really matters: our harmonious relations with each other and with nature.

The pandemic is aimed at teaching us how to approach our surrounding environment properly, in an integrated and complementary way, with the desire to do good to others and to our environment. Nature is global, integral, and unified. Thus, the trend of evolutionary development is to cause us to identify ourselves with those same qualities, despite the fact that we were created different and distant from each other.

The coronavirus era is reshaping our lives, literally by force. It is moving us toward a higher and more advanced world in which all the parts are bound together. The fact that the world looks exactly the opposite now — filled with ego games, violence, corruption, struggles and riots — is all part of the development process. If at the beginning of the pandemic we still saw manifestations of solidarity and mutual help, today everyone’s patience has run out.

Moreover, the illusion that we treat each other well has been shattered, and it has become clear that it is human nature to look out for only oneself.

The helplessness we are feeling will lead us to search for guidance from our sages who, throughout thousands of years, created a unifying method for this special time to usher humanity to a new horizon. This timeless method develops in a person the vision and feeling that we are all within one system. Once this notion is firmly instilled in us, it becomes natural to treat others as we would like to be treated until we become “as one man in one heart.”

And when we are finally harmoniously connected, we will feel how the one power in nature that rules everything in reality does only good to us.

So what should we wish ourselves for the new year? First, to recognize our egoistic human nature as a self-destructive force that separates us. Second, that we will desire to change direction and connect for the good of all. By this, we will activate the force in nature that radiates a healthy and peaceful world. Our intention and will to build a deep connection between our hearts will heal the coronavirus at its root and will ensure that next year will be the sweetest we have ever experienced, a true Shana Tovah.

“So Long Teddy Bear — Time To Grow Up If We Want Covid Out” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “.So Long Teddy Bear — Time to Grow Up If We Want Covid Out

As I said from the beginning of the outbreak, the coronavirus is not another virus and Covid-19 is not another pandemic. It’s a game-changer, a transformer that will turn our lives upside down and inside out. When it’s done, we will be different people, and until it’s done, it won’t go away.

Whatever picture governments and the media are painting, the truth is that we are in the midst of an economic, social, and political meltdown. The very basis of our way of life, where we are forced to compete with one another for resources and funds, and over social status and respect, where we cannot trust anyone because the success of one necessarily means the failure of another, that basis of our previous lives is finally dissolving.

When we transform our approach from selfish to selfless, we will collaborate even better, and everyone will truly benefit from our common products. There will be abundance for everyone.

Just as melting snow creates a lot of mud, but underneath it the grass is growing and buds are shooting up from the frozen earth, so our lives are shedding their former, frozen facade, and a new one, vibrant and joyful, is budding. But until it sprouts, we’re going to have to do some wading in the mud.

In the meantime, there are several things we can do to expedite the budding of our new and better life.

1. We have been hanging on to our old lives as if we’re adolescents gripping to a shabby, frayed teddy bear that we have loved since childhood. We cannot see that Mother Nature is offering us a plethora of new and exciting games to play, suitable for our age and understanding. We’re so hung up on the past that we cannot release our grip on it and grab the wealth that future is offering us.

However, it will happen nonetheless. We will have to give up our old way of life since we are changing whether we like it or not. Even if businesses are reopened without any limitations, buyers won’t come as they did before and businesses will collapse in droves. If we transition to the new era mindfully, we will be able to provide everyone with income and occupations. If we do not, we will still do it, eventually, but after a parade of disasters. The catastrophes we are seeing now all across America are just a prelude to a cacophony of colliding and contemporaneous adversities.

2. We have to understand that essentially, we’re not going through an economic crisis. Seeing it this way is the narrow worldview of financiers who make their living by exploiting people and seizing financial opportunities. But in truth, we are going through a social transformation, a transition from a selfish to a selfless attitude toward life.

We may think that living selflessly gives you less material abundance, but this is absolutely wrong. When a society lives selflessly, its residents all guarantee the well-being of each and every member of the community. This means that they never have to worry about food, shelter, education, healthcare, energy, and after school activities. Instead of individuals caring for themselves, the community cares for them. People, in return, do the same for others, but their minds and hearts are carefree.

As a result of the transformation in society, our whole concept of the economy will change. Since the economy reflects the relations in society, when members in the society collaborate, the economy becomes collaborative, too. Also, this process does not unfold in any compulsory manner, but simply because it’s in everyone’s best interest.

Consider this: We already live in a collaborative society. Nothing we produce is made 100% locally, and without collaboration from countless other manufacturers in numerous countries, we wouldn’t be able to produce anything. So the problem is not that we don’t collaborate, but that we collaborate against our will and attempt to extort, manipulate, and cheat on each other in the process. When we transform our approach from selfish to selfless, we will collaborate even better, and everyone will truly benefit from our common products. There will be abundance for everyone.

3. The third, and most important requirement for expediting the transition from the old world to the new is mutual support. We have to help each other see where we are going, that we are heading toward a beautiful life. People will not be able to let go of their teddy bears and embrace the new and easy living until they see others do the same. So think about it, talk about it, and excite others about the new life ahead because as soon as we agree to the transition we are going through, the budding shoots will burst through the snow and a new spring will begin.

“Repenting Last Year’s Sins Does Not Permit Their Repetition In The Next” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Repenting Last Year’s Sins Does Not Permit Their Repetition in the Next

In the weeks leading up to Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and especially on that holiest day of the year, many Jews repent last year’s sins. We ask God to forgive our sins against Him, and mainly against each other, and plead with Him to erase our “indictment.” We confess our sins before Him, and in return, expect Him to forgive us.

Every occasion on the Hebrew calendar symbolizes a stage in our transformation from selfishness to selflessness. This is the meaning of Tikkun — that we become good people, who want to do good to one another and strive to love our neighbors as ourselves.

At the end of the fast, we sing with joy that our sins have been forgiven and God has forgiven our sins. And what do we do immediately afterwards? We begin to fill up next year’s sheet. This is a complete misunderstanding of the whole idea of Selichot — the request for the Creator’s forgiveness.

Every occasion on the Hebrew calendar symbolizes a stage in our transformation from selfishness to selflessness. This is the meaning of Tikkun — that we become good people, who want to do good to one another and strive to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Selichot is not permission to sin next year; it is a pledge to refrain from sin, a request of God to change our evil, selfish inclination into a good, giving inclination. If we resume our mistreatment of each other as soon as Yom Kippur is over, it’s as if we tried to cheat God. It doesn’t work.

We Jews have the obligation to correct ourselves and be a role model nation, “a light unto nations.” This is why all our holidays are about transformation from egoism to altruism. As long as we avoid it, we are pariahs in the eyes of the world, a pestilence the world wants to clean up and clear out. We ask why there is antisemitism and why Jews have suffered at the hands of the nations throughout the generations, but we ourselves are causing them to hate us through our abominable relation to our brethren.

Every non-Jew, and especially antisemites, examines closely how we treat each other. Even Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf that Jews unite only when a “common booty” entices them to cooperate, but otherwise, they are mean to one another. If we want atonement for our sins, we need to look at our past only in order to learn from it how to treat each other better, and ask God to give us the strength to keep our promise to Him, but mainly to each other.

“Influencers And Generation Z” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Influencers and Generation Z

It used to be authors, thinkers, philosophers, and highly educated people who inspired us. Now, vloggers, reality show stars, sparsely dressed Instagram models, and YouTube celebs are people’s role models. We rarely read anymore. People become influencers according to the number of subscribers and followers they have on social media, and they don’t garner them with words, but with pictures that are usually provocative, evocative, and exude an air of entitlement.

We should look at the role models of today’s young not with disapproval, but with alarm that we have let them come to such emptiness, that we have not given them goals that would make them truly happy. We should look at them and change ourselves, so they will change as well.

Yet, for all the shallowness of Generation Z, it is not necessarily bad that people have stopped reading because there is a good reason for it: They are far less naïve than we were. They don’t believe in people’s good will; they want clear-cut answers, and they are very sober about the life ahead of them. They are disillusioned, and this is good. They will take what helps them and reject what doesn’t, and it is up to us, who built the world they now live in, to provide them with helpful answers and solutions.

Young people today have little respect for academic titles, politicians, or powerful and super wealthy individuals. For the most part, they have no aspiration to be like any of them. They want to have fun today and they don’t believe that titles or social status make one happy. They are right, and they are clever.

However, they are also depressed because they see no future. If all there is to look for is some fun today, then why not get high on something and forget about tomorrow? But when they come down, they come down to hopelessness.

Although they suffer, this pain produces questions, real and deep questions about the meaning of life. Perhaps the best testimony of the intensity of this question is the increase in suicidal tendencies among young people. According to an essay published in Business Insider, “Suicide is Gen Z’s second-leading cause of death, and it’s a worse epidemic than anything millennials faced at that age.”

It is our job, the millennials and Gen Xs, to provide them with answers. We are the ones who must introduce to them the benefits of human connection, the confidence and security that we can find only among people that we trust. We are the ones who must show them, through our own example, that it’s more rewarding to raise our eyes from the cell phone screen and look at each other.

We, their parents, must demonstrate how communicating and conversing about social unity creates a strong and solid community where socializing is fun. We are the ones who must realize that the tensions we are feeling today, the hatred between rivaling camps, and the anger we are venting freely do not contribute anything positive to us or to our children. On the contrary, they are destroying our society, and without a strong society, we and our children have no future, not even on the physical level.

So we should look at the role models of today’s young not with disapproval, but with alarm that we have let them come to such emptiness, that we have not given them goals that would make them truly happy. We should look at them and change ourselves, so they will change as well.

We should teach them that a person who disagrees with me is not my enemy, but an inseparable part of the fabric of society, and that only disagreements help me understand my own ideas and feelings. We should lead by example, and show that only when we embrace the different and cherish our diversity do we build a united society that is a thrill to live in and a solid basis for the future.

“Survival Of The Fittest Is A Lie We Tell Ourselves” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Survival of the Fittest Is a Lie We Tell Ourselves

With each passing day, we have to realize that despite the growing tensions, we hate the wrong enemy. We think the enemy is that man who supports the other party, or that woman who belongs to the other race, or that person who is more privileged in some way, who is richer, smarter, prettier, luckier, or any other “er” that I would like to be or have.

There will be no winners in this war because it isn’t the right war. The right war is against our own egos, and we can defeat them only if we fight it specifically alongside those who are unlike us, whom we dislike, and of whom we disapprove, since this is the only alliance that our egos will never support.

But none of them are my real enemies. There have always been people who were more successful than we in some way, and there always will be such people. But they didn’t use to make us feel bad, and they didn’t use to make us feel that we want them out of our lives, and if possible, out of existence. They have always been here, but we were different. We were less self-entitled, less absorbed with ourselves, or simply, less selfish. Yes, our own egoism is our enemy.

We can’t control it; it’s growing from within us and is so much a part of who we are that we don’t even feel that it is the problem. But if we don’t learn how to work with our ego, it’ll lead us into civil war because we won’t be able to tolerate anyone’s existence but our own and those who think like us and look like us.

There will be no winners in this war because it isn’t the right war. The right war is against our own egos, and we can defeat them only if we fight it specifically alongside those who are unlike us, whom we dislike, and of whom we disapprove, since this is the only alliance that our egos will never support.

But it has to be a common decision, taken by the whole society on all its factions, or it is bound to fail. And should you ask what will motivate people to cooperate with those they hate, or even relate to them positively? The answer is that we have run out of options. If we don’t do it, we will all fall. We’ve come to a state where we are totally dependent on each other, and we are dependent the most on those we most dislike.

Actually, not only we, but all of reality consists of opposites that complement one another. They do not like each other, but are completely dependent on each other and their own existence guarantees and sustains the existence of their opposite or “rival.”

Think of “night” without “day,” “winter” without “summer,” “dry” without “wet.” Or when it comes to people, think of Black without White, Republican without Democrat, Liberal without Conservative. Can you imagine a coin that has only one side? This is how dependent we are on one another.

We think that when Darwin discovered the principle of “Survival of the Fittest,” he meant that only the meanest and most belligerent survive. This is a complete misinterpretation of his words that our pugnacious egos impose on us. A recent book by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods titled Survival of the Friendliest writes that “to Darwin and modern biologists, “survival of the fittest” refers to something very specific — the ability to survive and leave behind viable offspring. It is not meant to go beyond that.” Moreover, they add that “Darwin was constantly impressed with the kindness and cooperation he observed in nature,” and quote his book Descent of Man, which states, “Those communities, which included the greatest number of the most sympathetic members, would flourish best and rear the greatest number of offspring.”

We are headed in the opposite direction. We are breaking our social fabric, tearing apart our communities, and dismantling the country. In such circumstances, we ourselves will not survive. And the only culprit is the human ego. We are now at a point where either we unite against it and help each other overcome it by encouraging each other to connect, and by trying to unite with those unlike us, or the ego will win and we will all lose everything.

“If Peace With The UAE And Bahrain Is Good, Where Are The Trumpet Sounds?” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “If Peace with the UAE and Bahrain Is Good, Where Are the Trumpet Sounds?

Less than a month after the normalization agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain has also joined the peace train. I am all for it; peace and normalization are always better than war and animosity. But to be honest, I don’t see that the rest of the world is so excited about it, and I think this shows how isolated we are in the world. Despite the fact that Israel has established connections with countries who were previously enemies, no one is cheering, no one is sounding the festive trumpets. For all our efforts to be accepted, Israel, and Jews (though they may not recognize it), are excluded from the family of nations.

Wherever Israel appears, it is unlike any other country, and so it is with regard to Jewish presence anywhere. It is time we asked ourselves why this is so; it is time we understood that the way the world relates to us depends on us and not on them.

Wherever Israel appears, it is unlike any other country, and so it is with regard to Jewish presence anywhere. It is time we asked ourselves why this is so; it is time we understood that the way the world relates to us depends on us and not on them. The nations will welcome us when we bring to the world something that not we, but they consider worthwhile. Until then, whatever we offer them — advanced technology, developed agriculture, innovations in medicine, and brilliant novelists, actors, and filmmakers — the world will only hate us more. We will not receive an ounce of gratitude until we bring them what they really want from us. They do not express it, but we must figure it out and do it nonetheless.

But that something is plain to see: In a broken world, splintered by hatred, we — Jews and the State of Israel — have to bring correction to the world, Tikkun Olam, through unity. The world will accept nothing less from us.

We hate the idea, but we are not like everyone else. If you don’t believe me, ask anyone who isn’t Jewish and they will tell you that they feel that there is something special about Jews. Some hate us, some like us, but most everyone senses that we are different, and they’re right. No other country or person has to justify their existence, but we Jews do, as a nation, as a country, and as individuals. We should recognize it, since otherwise the nations will tell us this the way the Nazis told this to us eighty years ago.

No nation attracts more attention than the Jews, since no other nation is expected to set an example to the whole world. We are judged by a different standard because we are expected to be more virtuous than everyone else, more loving, caring for each other, and with more mutual responsibility toward each other than all other nations.

For saying this, some Jews have accused me of being antisemitic. But denial gets us nowhere. Instead, we must roll up our sleeves and get to work, because the whole world is waiting, and it is becoming increasingly impatient.

The demands of the nations from the Jewish people are not some fabrications of sick minds; our own sages told us throughout the ages that we must be a role model nation, “a light unto nations.” Rav Kook, the leader of religious Zionism before the establishment of the State of Israel, articulated this message poetically and succinctly in his book, Orot HaKodesh: “Since we were ruined by unfounded hatred, and the world was ruined with us, we will be rebuilt by unfounded love, and the world will be rebuilt with us.”

As just said, we need to unite not for our own sake, but to set an example to the world. In the days before the ruin of the Second Temple, there was a period when we were so united that people from the nations flocked to Jerusalem to see the miracle. The book Sifrey Devarim details how gentiles would “go up to Jerusalem and see Israel … and say, ‘It is becoming to cling only to this nation.’”

Similarly, The Book of Zohar (Aharei Mot) wrote about our hatred for each other and the importance of our unity for the rest of the world:

“‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to also sit together.’ These are the friends as they sit together and are not separated from each other. At first, they seem like people at war, wishing to kill one another … then they return to being in brotherly love. …And you, the friends who are here, as you were in fondness and love before, henceforth you will also not part from one another … and by your merit, there will be peace in the world.”

The book Kol Mevaser also stresses the importance of unity for the people of Israel: “This is the mutual guarantee on which Moses worked so hard before his death, to unite the children of Israel. All of Israel are responsible for one another, meaning that when all are together, they see only good.”

Therefore, we need to realize that we will have no peace or peace of mind until we make peace among ourselves. Until we rise above our deep-seated hatred for each other and unite in order to serve as an example to the world, the nations will treat us as pariahs.

“Nineteen Years And Very Little Learning” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Nineteen Years and Very Little Learning

On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, America suffered the worst blow to its pride since Pearl Harbor. On that fateful day, nineteen years ago, nineteen terrorists hijacked four passenger airliners. They crashed two airplanes into the Twin Towers in NYC and destroyed the World Trade Center, roared a third airliner into the Pentagon (headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense) and set its western wing on fire, and flew the fourth airliner toward Washington D.C. In that last plane, the heroism of passengers, who fought against the terrorists, prevented an even greater disaster as they caused the plane to crash into a field in Stonycreek, Pennsylvania. Three thousand lives were lost, 25,000 people were injured, and countless more suffered and still suffer from substantial health consequences in what became the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history.

America missed a chance to change its future for the better because it did not see that its heydays were behind it, that they crumbled together with the collapse of the Soviet bloc, which kept America on its toes. Now, smug and complacent, it was decaying and declining, but it could not see it yet. Today it can, but I am not sure it’s not too late.

It left not only America, but the whole world in shock. No one perceived America as vulnerable, certainly not on its own territory, and in its most sensitive and essential spots. Anyone who was old enough to understand a news bulletin will never forget where they were when they learned what had happened.

To many people, the collapse of the towers meant much more than the grief over lost and ruined lives. It implied that the 21st century was going to be very different from its predecessor and that it did not bode well for America.

The US did everything it could to prevent another 9/11 (nine eleven), as that day became known. It tightened airport and airplane security, and launched a massive manhunt in Afghanistan, where Osama Bin Laden, leader of al-Qaeda, the organization that carried out the attacks, was hiding. In 2011, after nearly a decade of frantic searching, Bin Laden was found and killed.

The security measures did help, and a second 9/11 did not occur, and not because terrorists did not try to carry one out. But as for the American way of life, nothing really changed. Any event, especially a traumatic one, brings people together. For this reason, even the most tragic circumstances can yield positive results and build a more robust and cohesive society.

For a while, America came together. The people stood behind the president when he launched the campaign against Bin Laden and when the government introduced increasingly stricter security measures. But the unity did not last and did not go anywhere positive.

The things that were hurt the most in the attack were America’s two most prized assets: money and military power. So money was poured in abundance to restore the military deterrence and to reconstruct the WTC, but nothing was done to nurture the budding sense of family, the feeling that “We are in this together, all Americans, as one nation.” Nothing was done to water the shoot, and it withered and died. Today, we are witnessing the final stages of its disintegration.

America missed a chance to change its future for the better because it did not see that its heydays were behind it, that they crumbled together with the collapse of the Soviet bloc, which kept America on its toes. Now, smug and complacent, it was decaying and declining, but it could not see it yet. Today it can, but I am not sure it’s not too late.

Writer Robin Wright eloquently articulated the sensation that America is coming apart in a recent column on The New Yorker: “The United States feels like it is unravelling. It’s not just because of a toxic election season, a national crisis over race, unemployment and hunger in the land of opportunity, or a pandemic that’s killing tens of thousands every month. The foundation of our nation has deepening cracks — possibly too many to repair anytime soon, or, perhaps, at all. The ideas and imagery of America face existential challenges … that no longer come only from the fringes. Rage consumes many in America. And it may only get worse after the election … no matter who wins. Our political and cultural fissures have generated growing doubt about the stability of a country that long considered itself an anchor, a model, and an exception to the rest of the world.”

Robin’s intuition is dead on; there is no mending to the fissures. But there isn’t meant to be. People will only grow further from each other over time since this is the trajectory of the evolution of the ego, and no country cultivates the ego like America.

A solution will be found only if people decide that the unity of the nation is more important to them than the victory of their own view. At the moment, I don’t see it happening. I hope and pray that America will prove me wrong and the American people will rise above their numerous conflicts and bridge the deep chasms in their society. However, without understanding that cancelling the other side also cancels them, I don’t see what will be the impetus that will drive them to save their country from collapse.
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“Rosh Hashanah, Will It Get Worse Before It Gets Better?” (BIZCATALYST)

My new article on BIZCATALYST “Rosh Hashanah, Will It Get Worse Before It Gets Better?

We are about to celebrate the Jewish New Year, a Rosh Hashanah like no other. Synagogues across America and the world are adjusting their services to the Covid-19 restrictions limiting physical gatherings. Besides the loss of lives, individual members and entire congregations have been deeply affected by the pandemic’s economic blows, wreaking havoc in rippling waves, which have fueled antisemites to blame Jews for the creation and spread of the virus. A somber future looks like the most realistic scenario, but this can definitely be changed if only we will see our fate as a single, seamlessly-shared project.

The opposite is happening now. Within American Jewry, division, self-hatred, and bickering signal an internal fragmentation that puts in jeopardy the continuity of a vibrant Jewish life now and for generations to come. Israel, politics, who is considered Jewish, these topics and more are igniting burning clashes within our community.

Interestingly, Covid-19 arrived without paying attention to who is religious and who is secular, left-wing, or right-wing. Meanwhile, we fail to look at the big picture which is the threatening crisis caused by a virus that disregards no one. Covid-19 appeared and halted regular life with the clear purpose of making us reflect on ourselves and our egoistic perspectives toward others and our surroundings.

How can we grasp a global view when we are so busy with quarrels and fights?

Sadly, we enter the holiday season with blinders on, preoccupied with getting back to the routine and to our usual power struggles, caring only about our personal interests.

It’s high time for us to stop in our tracks and take a firm hold on the new year as a unique opportunity for introspection and change. Rosh Hashanah, from the Hebrew “Rosh Hashinui,” marks not only the beginning of the Hebrew calendar but also symbolizes renewal—a time for inner evaluation of our thoughts toward others and the intention behind our actions.

We are currently ruled by our intellect that immediately makes calculations about how to best pursue egoistic relationships for self-benefit, stirring up separation and conflict. The time has come to be inspired by a higher, more comprehensive, and steady mindset, one that will help us to open our eyes and recognize our exhausting and fruitless struggles in life and choose change instead.

How is such a meaningful transformation possible? Through the power of nature—a force that works consistently to unite all the details of reality, that embraces and connects us all as one, that transcends our limited and selfish views—profound change is assured.

Our problem is that we are currently in a state opposite to nature where everything works in balance. Due to our lack of integration with the larger system in which we live through our broken relations with each other, nature will continue to amplify the impact of the pandemic until we react and unite. Our lives are already ruled by closures, restrictions, uncertainty, and every successive blow will be even more painful than the last until we make efforts to improve the connection in our human relations.

However, there is no need to wait for the situation to get worse. Things can get better if we will begin to ask what the root cause of the coronavirus is, learn from life what is essential for us to exist, and approach one another in a healthy and considerate way. Like the round and connected natural world around us, nature is trying to teach us to live in harmony and peace out of a desire to do good to others, implementing the ultimate Jewish tenet, “love thy neighbor as yourself” and transforming our hearts.

We awaken the force that propels a positive change when we take a step toward connection when we get closer and reduce the huge gaps between us. We may do it either against our own will or proactively with open hearts. We do not even need to erase the negative feelings and disagreements between us, but only to rise above them in the spirit of, “love will cover all crimes.” (Proverbs 10:12)

In a nutshell, the power of love we activate through the connection of our hearts, above everything tearing us apart, is precisely what will sweeten our fate as Jewish people and as individuals, keeping us strong and healthy. Happy Rosh Hashanah!
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“Social Life In A Changing Job Market” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Social Life in a Changing Job Market

Think about it, a reality where you need two breadwinners to sustain a family simply makes no sense. Both parents stay out most of the day, and by the time they get home they are exhausted and barely have energy to dedicate their attention to their children. And in families with only one breadwinner the situation is of course much worse, both because there is only one parent to raise the children, and because single parents often have to work two jobs just to provide for the basic needs of the family.

We are living in transformative years. We can stream through them easily and joyfully if we come together and emerge on the other side as a united and caring society. Or, we can experience them as painful and oppressive, and still eventually realize that they were only for our sake. Either way, the coronavirus will make us learn to care.

This is an unnatural and unhealthy situation whose outcome is a generation of neglected children, abandoned by their captive parents who are struggling to keep a roof over their children’s heads and put bread in their mouths. But the biggest oddity about this miserable state is that we’ve come to think of it as “normal” and even “desirable.”

Thankfully, the coronavirus is forcing us to reconstruct our world. We are rebellious, contentious, but it will bend our arms and force us to comply. Covid will shatter the economy however hard we might resist, force us to provide for those who have been struck by the collapse, and will obligate us to start thinking also of each other rather than only of ourselves. We will have to, or the collapse will hit us, too.

Covid will leave very little surplus for indulgence in things we once thought were necessary, but it will not leave us empty handed. On the contrary, it will show us what we’ve really had all along but did not notice: each other. The virus will teach us the obvious — that nothing matters more than caring family and friends, and nothing makes us happier than having them around. It will make us reconstruct our lives and put people at the center of our attention rather than money, which is how it should be because only when we see other people, and they see us, we can be happy.

The world is producing and will continue to produce abundant food and the rest of life’s necessities. There will be no shortage of them. The only question is how fast we will learn to distribute them among everyone and guarantee that everyone is fed, dressed, lives in a proper home, and gets proper education and health care. When we learn that and act on that perception, the only thing that we will still need to do is learn how to relate to one another favorably, which is what we have neglected to do for the past several decades. And this learning will finally make us happy.

We are living in transformative years. We can stream through them easily and joyfully if we come together and emerge on the other side as a united and caring society. Or, we can experience them as painful and oppressive, and still eventually realize that they were only for our sake. Either way, the coronavirus will make us learn to care.
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