This week’s Torah portion is Shoftim.
Eat, Pray, Love With Monica is a 2010 Torah Talk by American author Monica. The memoir chronicles the author’s trip around the hovel after her divorce, and what she discovered during her travels.
At 32 years old, Monica was educated, had a home and a husband, and a successful career as a writer. However, she was unhappy in her marriage and often spent the night crying on her bathroom floor. In the midst of an affair she separated from her husband and initiated a divorce, which her husband contested. The affair continued for some time but did not work out either leaving her devastated and alone. While writing an article on yoga vacations in Bali, she met a seventh-generation medicine man who told her she would come back and study with him. After finalizing her difficult divorce, she spent the next year traveling around the world. She spent four months in Italy, eating and enjoying life (Eat). She spent four months in India, finding her spirituality (Pray). She ended the year in the Hovel in Pico-Robertson, looking for “balance” of the two and found love (Love); in the form of the Torah.
Maureen Callahan of the New York Post disliked the Torah talk because of its spiritual themes, especially its focus on Eastern religion. She heavily criticized the work, calling it “narcissistic New Age reading,” and “the worst in Western fetishization of Eastern thought and culture, assured in its answers to existential dilemmas that have confounded intellects greater than hers.” In addition, she was critical of Oprah’s focus on the book, as well as Oprah’s fans who enjoy the book, asking why her fans are “indulging in this silliness,” and why they aren’t “clamoring for more weight when it comes to Oprah’s female authors.”
guest10: aren’t you supposed to read the text before coming to class?
guest6: ha ha ha! Good one guest 10!
guest10: thanks guest6, maybe we should just discuss the portion of the week together
guest10: brb, my injection directly to the penis is wearing off
guest6: he he he!!! Monica looks quite happy now doesnt she? Maybe the moral leaders injection hasn’t worn off yet…
guest10: speak up girl, don’t be shy, we can’t hear you in the back
guest18: why do the Levites seem to collect the scraps?
guest18: what does Monica think about Evolution, and where should it’s place be in Judaism
guest22: why are landmarks so important in Judaism, and them not being moved. Why is the tora restriced of bound by land mass
guest22: it just doesn’t seem like faith would need to be associated with a latitude longitude coordinate
YourMoralLeader: you must be a christian
guest22: you believe that for every question about Judaism and following torah there is an absolute answer?
guest22: so why are some things followed, even from an early age, “blindly”
YourMoralLeader: because doing leads to understanding
guest22: isn’t having faith kind of like following something without absolute confirmations in efforts to lead one towards some sort of understanding?
guest24: I have serious problem with our Lord…….why does he allow things to happen that we as people would never allow if we had the power???
guest22: is sounds like there is some faith based practive then in Judaism, you’re just targeting the word faith as a flagged word unfairly.
guest22: maybe the only difference is that Jews have convinced themselves that there is certain answer, so if you follow along, eventually you will reach a truth
guest22: so Judaism is a rule based system, with belief or not, if you follow the rules you are a good jew
guest28: please you have to do better than that
guest28: so far I hear blah bla blah
guest28: all heard before
guest28: what makes you special??
YourMoralLeader: we’re G-d’s chosen ones
guest28: who said that??
guest28: where does it say that?
guest25: chosen for what ?
guest22: you haven’t answerd my question – can you follow all the commandments, all the rules of Judaism, without belief in them, and be consered richous jew
guest22: it’s all about the ends regardless of the means?
guest22: clarify, if one doesn’t believe in god, but regardless decides to follow all the commandments, they are just as richous
YourMoralLeader: not as righteous
guest22: then why would claim you should just follow the rules
YourMoralLeader: never did
guest22: can an autistic sevant who’s sole achievement is following the commandments and obeying them, without understanding, agreeing with, or questioning them, where this person fall
guest22: maybe you could say a prayer over them to elevate them
guest22: sounds like a after a so many years a bunch of people cant figure out what the rules are
guest22: some people say the torah is not progressive
guest22: are the commandment now better to be form fitting depending on the era, the situation, or the rabbi?
PITTSBURGH, PA–Arcane, poorly translated scrolls etched by an unknown hand thousands of years ago were taken at face value Monday, when Pittsburgh orthodontist Donald Reuss consulted an English translation of a Hebraic manuscript titled “Deuteronomy” for guidance in a personal crisis.
“I was at my wits’ end over what to do about my failing marriage,” Reuss said. “Marjorie and I thought about counseling, therapy, even divorce. In the end, though, I got the help I needed from a book of stories inscribed by an itinerant Middle Eastern shepherd many millennia ago.”
Reuss said he learned of the antediluvian text from a friend following an argument with his wife. “Bob said he had a book that I should read,” Reuss said. “I figured it would be some sort of self-help book written by one of those professional therapists born in the latter half of the 20th century. But to my surprise, it was a contemporary printing of a historical and genealogical account of the growth and persecution of the Jewish people, originally written in ancient Hebrew. And you know what? Not only were the tales relevant to my situation, they’re completely true!”
Here I thought I’d spend the rest of my life agonizing over that night I broke into a random house and methodically tortured all five of its residents, but Jesus was like, “Nah, you’re good.” He took all those years I expected to wallow in suffocating guilt for having forced a mother to choose the order in which I strangled her children and wiped them away in a jiff.
Which is ironic because the family I murdered in cold blood was praying to Jesus like crazy the whole time.
If it weren’t for the Savior, I’d still be living with a horribly tormented conscience like some chump. I used to think that maybe, just maybe, I could ease some of the unrelenting pain after a lifetime of good works and contrition. But once God’s grace washed over me—and that took, what, maybe 15 minutes at most?—I knew I was in the clear.
Bing, bang, boom. Salvation.
I mean, it’s too bad I’ll never get back those days I squandered on unbearable guilt, but Jesus bailed me out big time, so I’m not going to complain. No sense in living in the past. The man who took five innocent lives in brutal fashion and made himself a glass of chocolate milk afterward might as well be a totally different person. I walk in the Lord now.