Author Topic: 6 Levels of Dialog with God  (Read 1897 times)

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Offline Daniel Alievsky

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6 Levels of Dialog with God
« on: July 14, 2014, 02:56:47 PM »
Shalom,

Let me present my article
Six Levels of Dialogue with God
(I'm sorry if it is not the best forum section for this subject; I'm a novice here.)
I understand that this article cannot resolve all problems, especially current problems between Jews and Arabs, but I believe that this work can help to find understanding between different worldviews.

The main idea here is the symmetric structure, existing in all forms of our Dialog with God - the structure like menorah, consisting of 6 "symmetric branches". This structure is described by God in Torah in Vayikra 26, and it seems that this model allows to understand the ways to God of very different worldviews, including Christianity, Judaism, Eastern religions. I've read the starting idea (of counting 7 sins) in Rashi's comment, but only starting idea - I still didn't find such a system in the literature.

I hope these ideas can be useful for deeper understanding Bible and our way to God, Jewish way and way of other worldviews. I will be glad to any criticism, comments and ideas.
Jew from Karmiel, community Nitzoz Machanaim

Offline Daniel Alievsky

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Re: 6 Levels of Dialog with God
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2014, 07:52:27 AM »
No any comments for a long time... What can be a reason?
Jew from Karmiel, community Nitzoz Machanaim

Offline muman613

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Re: 6 Levels of Dialog with God
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2014, 05:36:41 PM »
Shalom Daniel,

I read part of it. Very interesting although not fully in line with my understanding of our Torah.

I don't want to debate it though..

Thank you
And you shall call out and say before the Lord, your God, "An Aramean [sought to] destroy my forefather, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there with a small number of people, and there, he became a great, mighty, and numerous nation.
Devarim/Ki Tavo 26:5

Offline muman613

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Re: 6 Levels of Dialog with God
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2014, 05:48:12 PM »
Let me point out that we do not presume to know the ways of Hashem. Humans are incapable of truly comprehending the way Hashem operates in this world. This is a very poigniant idea of the Book of Job (Iyov)... See chapters 36-38...


http://www.ww.w.ouradio.org/torah/article/tisha_bav_and_sefer_iyov#.U8hCRXXhNoU

Quote
Aside from marking the anniversary of the destruction of the Beis Ha-Mikdash and Yerushalayim, as well as the exile of our people, Tisha B'Av represents the commencement of a long-term state of Hester Panim, which means that God "hides His Face" and is not readily perceptible to us in our everyday lives. Thus, inexplicable suffering endures, the righteous seem to be punished and the wicked appear to prosper, and open miracles which demonstrate God's control are almost unheard of anymore. Whereas before the Churban, we were guided by the Nevi'im (Prophets) who explained what Hashem was doing and why it had to be done, and God related to the universe in a manner which humans could comprehend, we are now in a post-Churban state of Hester Panim, unable to understand God's ways and subject to seemingly inexplicable circumstances. We know that Hashem is in control, yet we experience the fate of Hester Panim as originally prophesied by Moshe in the Tochachah (Rebuke) of Parshas Ki Savo and its narration in Parshiyos Vayelech and Ha'azinu.

This is precisely the link of Sefer Iyov to Tisha B'Av. Iyov's suffering was incomprehensible. At the end of the book, God speaks to Iyov and advises him that the ways of the Divine cannot be understood by Man. Hashem's works - whether they appeared to Iyov to be good or evil - are part of God's master plan and are mysterious to earthly beings, and one cannot question their legitimacy or wisdom. Only God, Who set up the cosmos and controls the fate of Man, knows the rationale behind why all things happen, and only He has mastery over all that transpires.

The story of Iyov enables us to understand what Hester Panim is all about. Just as Hashem spoke to Iyov and explained to him the state in which he found himself, Hashem likewise speaks to us through Sefer Iyov and intimates to us the character of Hester Panim, which was precipitated and is epitomized by Tisha B'Av.


1. Then the Lord answered Job from the tempest and said,       א. וַיַּעַן יְהֹוָה אֶת אִיּוֹב מִן | הַסְּעָרָה וַיֹּאמַר:
2. "Who is this who gives dark counsel, with words, without knowledge?       ב. מִי זֶה | מַחְשִׁיךְ עֵצָה בְמִלִּין בְּלִי דָעַת:
3. Now gird your loins like a man, and I will ask you and [you] tell Me.       ג. אֱזָר נָא כְגֶבֶר חֲלָצֶיךָ וְאֶשְׁאָלְךָ וְהוֹדִיעֵנִי:
4. Where were you when I founded the earth? Tell if you know understanding.       ד. אֵיפֹה הָיִיתָ בְּיָסְדִי אָרֶץ הַגֵּד אִם יָדַעְתָּ בִינָה:
5. Who placed its measures if you know, or who extended a line over it?       ה. מִי שָׂם מְמַדֶּיהָ כִּי תֵדָע אוֹ מִי נָטָה עָלֶיהָ קָּו:
6. On what were its sockets sunk, or who laid its cornerstone?       ו. עַל מָה אֲדָנֶיהָ הָטְבָּעוּ אוֹ מִי יָרָה אֶבֶן פִּנָּתָהּ:
7. When the morning stars sing together, and all the angels of God shout?       ז. בְּרָן יַחַד כּוֹכְבֵי בֹקֶר וַיָּרִיעוּ כָּל בְּנֵי אֱלֹהִים:
8. And [who] shut up the sea with doors when it broke forth and issued out of the womb?       ח. וַיָּסֶךְ בִּדְלָתַיִם יָם בְּגִיחוֹ מֵרֶחֶם יֵצֵא:
9. When I made the cloud its raiment and the dark cloud its wrapping?       ט. בְּשׂוּמִי עָנָן לְבֻשׁוֹ וַעֲרָפֶל חֲתֻלָּתוֹ:
10. And broke for it My prescribed limit, and placed a bar and doors?       י. וָאֶשְׁבֹּר עָלָיו חֻקִּי וָאָשִׂים בְּרִיחַ וּדְלָתָיִם:
11. And said, 'Until here you may come but no further, and here [your strength] shall place your waves with pride.'       יא. וָאֹמַר עַד פֹּה תָבוֹא וְלֹא תֹסִיף וּפֹא יָשִׁית בִּגְאוֹן גַּלֶּיךָ:
12. In [all] your days, did you command the morning? Did you tell the dawn its place?       יב. הֲמִיָּמֶיךָ צִוִּיתָ בֹּקֶר יִדַּעְתָּ הַשַּׁחַר מְקוֹמוֹ:
13. To grasp the corners of the earth so that the wicked shall be shaken from it?       יג. לֶאֱחֹז בְּכַנְפוֹת הָאָרֶץ וְיִנָּעֲרוּ רְשָׁעִים מִמֶּנָּה:
14. The seal changes like clay and they shall stand like a garment.       יד. תִּתְהַפֵּךְ כְּחֹמֶר חוֹתָם וְיִתְיַצְּבוּ כְּמוֹ לְבוּשׁ:
15. And their light shall be withheld from the wicked, and the high arm shall be broken.       טו. וְיִמָּנַע מֵרְשָׁעִים אוֹרָם וּזְרוֹעַ רָמָה תִּשָּׁבֵר:
16. Have you come until the locks of the sea, and have you walked in the searching out of the deep?       טז. הֲבָאתָ עַד נִבְכֵי יָם וּבְחֵקֶר תְּהוֹם הִתְהַלָּכְתָּ:
17. Have the gates of death been revealed to you, and do you see the gates of the shadow of death?       יז. הֲנִגְלוּ לְךָ שַׁעֲרֵי מָוֶת וְשַׁעֲרֵי צַלְמָוֶת תִּרְאֶה:
18. Do you understand [everything] until the breadths of the earth? Tell if you know it all.       יח. הִתְבֹּנַנְתָּ עַד רַחֲבֵי אָרֶץ הַגֵּד אִם יָדַעְתָּ כֻלָּהּ:
19. Which is the way to [the place] where the light dwells, and as for darkness-where is its place?       יט. אֵי זֶה הַדֶּרֶךְ יִשְׁכָּן אוֹר וְחֹשֶׁךְ אֵי זֶה מְקֹמוֹ:
20. That you should take it to its border and that you should understand the paths of its house?       כ. כִּי תִקָּחֶנּוּ אֶל גְּבוּלוֹ וְכִי תָבִין נְתִיבוֹת בֵּיתוֹ:
21. You knew- for then you were born, and the number of your days would be many.       כא. יָדַעְתָּ כִּי אָז תִּוָּלֵד וּמִסְפַּר יָמֶיךָ רַבִּים:
22. Have you come to the treasures of snow, and did you see the treasures of hail?       כב. הֲבָאתָ אֶל אֹצְרוֹת שָׁלֶג וְאוֹצְרוֹת בָּרָד תִּרְאֶה:
23. That I saved for a time of trouble, for a day of battle and war?       כג. אֲשֶׁר חָשַׂכְתִּי לְעֶת צָר לְיוֹם קְרָב וּמִלְחָמָה:
24. Which way is the light parted, [which way] does the eastern one spread it over the earth?       כד. אֵי זֶה הַדֶּרֶךְ יֵחָלֶק אוֹר יָפֵץ קָדִים עֲלֵי אָרֶץ:
25. Who has separated a place for the hair and a way for the cloud of the thunderclaps?       כה. מִי פִלַּג לַשֶּׁטֶף תְּעָלָה וְדֶרֶךְ לַחֲזִיז קֹלוֹת:
26. To rain on the earth where no man is; a desert in which there is no man.       כו. לְהַמְטִיר עַל אֶרֶץ לֹא אִישׁ מִדְבָּר לֹא אָדָם בּוֹ:
27. To sate darkness and desolation and to cause a source of grass to sprout.       כז. לְהַשְׂבִּיעַ שֹׁאָה וּמְשֹׁאָה וּלְהַצְמִיחַ מֹצָא דֶשֶׁא:
28. Has the rain a father, or who begot the waves of dew?       כח. הֲיֵשׁ לַמָּטָר אָב אוֹ מִי הוֹלִיד אֶגְלֵי טָל:
29. From whose womb did the ice emerge, and the frost of the heaven-who bore it?       כט. מִבֶּטֶן מִי יָצָא הַקָּרַח וּכְפֹר שָׁמַיִם מִי יְלָדוֹ:
30. Like a stone, the water hides, and the face of the deep is caught.       ל. כָּאֶבֶן מַיִם יִתְחַבָּאוּ וּפְנֵי תְהוֹם יִתְלַכָּדוּ:
31. Can you tie the chains of the Pleiades or loose the straps of Orion?       לא. הַתְקַשֵּׁר מַעֲדַנּוֹת כִּימָה אוֹ מוֹשְׁכוֹת כְּסִיל תְּפַתֵּחַ:
32. Can you take out the constellations each in its time, and can you console Ayish for her children?       לב. הֲתֹצִיא מַזָּרוֹת בְּעִתּוֹ וְעַיִשׁ עַל בָּנֶיהָ תַנְחֵם:
33. Do you know the ordinances of heaven; can you place his dominion upon the earth?       לג. הֲיָדַעְתָּ חֻקּוֹת שָׁמָיִם אִם תָּשִׂים מִשְׁטָרוֹ בָאָרֶץ:
34. Can you lift up your voice to the cloud, or will an abundance of water cover you?       לד. הֲתָרִים לָעָב קוֹלֶךָ וְשִׁפְעַת מַיִם תְּכַסֶּךָּ:
35. Will you send forth lightning bolts so that they should go and say to you, 'Here we are'?       לה. הַתְשַׁלַּח בְּרָקִים וְיֵלֵכוּ וְיֹאמְרוּ לְךָ הִנֵּנוּ:
36. Who placed wisdom in the inward parts or who gave the rooster understanding?       לו. מִי שָׁת בַּטֻּחוֹת חָכְמָה אוֹ מִי נָתַן לַשֶּׂכְוִי בִינָה:
37. Who charges the skies with wisdom, and who brings down the bottles of heaven?       לז. מִי יְסַפֵּר שְׁחָקִים בְּחָכְמָה וְנִבְלֵי שָׁמַיִם מִי יַשְׁכִּיב:
38. When the dust was poured into a mass and the clods cleaved together?       לח. בְּצֶקֶת עָפָר לַמּוּצָק וּרְגָבִים יְדֻבָּקוּ:
39. Do you hunt the prey for the old lion, or do you fill the appetite of the young lions?       לט. הֲתָצוּד לְלָבִיא טָרֶף וְחַיַּת כְּפִירִים תְּמַלֵּא:
40. When they crouch in their dens, they abide in the covert to lie in wait?       מ. כִּי יָשֹׁחוּ בַמְּעוֹנוֹת יֵשְׁבוּ בַסֻּכָּה לְמוֹ אָרֶב:
41. Who prepares for the raven his prey, when his young cry out to God, they wander for lack of food?       מא. מִי יָכִין לָעֹרֵב צֵידוֹ כִּי יְלָדָיו אֶל אֵל יְשַׁוֵּעוּ יִתְעוּ לִבְלִי אֹכֶל:



We have a dialog with Hashem through our davening (Tefillah/prayer)... But when we daven we do not change the intrinsic nature of Hashem rather we change the intrinsic nature of who we are in the eyes of Hashem. Our prayers are not 'Dialog' in the traditional sense (we ask, he replies) but rather we are required to see signs of our prayers being answered.

And you shall call out and say before the Lord, your God, "An Aramean [sought to] destroy my forefather, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there with a small number of people, and there, he became a great, mighty, and numerous nation.
Devarim/Ki Tavo 26:5

Offline Daniel Alievsky

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Re: 6 Levels of Dialog with God
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2014, 08:40:34 AM »
Let me point out that we do not presume to know the ways of Hashem. Humans are incapable of truly comprehending the way Hashem operates in this world. This is a very poigniant idea of the Book of Job (Iyov)... See chapters 36-38...
You are right, but it does not mean that we should not try to understand Torah deeper. There were a lot of classifications of mitzvot, in particular, several systems of 613 commandments.

My classifications seem to be useful, in particular, to understand the way to God of different nations and religions - the goal which was not usually indented in classic Jewish sources. And, of course, it helps to better understand our own approaches to keeping Torah.

Our prayers are not 'Dialog' in the traditional sense (we ask, he replies) but rather we are required to see signs of our prayers being answered.
I cannot agree with it. Yes, really, many prayers in synagogues do not except His replies, but I believe that it is a deep mistake. I want to remind about Yosef Karo and his “Maggid Meysharim", - not just a reply, but the whole book received from Heaven.

I was surprised very much, when I started to learn Judaism and firstly noted that words "save me... and reply me" (הושיעה ימינך וענני, in the fragment immediately after Smone Esre). Every praying Jew clearly and directly asks God to reply him... and immediately, without any pause, quickly continues to read further text. It is a nonsense. If I asked to reply me, I need to wait for the reply and to give God an ability to reply. Instead of this, we hurry to finish reading the text and even don't try to hear God's reply. I believe that in the epoch, when this prayer was created, Jews prayed in another manner.

I hear Gods replies to my prayers, my wife hears, many our friends in Israel hear. Of course, it requires some efforts, maybe several years of daily prayers and teaching, it is not got "automatic". But we think that it is a norm and, moreover, a commandment, according my opinion - the main sense of the commandment "Shema, Israel". This level, "Shema", is the basis of all relationships with God, and it is the reason why we repeat this commandment twice every day: first of all, a believer should learn to lishmoa God and to talk with Him.

IMHO.
Jew from Karmiel, community Nitzoz Machanaim

Offline muman613

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Re: 6 Levels of Dialog with God
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2014, 09:23:03 PM »
Shalom,

I am not trying to debate you, as everyone has a personal relationship with the Ribbono Shel Olam... I myself have davened every day, at least 2 if not 3 times (when possible), and have been doing so over 12 years now. I am familiar with the siddur and have studied the meanings of the prayers from several teachers.

I understand how prayer works but it is not a dialog because Hashem does not speak to us (if only we were prophets who could speak to him face to face). The way we know if the prayers are heard is by observing our situation and seeing if the thing we prayed for has changed as we requested.

Indeed a Jew is supposed to feel as if he is standing before the Master of Creation as he is saying Amidah. We stand and take three steps backs, and three steps forward, as if we are approaching his thrown. There is a story in the Talmud about how the ones who formulated our prayer book (the men of the great assembly) would meditate for hours before starting to pray, and after would take another hour to come down...

Hashem has been very kind to me in the field of Parnassa (livelihood) and for this I am extremely appreciative.

Shema is a prayer which should be said with a lot of kevanah (intention) and I have studied some of the kabbalistic and ancient meditations on this prayer. Primarily the unity of Hashem, his commandments to the Jewish people, the reward and punishment for keeping them, and loving him are the themes we concentrate on.

I have been working to understand the Torah at deeper and deeper levels for over 12 years now. You will find much Torah wisdom I have found and shared here on the JTF forum.

I hope to see more posts by you on the forum soon.
And you shall call out and say before the Lord, your God, "An Aramean [sought to] destroy my forefather, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there with a small number of people, and there, he became a great, mighty, and numerous nation.
Devarim/Ki Tavo 26:5

Offline muman613

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Re: 6 Levels of Dialog with God
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2014, 09:27:22 PM »
http://halakhah.com/berakoth/berakoth_30.html
MISHNAH. ONE SHOULD NOT STAND UP TO SAY TEFILLAH SAVE IN A REVERENT FRAME OF MIND.13  THE PIOUS MEN OF OLD14  USED TO WAIT AN HOUR BEFORE PRAYING IN ORDER THAT THEY MIGHT CONCENTRATE THEIR THOUGHTS UPON THEIR FATHER IN HEAVEN. EVEN IF A KING GREETS HIM [WHILE PRAYING] HE SHOULD NOT ANSWER HIM: EVEN IF A SNAKE IS WOUND ROUND HIS HEEL HE SHOULD NOT BREAK OFF.
And you shall call out and say before the Lord, your God, "An Aramean [sought to] destroy my forefather, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there with a small number of people, and there, he became a great, mighty, and numerous nation.
Devarim/Ki Tavo 26:5

Offline Daniel Alievsky

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Re: 6 Levels of Dialog with God
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2014, 07:25:34 AM »
Ok, it is exactly the same that God told me: He never breaks my prayer. He warned, that if it seems me that I hear some His words WHILE the prayer, then it is just my thoughts and it interferes with the prayer. And it does not mean in any extent that He will not answer AFTER the prayer. Remember that the ask "reply me" is placed not inside Shmone Esre, but after it.

It is obvious enough. The prayer is our co-working with the Creator. Some discussions WHILE such a work is so incorrect, as, for example, talk while the song. But when the work is finished, of course, we should discuss it with out Father, and He will tell us about our mistakes, what should we need to improve or to correct, what things are most important for you this week, etc.

When I visit the Western Wall, I pray little. There is not enough time, because I am on a visit to Father! There are a lot of things that should be discussed, and, simply, it is a time to be maximally together with Him. Not to work together, just to be together with the loving Father.

But all this is about Shema level. What about other levels?

Jew from Karmiel, community Nitzoz Machanaim