These 5 Ways of Thinking Have Changed My Life

It’s been 5 months since I’ve posted anything on this blog, and it’s not because I’ve been too busy. I’ve just been journaling every day, and it fills me up so much that I forget to write here.

Side note: I have scattered slideshows of recent pictures all over this post for your entertainment. They are (almost) completely unrelated to the content. Consider yourself warned.

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The best way to sum up these past 5 months is not through sharing the events that have transpired, but the lessons I’ve learned from them.

So here are 5 lessons I learned in the past 5 months.

1. How to practice ‘Holy Impulsivity.’

Some things are so risky and scary that I HAVE to do them without thinking too much or I’ll scare yourself into inaction.

Holy Impulsivity is a term that came to me recently as I was freaking out about how much money I’ve spent producing my music and how scary it is to be in my own music video and share it with the world.

Honestly, most of my life in Israel has required Holy Impulsivity; beginning with making aliyah itself. Starting school in Hebrew, choosing to live where I do, spending nearly all my money making music, taking new jobs, teaching online, performing, leading events… so many things… all that were petrifying for me. If I thought into them too much, I wouldn’t have been able to find the courage to move forward.

But for each item, I checked in with myself and Hashem-is this the right next step?– and then, if it was something that was likely the right thing, and would be good for my growth, I charged ahead. I signed up before I felt ready, I laid down the money before I had a clear plan, I told others I was committed before I knew what that meant, I broadcasted my plan… and then I did it.

And I don’t regret anything, because even if I see in the future that it was a mistake, I’ll still have used the knowledge I was granted at the time to sincerely try to grow, and that itself is growth: the training of the mind to do the right next step despite fears standing in the way.

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That brings me to the next thing I learned:

2. Life is one big experiment, and even mistakes are divine.

If you’re anything like me (a.k.a human), you frequently overthink and over-analyze past events and wish you could change them. And while everyone knows that this usually serves as a crutch, it’s really hard to let go of the pattern.

Instead of trying to force logic onto my emotions, I decided to embrace the fact that I’ve made plenty of mistakes, I could have done things differently, and my present would be changed if I hadn’t made these mistakes. The only thing I don’t tell myself is that my present would be better if I hadn’t made mistakes. I embrace the belief that even mistakes are divine.
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I learned this concept from the Jewish idea of teshuva, return (mistranslated as ‘repentance’). Yes, maybe a sin shouldn’t have been done, and the relationship between the one who sinned and G-d was damaged by it, but once the event happened, an opportunity was created to make the relationship even stronger than it was before.
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As my middle school teacher taught: When we sin, it’s as if we severed the rope between us and Hashem, but when we do teshuva, we tie a knot in the rope, and now the bottom of the rope is closer to the top; we are closer to G-d than we were before! The Gemara actually states that a person who has never sinned cannot stand in the place of a ba’al teshuva, one who sinned and then returned.
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So I try not to make mistakes, but once they happened, I reinforce my commitment to believe that even those mistakes were divine.

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3. What I choose to perceive becomes the reality I live in.

Truth, by definition, is not relative, but anything with a bit of truth in it can appear as the full truth. The world is masked in this way so we can have free will.

Until a little while ago, I sought to find proofs for my beliefs, and while I still do that very frequently, I realized that, while I will never understand the world fully, and it is my responsibility to search for truth, I will always find what I search for (with the exception of proof of lack of a creator). Confirmation bias, basically. And while this way of thinking can be perceived as a self-inflicted limitation, it is really just a way of tapping into my innate, human limitation of bias and using it to my advantage.

Since this clicked with me, I’ve actively chosen to live in a world I perceive as loving and bursting with opportunities, and with a loving G-d who only does things that will benefit me and who is my greatest companion.

If this sounds fluffy to you, realize that your current beliefs, whether they are the opposite or the same as mine, were created through your own bias, and while I could point to proof that my beliefs are accurate, the real point is that I’m a happier human being who contributes more to the world and is kinder to people because of these beliefs, so it’s worthwhile for me to hold on to them.

This way of thinking has truly changed the way I interact with the world and how I perceive life events.

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4. NOTHING is worth closing my heart over.

I may have mentioned this in past posts. It’s something I learned from my mother and which was put into words by Michael A. Singer, author of The Untethered Soul.

I recently broke up with a guy I thought I’d marry. I’ve yet to find someone who made me feel as understood and comfortable in my own skin as he did. It was very magical. I was obsessed and jittery and felt alive, and I think one of the things that made it such an incredible experience for me was that, for the first time in my dating career, I decided to be completely vulnerable. When I felt defensive, I let my guard down. When I felt affection, I expressed it. When there was a need I had that wasn’t being filled, I told him. I was in a constant state of pushing past my walls and being open. It was a powerful feeling. (And by the way, he didn’t always love my openness. And that’s ok. It taught me about how he works.)

The fear that kept creeping up in me was, ‘What if I share so much of myself and it doesn’t work out between us? How will I deal with the heartbreak?’ But I told myself that if I can fully feel the affection and excitement, I could fully feel the sadness, and I could let it pass through me. I learned that vulnerability is actually a tool for processing emotions; it prevents them from getting stuck inside, because there are no walls built up to hold them.

So I felt extreme, uninhibited excitement, and then deep sadness, and then it washed through me. And I was ok.

The feeling was sadness mixed with gratitude. I found that vulnerability allowed me to be in the moment, and that I was not depressed when it was over. I left knowing that I had given it my all.

Now that a couple weeks have passed, I miss talking with him, but I feel more wise and grounded. The experience was a gift, allowing me to develop my inner world while getting to know someone who made me feel understood. If nothing else, I feel more ready for marriage now than I did before.

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5. As a creative person, life is not fully livable without creating something each day.

My last post touched on anxiety, and while I haven’t found my way out of it, I did find that I could partially conquer it through creativity.

I learned this because Hashem is awesome and basically set me up with a volunteer opportunity in a community center which has a piano (and a dance studio)! I’m not a skilled pianist, but I can improv, and the freedom of making harmonious noise puts me at ease. So I found myself studying in the room with the piano, and every time I felt anxiety creeping up, I played for a few minutes (and ate some 100% chocolate 😉 ). My mind relaxed, and I was able to go back to studying.

I also dropped two classes at school, partially because I was too stressed, partially to make more time to date, and partially to have more time to produce my songs.

Being in the recording studio and hearing the instruments come alive makes me so happy that it actually makes my whole week easier. The last time I felt this good was when I was home-schooled and spent most of my time in creative pursuit. Affording the studio is another story, but that’s something else I learned: Money should not be viewed as a deterrent from reaching my goals. If I am doing something with pure intention, the money is just not my business to worry about. That’s not a lesson I’ve fully internalized; it’s more like something my heart knows but my brain hasn’t processed.

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So these are my 5 biggest takeaways since June. It’s hard to believe how much can be learned in a short amount of time.

I hope the things I’ve shared inspire you to keep exploring all life’s opportunities, to see life as one big adventure, and to feel loved!

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18 thoughts on “These 5 Ways of Thinking Have Changed My Life

  1. this quote is best suited for your blog
    LIVE AS IF YOU WERE TO DIE TOMORROW. LEARN AS IF YOU WERE TO LIVE FOREVER.

    -Mahatma Gandhi

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  2. Oh Batya you grabbed me at the first sentence! And I was utterly amazed at how similarly we think on spiritual matters. How wonderful Hashem is and awesome in power . We may be from different spheres of faith but how we view life and the lessons of faith we have learned , we must be twins lol! You resonated with me . You have encouraged me !

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I’m humbled that you read my blog and resonated with it 🙂 Continue posting on yours!

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    1. Hi Ilan! It’s been so long- it’s so good to hear from you! Thank you! I hope you’re doing well and have a beautiful Rosh Hashana and year to follow.

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  3. Hi just wanted to say you are so beautiful and seem like such a fun person.

    About the breakup. While it’s always hard and takes time to get over. It hurts more because you opened yourself up to him. The fact that he did not like that says that ultimately your better off without him. I hope it does not make you hesitate to open open to the next person who you feel close with And I wish you find someone who appreciates the fact that you open up to him and he opens up to you. When you find this you know you must be getting close.

    Acharon Acharon Haviv
    Last but not least

    I appreciated your honest remarks on god and faith something I think few frum people will admit. But here’s my question. Dont you want to know what really is the truth as opposed to just being happy confirming your biases? I mean if it’s really true then that would be amazing. But if it’s false do you really want to live your life dedicated to a falsehood (even if you are happy)

    Keep being the awesome person you are.

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  4. Hi Chana, thanks for taking the time to read my post and comment! I so appreciate it.

    I think you’re very right about needing to be appreciated as who I am in a relationship, and it did take a while to be able to open up to someone else again, but the greatest blessing is that I have clarity on it now, so it gives me closure.

    With regards to truth, thanks for the opportunity to clarify!
    It takes constant work on the ego to weave out truth from falsehood, and humility is something I pray about and strive to embody. My point in the blog post is to recognize the inherent subjectivity and confirmation bias that we each have and use it to our advantage to improve the quality of our lives and the lives of others, since only Gd can actually be objective. We see what we choose to see.

    For example, I know, to the best of my knowledge and through my research, that Gd is loving. I allow myself to be challenged on my beliefs (putting my ego in check) while at the same time recognizing that this is what I know right now and that I can use it to better the world (using confirmation bias positively). I will never know anything for certain, beyond a doubt, in this world, but whether I look for proof of a loving Gd or proof of an evil god, I will find it, because that is how free will works.

    So while we are constantly seeking truth, we shouldn’t be blind to our own bias. And since we, as humans, are always seeing through a subjective lense, it is up to us to choose our attitudes towards life.

    Side note: Our belief is that when moshiach comes, everyone will know Hashem as the all-powerful and loving Gd. However, when that time comes, we will also lose our free will because the truth will be so obvious to us. Free will inherently blinds us to seeing the full truth.

    To sum it up: Truth is objective but we are not. Therefore, we must strive to put our egos in place while at the same time taking responsibility for our biases by using them to improve.

    Thank you, and keep being your wonderful, inquisitive self as well!

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  5. My pleasure, and thank you so much for replying, you are so sweet!

    Well I’m so glad that worked out for you in a way that not only gave you closure but did not shut you down, and you are able to be yourself again. If someone can’t be themselves, then who are they?

    So that is actually very interesting what you say that if we look for proof of something, such as a loving god or an evil god we will find it. I guess this is why for example republicans are so sure that Trump is great, and Democrats were so sure Obama was great, each looked for the positives but ignored all the negatives, or made excuses for them.

    So you are saying we should be aware of our biases, and I think that is a good message which I agree with, at least for people who do not want to fool themselves, and believe truth is important as opposed to whatever I think is true and I don’t want to hear anything else (closes ears). And I respect you for that very much, I think nowadays it’s rare, not only in the religious world, but even in politics and all kinds of things. I’m a deep thinker but I realize that for so long, I think subconsciously I refused myself the ability to ask questions on certain things. (over the years I’ve had Rabbis or mechanchim who have said “some things we just don’t ask” or we can’t understand, but then again I’ve had others who have said yes, we should ask!

    Interesting what you said about Moshiach, but how about this, instead of just accepting our biases that we will always find what we are searching for, what if we tried our best to not start with any preconceived notions.

    for example in your case, sure we can start trying to prove there is a good god, we can find many examples such as the belief that he created us, and that he created us to do good, and how he has d one miracles for us, or given us the torah.

    or we can try to prove that he is an evil god, by saying how he let us suffer persecution for so many years, he let our temple (bet hamikdash) be destroyed (twice). He let Bar Kochva’s revolt fail. And of course he let 6,000,000 be killed in the shoah, many saying “ani manin” but moshiach did not come.

    So this way each side has good proofs in their own way, and they ignore the other side and – there you go, they believe what they wish to believe – which is exactly what you are saying (sorry if I’m repeating things or going on, I just like being clear).

    So here is (finally) what I am thinking now as a result of this discussion:

    What if instead of thinking X happened and trying to prove X, we start at Zero. I mean instead instead of trying to prove X or Y happened, instead of searching to prove X or Y happened we simple search for the truth, We try to find out with as little bias as possible (and of course there will always be some bias) whatever it is that actually happened!? (without trying to prove one way or the other of course).

    What do you think?

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    1. For sure, happy to hear from you!

      If you read back what I wrote in the blog, I think you’ll have more clarity on what I was saying in the first place, and you’ll see what I don’t disagree with you, but to answer as simply as I can:

      The goal is to get to zero, as you say, by making ourselves humble and as least biased as possible. One form of humility, and the only way to properly seek truth, is to recognize that we will never actually be at zero, because that would require total objectivity, which is something human beings are incapable of.

      Therefore, I believe the best approach is to continue to question and try our best to come from the least biased place possible while recognizing our inherent biases and choosing our attitudes.

      It’s a delicate balance of recognizing what is while striving to see beyond ourselves to find truth 🙂

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  6. Shavua Tov / Gut Vuch.

    So sorry have not replied for so long, but at least I gave you a break haha.
    So the thing is my parents don’t like it that I have questioned things, they say it’s best to not think about such things, or that how can I think to question because what we have is absolute truth. The problem is every group or every religion seems to think they have the absolute truth. But just because we are passed down with a belief does not make it true, certainly everybody who believes what is passed down can’t all have the truth. So this is the thing, if there is a hashem and he has a message for us, and something for us to believe, let’s say in the form of the Torah, then would he want people to just believe it cause they were taught too? Would he want Muslims or Christians to believe whatever they believe just because they were born in whichever place and taught to? The only thing I’m really sure about is that if there is a hashem and he has a message for us he does not just want us to believe because our parents said so and because they taught us from a book which is old and part of our chain of tradition. He wants us to search and find truth, otherwise he would want every group and religion to just believe whatever they happen to believe!

    I’m so happy I found you and your so open minded, it’s like I was on a shiduch date Thursday, and I can’t even imagine opening up to any bochur about this, so I mostly keep it in my head. I have like no one I can talk to about this.

    Can I ask what have you questioned? Have you questioned, if the belief we have today in Orthdoxy is actually the true message from the torah?

    Have you questioned is the Torah itself was actually written by hashem via Moshe?

    Have you questioned if hashem himself even exists. This is the hardest one for me to even think about, but I have thought of all these, and even if we have biases, I want to come as close as I can to the truth.

    If It’s true, I want to do it with an emunah shelaima, and a full heart and devote myself to it entirely, if it’s not true, I don’t want to waste my life doing something not true.

    Thanks again.

    One more question: Where is the picture you say is “not herods tomb”? Herodian? Looks pretty.

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    1. I’m really happy for you that you have not let your questioning spirit be burnt out. I’m sure your parents are well meaning people, but sometimes fear blocks us from asking things we are afraid we won’t find answers to. The truth is, there are very straightforward answers to most of your questions, which I’ve also questioned. I found that the technical answers can be found in many places, but one of my favorites is the Aish Discovery program, which is directed at the existence of Hashem and the divinity of the Torah. It takes place in Israel, but here’s a link to one of the classes, and you’ll find more on this channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJotHaqRPrc&ab_channel=AishCom. Also, check out simpletoremember.com.

      But before you even start exploring, know that you are a special person who is trying her best, and questioning things only makes you more valuable to humanity and to Hashem. It does not signify a lack of emunah, only a desire to find truth.

      The last thing is that there are a lot of emotions that stand in the way of us seeing truth. For example, the way we see our father is how we tend to view Hashem. This limits our understanding of Hashem. If a father was very strict with lots of anger directed towards his child, that child will have to work through the hurt emotions before she can see that Hashem is loving and forgiving. So if you really want to get to the bottom of your beliefs, notice when a negative emotion comes up, label it and then identify the thought that’s behind it. For example, “my father doesn’t love me.” Then, ask yourself if this belief is true. If it is, make an action plan. If it is not, tell yourself: “I am fully capable of and responsible for taking care of my needs.” Then, write down proofs of this. For example: “No one else knows my internal emotions as well as I do, so I am the only one who can properly address them. Here’s a video on that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYT7SnL2WlU&ab_channel=PersonalDevelopmentSchool-ThaisGibson

      Hope that your search brings you the answers you crave!

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      1. One thing I can say for sure is that you are a very sweet and caring person, I have few places to turn in the frum world, which I remain in, and most who I attempt to turn to just turn me away, some in more respectful ways some in very rude ways. I would like some straightforward answers, but I have yet to find them. I am a very honest person who seeks truth, so I’m not willing to accept just any shtus as the truth. For example have you seen Rabbi Kellemen explain why the Torah must be the word of hashem, he sounds very professional and smart so most people probably leave that saying wow, must be true. But really his explanation is full of holes and I believe intentionally deceptive. He claims 3 possibilities, but he leaves out the most obvious possibility – that surely if he is so intelligent he must have thought of himself (that it did not happen all at once, but slowly was written in portions over many years and later put together). I think this stuff is good for yeshivas and Bais Yackov kids who have some questions and are happy to accept anything that sounds nice without thinking too deeply into it, but it does not cut it for those who are serious and honest with themselves. For that reason alone, I think they should not try to get away with fooling young people with easy but not very deep and honest answers. Aish Hatorah is no different. I did the Torah Codes / Discovery program. They present it without giving you all the information. It’s not at all scientific, it’s basically using combination of skipping letters till a computer finds sequences, You can do this in other Hebrew texts, for example, English may work less well, but it still happens. Also it’s very easy to point to think that they say the torah predicted in the future after it happened. If they can actually predict the future, that will happen in the short term and then we see if it happens consistently, I will be impressed.
        I just realized what you quoted above – simpletoremember site. That’s Rav Kelleman, exactly what I was talking about above. It’s simply not honest, certainly does not prove anything if you think about it honestly. I can explain more if you like.

        Thank you, that is very sweet, and I think you are right, because ultimately if there is a Hashem, and if he did give us the torah and want us to follow it, then he would not want us to do so just because our parents or Rabbeim told us to, because there are so many people brought into different beliefs in this world, so unless he just wants everyone to be what they are born into and they are all true, he must want people to seasrch for truth and not just accept what they are brought up with.

        The last part was interesting, though I am not on this path because of anything with my parents or mechanchim or anyone else. Just because I feel if this is all true, then Hashem would want us to search and find what is true, as I explained above. But looks Interesting, I will check out that video. Thanks

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      2. Chana, while I support your search, it is sometimes necessary to take a step back and check out which color lenses we are using to see the world through. These arguments that you brought up don’t measure up to the content in the classes. For example, Rabbi Kelemen’s “proofs of the Torah’s divine origin” are not negated by saying that it was written over time, since there are still certain proclamations in the Torah, like the statement that there are only 4 animal species (the camel, the hare, the pig, and the rock badger) which appear kosher but are not, that no human would write in their right mind. It would be a huge risk to write that without being familiar with every species of animal in the world. We are discovering new species every year!

        The Bible Codes were so unusual that they actually made it into a scientific journal. They went through thousands (I forget if it was thousands or millions) of random experiments and words before concluding the accuracy of their findings. The chances of the codes are extremely slim. The founders of the Bible Codes don’t claim to tell the future, and I’m assuming this is because even the codes are cryptic- they hold very little information themselves, and can be interpreted in many ways, which would all be tainted by human bias.

        Yes, we are definitely meant to search for truth, but truth can only become clear when biases are removed. We have to try to recognize our subjectivity- to realize that we DON’T see reality- we only see our PERCEPTION of reality. As a matter of fact, it is impossible for a thought to be formed without an emotion behind it. Here’s a quote from an article I recently read (https://medium.com/undelusional/which-one-comes-first-thoughts-or-emotions-624ea127978e): “Sensory input always goes through the emotional centres of the brain before it reaches the frontal cortex — the place for our rational thought.”

        While you say you aren’t on this path in response to anything anyone did or said, you seem to have strong negative feeling towards the Jewish education system and the educators in particular, and those are worth exploring. Sometimes educators can make us feel invalidated, unheard, misunderstood, angry, sad, resentful, shamed, and many other emotions, and these feelings will color our view of the world, and in this case, of the Torah. Our experiences form beliefs, and when we bring them to the conscious mind, they can be worked through and cleared.

        I am going through this journey myself now- of exploring my subconscious beliefs, and I invite you to join me! There are great resources, which I am happy to share with you.

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      3. Hi Batya, once again I apologize it has taken me so long to get back to you. About R Kelemen, maybe I did not explain well. I listened to R. Kelemen give this shiur when I was in Neve Yerushalayim, It sounded ok back then but I did not think too deep into it. I think I was not in my questioning phase then. Then maybe a year ago, I think more like 6 months ago. I listened to him giving this same shiur on youtube, This time, I can pause the video, listen to it again, look up stuff in the middle, so I can properly think about it. Now, I think I was unclear or you misunderstood about the torah being over time. Maybe that could make sense, but that was not at all my concern. My issue is this: He was trying to show that if you look at it objectively, there are only 3 possibilities for how the torah could be given other than from hashem on har sinai. he then set out to prove that none of those could be possible. I’m doing this from memory and notes, but if I have to I’ll watch the video again.
        Present Theory
        Past theory
        Future Theory
        He spends a lot of time on future theory, convincing everyone how impossible it is. Of course it’s impossible, it makes no sense. Present Theory also seems unlikely but from my notes, I thought it actually was possible though I don’t remember how. The main problem is when it comes to Past Theory. Interestingly, when it comes to the most likely theory, he did not get all deep into it, and he presented only one very simplistic possibility for past theory. This is what I found to be deceptive.
        His possibility for Past Theory was: (I had to listen to this part of the video and write it down word for word, so I can be as accurate as possible).
        “Past Theory works as follows: I come to you and I say to you YOU Heard Nothing, ZERO. However long ago your ancestors stood at the foot of a great mountain in The Sinai Desert and there they heard G-d speak” He goes on to explain that when people ask, so why don’t my parents or grandparents know about this, it’s because there was an earthquake or some natural disaster and it all got lost. But now this person whom he calls “Fred” hands over the Torah again. “There it is Present Theory”.
        So what’s my problem with this? Sounds good right? He covered, Past, Present and Future theories, he has covered every possible theory, and all of them are laughable, therefore the Torah must be Divine, because all these possible versions are a joke! Right?
        Wrong. The problem is that in particular when it came to Past Theory, the most likely possibility (there never really was a need to delve into Present and Future theories) he presents the most simplistic and unlikely version of what could have happened. But is this theory with “Fred” suddenly trying to convince people about Torah in the past being lost really the only possibility? Of Course not, a much more likely possibility is that in ancient times there were different stories and traditions which were passed down. It could be that they all had some of the same more important stories and traditions or lets say something like the 10 commandments or maybe not. But for the most part different communities or regions may have had some stories, other communities had others. Eventually these things started to get written down (probably on parchment) as people began trading with others, they learned of other stories and traditions, eventually at some point, scribes got together and compiled this into one book (5 sections) which became the Torah. This could have took place in 20 years or throughout 200 years. So there never was this ridiculous situation of ”Fred” approaching people who had no clue of anything, and telling them there is a Torah.
        I know the natural feeling is to brush this off, but think about this honestly, and answer this – is this scenario possible? Don’t even worry about whether you think it’s true – but is it reasonably possible?
        Of course it is, and it makes so much more sense than his “Fred” theory.
        So then ask yourself this. Rav Keleman, who is an intelligent man, a learned man, not only in Torah, but in secular studies. He knows all the Biblical theories. So if he is truly trying to give an honest view, and wants those who hear him to come to an honest conclusion, why on earth would he choose to give his own ridiculously unlikely version of what he calls Past Theory, along with other ridiculous Future and Present theories, instead of telling you the (past of course) version as the Bible Scholars have theorized?
        Tell me this, years ago, I wrote to Rav Kelemen, and commented in the youtube video, why did he never respond? I was not trying to disprove him, nor did I present it like I did to you, I simply asked him honestly if it wasn’t possible that there was this other possibility – Why did he never reply? Why did they delete my comment from youtube, and from the simpletoremember site?
        So the question is, is he trying to give the most honest view? Or is he trying to find a way that sounds intelligent and convincing to convince people of what he wants them to believe?
        Thank about it honestly. Let me know what you think?
        His Big Bang criticism also was similar, but enough for today, if you want we can discuss that another time.
        Watch the video, then read my comments again https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEg_Oys4NkA&t=380s

        What you say about how we perceive things is interesting, but I think the effect of this in terms of belief, will lead religious people largely to keep believing, and non-religious people, or atheists to keep not believing. Both are being fooled. The Atheist who grew up in a family of Atheists, maybe will laugh at religious people and say they are indoctrinated at a young age, but he doesn’t realize the same thing is true for him, unless he actually took the time to honestly explore the issues with an open mind and see if religion can be true. The religious who have some Emunah question and go to a Rav to get an answer and then the answer sounds good and they simply accept that answer, are also fooling themselves. There is only one way people can have a decent chance of coming to the truth in the least biased way, and that is when they stop searching for what they believe to be the truth (because you can always find ‘proofs’ to convince yourself or be convinced by the person you ask) but rather when a Person goes and says she wants to actually find out the real truth, regardless of whether it is what she was brought up with or not, and is completely open to finding the truth. This person will not just ask people of the same faith for answers. For example, a frum person will not just ask their Rav, or some expert in Kiruv, or Aish Hatorah, but will also look to scientists and science to see what they have to say, and for example when they ask their Rav and the Rav gives some answer which makes science look ridiculous, they will take that to a scientist in that field and ask them, back and forth until they figure it out. Again, same thing goes for the non-believer or Atheist, if they only go learn from Scientists they are fooling themselves, they should go to a Rabbi a Priest and religious experts, if they are honest and get both sides before they come to a conclusion. And I have met some stuck up people like that both Atheists and Frum people who think they know it all, without doing an honest search.

        Of course our brains as humans will never be perfect and everything that study showed may be true, but I still believe if people are honest and serious enough to approach it this way, they will bypass all the emotional stuff and get as close as possible to the truth.

        I did have bad experiences, and I have heard about worse experiences in the yeshiva world, the Bais Yackovs and so on. What is going on today in large portions of the frum (Charedi) world (With Coronavirus)is a horrible Chilel Hashem, and complete loss of the message of Yiddishkeit, I’m curious to know what you think. But these things in the past never led me to doubt Judaism, only that these people were bad messengers and bad followers of Judaism, when I started to realise how widespread some of these things are, and how in many cases the community acceprts or tolerates it (I can tell you story after story about yeshivas which kept abusive Rebbis, or when Nechemia Weberman in Williamsburg sexually abused that poor girl who came to him for counseling, the entire community from the Rebbe on down defended him and threatened the victim and others who might testify. – so when I started to see this more and more in both Litvishe and Chasidishe, I started to question the Haredi derecho, but never ever did any of this lead me to think that Judaism, that the Torah, that what we believe is not true. You can’t fault a Torah for it’s followers, you can question their community, their specific Hashkafa, even their interpretation of halacha, or things that have been added, like all the Chumras, but you can’t fault the Torah for people years later doing these things. If you want to examine The Torah, see if it is true, you need to do that honestly without being biased by people who are bad examples. If maybe you believe the Torah but want to question all the interpretations of the Torah, then you can’t do so by judging people today (except those that continue to interpret and pass down new interpretations, minhaim, chumros etc) you need to go back and look in hundreds and hundreds of years in the periods since the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, who where the people who made the changes, who made the additions or interpreted the Torah in ways we have today, all the way to more recent times, to see when did these things come, is this what the torah meant, is this something new we just have today? But you don’t do this because some Rav, or even many Rav’s abused some children. I also would not judge Christians because of some Priests (I personally think Christianity is one of theleast likely of any religions to be true, but not because of some bad preists!). The only exception is if literally the majority of people in any religion behave a certain way that is wrong, let’s say 90% of Buddhists (a pretty peaceful religion btw) went killing people because it’s how they interpreted their holy book, I would start to have serious questions about Buddhism – but even then you can’t denounce the religion until you examine it honestly without bias like I was saying above.
        I feel close to you in a way, how are you doing, how’s life? What’s new? Stay well!

        Chana

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      4. Hello my dear Chana,

        I care very much about you, but this is not the platform for lengthy discussion, and I am not trying to prove anything. I took a brief look at your comment, and it seems like you were so far unsatisfied with what you have heard from Rabbi Keleman and from other Rabbis. It is always important to keep searching, to be humble, and to try our best to connect to Hashem in the most honest way possible. This is not a shutdown, but I am also letting you know that I humbly withdraw from this conversation, since I don’t see how I can be of service here, and it is not the intention of my blog to prove my beliefs. I hope that you find much clarity in your search!
        Sending love,
        Batya

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