Sunday, September 9, 2012

World War III: The American Dream

World War III: Hey Mr. President

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Dear Mr. President,
It is not my normal practice to partake in political discussions and I certainly don't want to make it a habit but when I see my self staring down the barrel of a rifle in the Third World War, then I have to become concerned. I can't understand what you and Hillary are trying to achieve but it is obvious that the United States goal is to undermine the prospects of peace and stability in Eastern and Southern Asia. Personally, I would have thought you would be too busy focusing on Syria with your latest statement that America has the right to invade that country if there should be any hint of chemical weapons. I do remember something similar about Weapons of Mass Destruction which justified the invasion of Iraq only to discover that there were no such weapons.
I'm not even certain if the American public is aware of your government's mechinations over here in Asia. How you are militarizing Japan, a country which according to the agreement at the end of WWII would never be permitted to have anything more than a Self Defence Force. Does the American public know about the sale of the Osprey aircraft which will provide Japan with invasion capabilities? Is it aware that you have been involved in military war games with the Philippines, Korea, Japan and a host of other countries in this part of the world for the past few months? Are they aware that you conducted joint military activities with 28 Pacific Rim nations in July but you failed to involve China, instead choosing to isolate it as the nation with whom the exercises would be designed against? Oversight, you might argue. How does one overlook the number two economic power in the world. By not even offering China observer status you actions and intentions were quite obvious.
As a foreigner living in China, I have a right to be concerned. I don't want to be facing Armegeddon because the USA decided it would support nations in a military struggle over what are nothing more than largely uninhabited islands. The Chinese have a historical claim to the Daiyu Islands. In fact until Japan invaded the islands prior to World War II there never was any question as to their ownership. Following the war it was the American government that laid claim to the islands for strategic purposes and in 1964 signed an agreement with Japan that they would return it to them in the future, completely overlooking the fact that it was only through Japanese imperialism and agression that they had any claim to the Daiyu. Rewarding imperialistic military agression may be something the US government now sanctifies but the islands were never yours to award to any country. So now we have a situation where an increasing beligerant Japan that has angered not only China, but also South Korea over the Dokdo Islands and Russia with its claims to islands that rightfully belong to those countries and it is being fully supported by your government.
Once again this week your military is conducting joint US marine and Japanese exercises. They have just begun and will continue for a month, designed specifically on 'how to retake an island' after it is seized by a foreign power does very little to ease tensions in the area. I think the Japanese already are well versed and experienced in island warfare having made it there fighting style back in WWII. I think we should all take a valuable lesson from Napolean who stated two hundred years ago, "Do not awake the Dragon." This is exactly what you propose to do and the question I have for you is why? To further amplify the right wing rhetoric in Japan with their dreams of a revived imperialism and militaristic state make no sense at all unless it is your intention to release havoc and war on this part of the world. Last week Japanese Cabinet Ministers went to a war memorial site to honour several of their war criminals. The Prime Minister suggested (not ordered) them not to do it. They went anyway. They have been emboldened and encouraged by your support of their militarization. In many ways, the Japanese war Criminals were the equal or in fact superior in their inhumanity than the Nazis of Germany. At least the post war German government apologized to all its victims of Nazism, the Japanese governments have never done so, and still refuse to officially do so.

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I have thought long and hard about that question as to why the US would be actively promoting tensions in Southeast Asia. Why it would encourage the Philippines to assert itself by building up its military even though it would never be able to survive such an engagement if it became involved? Why would Hillary Clinton be visiting all the countries that surround China and signing mutual defense accords as she attempts to ring China in a wall of rockets and guns? Why the Secretary of Defense Louis Pino would come to this part of the world to announce that by 2020 the US will have 60% of its fleets stationed in the South China Sea? It was always my belief that the purpose of the American fleet was to have it ready in regional hotspots. If that is the case, then what your Secretary was stating was that this will be a hotspot by that year. This means that the Eastern Mediterranian and Persian Gulf with their reality of constant warfare, interruption of oil vessels, blockage of sealanes, piracy and kidnapping will not even deter the relocation of the fleet to what is currently a relatively quiet region. So I have to ask you Mr. President, once more, what is your true intention. Are you intending to unleash World War III over a group of uninhabited islands?
And when I ask these questions, there is one answer that comes to mind. And it is economic in origins. When you came to power and borrowed close to 5 Trillion Dollars from China, you placed every man, woman and child in America into debt to the tune of $20,000 each. They don't have it. Your government doesn't have it. The debt cannot be repayed and the country faces bankruptcy. Unless, and I repeat, unless you were in a state of war with the country you were indebted to. Then you wouldn't have to pay back at all. Just as you have frozen assets and money from all other countries that you have disagreements with, you could do the same to the loan. Could this really be the true intention behind this provocation in Asia? Are you really willing to begin the war to end all wars over your country's financial crisis. Will this be your legacy in the White House. The man that caused worldwide devastastion? I pray you have a greater vision that this.
I have been around long enough to remember an America that stood for far more. I remember an America that stood for justice and freedom. That was willing to standup against the bully and fight for the little guy. I remember when Captain America was more than a comic book and was instead a badge of honour that all Americans could carry proudly wherever they went in the world. People from other countries looked up to you, even envied you for what you represented. And now, you have become that bully. That nation that says, "My way or the Highway."
I ask you Mr. President, think long and hard about what you are doing and what you will achieve with this provocation. There were those that said you represented the fulfillment of Revelations when you came to power. The man that all believed and follwed, only to set the world ablaze in its devestating war. Not being a Christian, I don't believe in that scenario but I do believe it is possible for one man to cause such massive destruction. The same way I believe that one man can stop it from happening as well.
I appeal to you Mr. President, as a man of honour that I hope you are, a man of integrity that I imagine you could be, find the path of Peace. Sheath the weapons and the rhetoric and find ways to negotiate settlements without the sacrifice of lives. If there must be a war then let it be for the reasons that America once stood proud and defiant to defend in the past. To protect the weak, the innocent. Not defending resistance fighters that cannot be distinguished from the terrorists or government soldiers they fight against. Who once in power will be just as inhumane and barbaric as their predecessors. Fight for justice. Fight for the children of this world but never fight over economics and self-serving ideals.
Dr. Allen Goldenthal

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wisdom of Kahana: Evil of Our World

Wisdom of Kahana:  Evil

Many times, I have been questioned regarding my disbelief in ‘Satan’ as the demigod of evil that is preached within so many other religious circles and factions. And though we do have mention of Satan in Job and Zechariah, that in no way infers that there is anything more to his existence than as a herald or servant of YHWH. As Karaite, my beliefs are based on the Tanakh and if it is not stated within those books, then I am not about to extrapolate and manifest some Hell-world with a lord of Darkness as other religions have done. But the world has built an entire industry based upon this heavenly servitor as being evil incarnate and the real question posed to me should have been phrased, “Why have we created a Satan,” and then I would have responded thusly:
If we examine the references to Satan as being the enemy of humanity, and his avowed purpose to destroy all virtue, then we automatically assume his opponents are the friends of humanity and the upholders of virtue. We accord them great tribute and recognition far beyond the status of normal men. Those that adopt the mantle of being opponents of Satan in turn become the source of our tranquillity and happiness because we take comfort in knowing that they are our shield against harm. In return over the ages we have given them our silver and our gold, to buy protection from the threat of Satan and many still continue to do so. And while the people huddled through history in their thatched wooden homes, with the winter’s draft seeping deep to the bone, those that amassed this fortune in gold and silver dwelt in the lap of luxury, sitting warm by their blazing fires and feasting upon the food wilfully donated to them by those same evil fearing people.

The Industrialization of Evil Inc.

Yes, without Satan, these religious teachers, those Priests, Rabbis, Ministers, Imams and Ayatollahs would not have prospered and benefitted from their wisdom and knowledge in the counteracting of Satan’s threats. Satan was the weapon of choice upon which they defended their careers and by which they could justify all their deeds. Without Satan there would be no fear of the unknown and man would no longer require an intermediary to intercede on his behalf with God. For then each man would know the extent of his own sin and recognize that each of us was responsible for our own actions and no longer could excuse our unacceptable behaviours on a being that we created to bear the guilt of all our transgressions by leading us astray through lies, guile and possession.

No longer would the people buy their beads, blessed objects, talismans and sacred scriptures to ward off the external evil that no longer existed. How many would lose their livelihood when the manufacturing of these items was deemed unnecessary? What would those people do, whose only vocation was to benefit from the fears and anxieties of those unclear about the true path to God? Then we would see a world in turmoil because it has only been through that fostered fear that man has made some of his greatest achievements. Monumental structures that extend the limits of architectural science that are built for one purpose only, so that we can find refuge from Satan’s evil. Spires that reach to the heavens, bells that ring melodious through the extent of the countryside and provide the excuse for communities to compete for bragging rights as to which sanctuary was larger or more beautiful or more expensive in its construction than the other.

And in those golden houses, built with the sweat and coin from those that feared the coming of Satan, they would raise their voices in consternation, begging to be protected from the evil force that despised man with every breath. They would plead with God to answer why Satan detests mankind to such an extent and those that pocketed their donations would answer, “Because God chose to love you more.” But sadly none would ever ask, “More than what?” for therein lies the ruination of their argument and the demise of their gilded empire. It matters little if YHWH loved humankind above the other spiritual beings he created. In His power and His wisdom, He would have accounted for such a contingency and would surely protect that which He loved. Nor would He have denied us freewill because that would have meant enslavement and since He loved us that would not have been permissible. The choice of which path to follow has always been our own and man has always been the master of his own destiny. Only through ignorance did we blame all the evils that befell us on an entity known as Satan. We gave him credit for the storms that destroyed our villages, for the rain that caused our floods and the sun that baked our lands so that they cracked and splintered until famine overtook our countyside. The plagues that felled us in the millions or caused our cattle and sheep to wither and die, we cast at Satan’s feet. The pestilence and the quaking earth we prayed would pass for we never intended to sin, only that Satan had led us astray in a moment of weakness. The wars, the hatred, the wishing on our part for a fellow human being to be laid low and to die, those stem from within our own existence, and can be seen throughout the animal kingdom. They are innate responses that have always existed within us since the dawn of time and it is only by our own will that we can suppress them. Not all the prayers within these golden cathedrals or all the money we can cast at those that claim they will deliver us from Satan’s clutches will eliminate that which has always existed within that part of our brain that is feral. Only you have the ability to do so for yourself. Far easier for those that fail to exclaim, “Satan made me do it,” than to acknowledge their own weakness.

Our Evil Within

Do not place your guilt into the hands of those who claim they are a weapon against Satan. The guilt is yours alone to bear, for the evil is something that you manifest on your own. It sprouts like a tree in a fertile garden if you permit it to do so for evil if given the opportunity will find other evil. For every place erected to supposedly fight such evil there is an equal institution built and dedicated to exalt and perpetuate mankind’s willingness to follow that other path. Once again, entire industries to provide the wanton pleasures of the hedonist, the sadist, and those enamoured by the darker pursuits. One merely has to scan the Web to appreciate how Satan has been used as the provocation for man’s originality of thought. Facebook and other social pages have become a tell all tales of incredulous aberrations for no other reason that some people do take pleasure in performing wicked deeds. Satan does not have an internet connection, man does. Eliminate Satan from the equation and we acknowledge that evil is not some supernatural force but instead a natural product of mankind.

Do not pray to God to be delivered from evil, but instead ask that you are given the strength and wisdom to overcome your own evil thoughts and intentions. Give not your gold and silver to the hollow dens of Satan-free Zones, but instead find comfort in the homes and gathering places of those of similar mind that wish to encounter God face to face upon their own terms. For often there is more evil plotted and committed in those gold gilded palaces than in all the neighbouring dens of iniquity. Acknowledge that we are all sinners, we are the source of evil upon this world and then you will fully understand why you are standing before God and praying for forgiveness. Appreciate that you exist in order to achieve an existence free of vice and sin and then you will have found purpose in living. Know that it often appears to be a never ending battle and you will find hope in knowing you gain strength with every skirmish. Perceive that it is not an easy task but nor is it impossible and not all the money in the world will free you from this Business of Evil.

Avrom Aryeh-Zuk Kahana

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Meaning of Liife

Wisdom Of Kahana: The Meaning of Life

Often I am asked about the seeming unfairness of life, the incongruities that exist where evil is often rewarded and the pursuit of goodness tends to lead to nothing but unbearable suffering and being hurt constantly. And this imbalance often is turned into a question about whether God even pays attention to our prayers and if he is truly omnipotent. After all, how could He not believe in those that believe in Him? It is not a Karaite issue, or a Rabbanite issue, or that of any other religion; it is one about the relationship between God and man. The answer is inextricably entwined into understanding the purpose and nature of life. Not life as in being animate, existing, and breathing, but life as in, ‘why we are here at all.’ So often man has quested for the meaning of life, never thinking that perhaps we already have that answer. If we were to take the time to meditate upon our existence, to actually assess the powers we have in our possession, then all would become crystal clear. We would realize that we have the ability to fulfil our needs and satisfy our desires. But too often we want more than we need and desire that which we don’t and then instead of being enlightened by life’s meaning we are instead dissatisfied and curse our very existence. We have knowledge, we have wisdom and we have the ability to change our world, but still we question why we are stuck with the life we had. Why, because we think once we have established what we consider some order in our lives that it should remain in place. But nothing remains forever. Change is the constant. Life is a continuous ebb and flow. Nothing is intended to remain permanent and understanding life is learning how to embrace that change. Accept who we are and what we are. Accept it gladly and without resignation or condemnation. See life not as a hardship or an affliction that must be borne but as a contest that must be won. We must rise to meet that challenge and not let it overwhelm us nor deter us from our goals.

Finding Life's Meaning

Like the gears in a clock, life is a constant movement and the only way we can exert any control is building those gears with central pins welded to an immovable base. A foundation that remains unchanging, that cannot be altered or overruled. That platform must be constructed from the faith we have in God, unalterable, unfailing, and unchanging. And it is from that solid base that we derive our wisdom, our knowledge and develop the skills necessary by which we can face life’s changes. The number of the gears, the size of the gears, number of teeth each gear has and how they are placed are all up to us and completely within our control; no one else’s. If we take our time to place the gears properly like a seasoned watchmaker then ultimately we will construct a timepiece that serves its purpose well. Some of will construct a Rolex, others merely a Casio. But even those that can only construct a Casio, if they study hard, learn from other masters, will eventually build a Rolex too. To do so means asking questions, taking advice, listening to others, and so often that is where we fail. Foolish pride often gets in the way of our ability to listen to others that are trying to help us. And when things go wrong, we will sooner blame others for that failure in our lives than accept our own responsibility.
Life’s adversities will provide us with pains like arrows through the heart, fill our mouths with vinegar like bile, crush our spirit until we feel we are unable to stand. But without such pain we cannot develop, we cannot grow, we cannot mature. Easy words for me to say I know you are thinking, made even more bitter when we see others to whom life appears to be more generous, providing them with far more than they merit or deserve only through the chance of a higher birth, unusual streak of luck, or the gift of treasures unwarranted. It is true, the path is not even, it is not always fair, but it is equally true that the going will not always be rough and there will be good times. We must learn how to make those good times, as fleeting as they might appear to exceedingly overshadow the bad times which plague us. Similarly those that have been raised high must always fear the possibility of being cast down. Our lives are neither short nor long, but the required length in which to achieve an understanding of life. Each one of us is intended to leave our impression upon this Earth so that those that we leave behind will retain a grateful memory of our lives while we were here. It is our choice whether we leave them with sour and foul memories of our existence or with a sense of admiration of how we continually faced adversity and found comfort from within to still be a better person than most would have expected from similar circumstances. And in turn we will pass that quality and understanding to our children so that they too may benefit from what we have learned.
The measure of a wise man is that he will always live his life to the fullest and will be grateful for the life he had. The foolish man is always begrudging what he has and keeps saying that tomorrow he will begin again but every tomorrow is followed by another and another. The coward never begins to live, never accepts the challenge, dying as he lived with nothing achieved. For those whom have only half lived I can say that you are already half dead. Life is to be enjoyed, savoured, relished and celebrated to its fullest. We are only tested by our weaknesses but never by our strengths. Doubts and worry dog us every day of our lives but these pressures force us to seek the wisdom that lies within all of us. Now is the time to live; not tomorrow and never later. Today we make a choice on the meaning of our own life.
Avrom Aryeh-Zuk Kahana

Sunday, July 22, 2012

In This Time

In this Time

Where has it all gone, that awe and amazment we once all held,
A time when we could lay back and listen to the quiet of the rustling trees,
Or watch the sun as it reflected across the stillness of the lake,
A time when we ran outside as soon as we saw the graying clouds,
So that we could feel the first drop of rain upon our skin,
A time when we would stare upwards beneath the night skies,
Waiting in anticipation for that eventual shooting star.
When we would greet the morning by taking a deep breath,
As we watched the golden rays of the sun burst above the horizon,
Or hear the waves as they tossed themselves upon the soft sands beneath our feet.
The crackling of the dried branches as we stared deep into the brilliant flames,
Hearing the laughter of young children as they roll like logs down the steep hill.
Feeling the softness of the fallen blossoms between our toes as the fruit ripens,
And the scented headiness of the Spring, filling our lungs with every breath we took.
All these things we once possessed and we cherished them above all else,
Only to give them away for pursuits that bring us far less as we lay claim to the envy of others.
Avrom Aryeh-Zuk Kahana

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Deliverance: Part One of the Flavius Josephus Journal

Part One of the Trilogy
With the arrival of 2012, the release of my latest book is about to take place. In fact it's early release is on the publisher's website at but the book is also available from Amazon Books and Barnes and Noble. Most people are aware of the history of the Roman Jewish War that ended fatally on the mountain top Masada after seven years of fighting. But history isn't about recorded events as they transpired. Real history is about the people that initiated those events, establiishing the patterns in which they unfolded. It is about the mechanisms behind the world stage, behind the closed and sealed doors, the raw emotions that led to both good and bad decisions. Amongst Jewish teachings, the reputation of Joseph ben Matthias, commonly referred to as Flavius Josephus is one of traitor, liar, and deceiver. Jewish analysts have blamed him for not only the loss of the war but for the end of Jewish civilization as it existed 2000 years ago. Harsh accusations to lay at the feet of a single person, and illogical if one actually studies the history and recognizes that the bitter squabbles, infighting, and selfish motivations of those pursuing control of the Jewish forces were actually to blame. But the rabbis had another motive for casting the blame on Josephus, a far more personal motivation. After all, he was born of a priestly family, his Sadducee inheritance was enough to condemn him in their eyes even though he professed to have Pharisee sympathies. But it was not the Sadducees that caused the downfall of Jewish civilzation. Throughout the war they stood as the peacemakers, desperately trying to find a peaceful solution between East and West. In reality, the people were inflamed by the Pharisees, the early progenitros of the rabbis, to resist any truce, leading them to falsely believe that God would intercede and provide the people with victory. And after these rabble rousing rabbis ultimately drew the blades across the exposed throat of the Jewish nation, they were the first to run from the battle, concerned with only saving their own lives, as evidenced by their illustrious sage, Yohanan ben Zakkai, concealing himself in a coffin to escape the doomed city of Jerusalem, leaving behind the victims of his rebellious incitements to face the final assault by Titus. As he and his students, specifically chosen to be the bearers of his coffin fled from the face of danger and thereby pass through the lines of the Roman army, a city burned and tens of thousands died.
Meanwhile, Josephus desperately tried to use his influence with Titus's father, Emperor Vespasian, to stay the hand of the young general from utterly destroying his people. Without concern for his own safety, he managed to secure the safety of several thousand. Two of those people that he rescued were Martha bat Elioneai, the widow of Jeshua ben Gamaliel and her son Joseph. My ancestors, who then headed east into Parthia where my family established itself for a further eight centuries. One might say I have a debt of gratitude to Flavius Josephus, for whom my family would not have survived and I would not have been born. It was he that insured my family survived, not Yohanan ben Zakkai and his band of cowardly rabbis.
But what kind of man would plead for the lives of thousands of Jews, risking his own safety, fully exposed to the arrows and stones shot down from the parapets and towers of Jerusalem by its Jewish defenders? What kind of man could transition from the greatest tactical general of the Jewish armies to the attempted peacemaker walking between two nations but accepted by neither. Who was this man that four years prior to the start of the war was sent on a secret mission by the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem into the heart of the Roman Empire? How did a young man move freely through the palaces of Rome, dine at Nero's table, watch the burning of Rome in August of 64 AD, only to lead an army that became the greatest threat to the survival of an Empire? Deliverance provides a view into those secretive years which ultimately changed the world.

The Prologue

I have attached the prologue to my book. I hope it will wet your appetites and give you a taste of things to come:
There is a stench to all that is Roman. A decaying, gnawing foul odour that eats at your innards until your belly is swollen with gall. For all that is Roman is not to be considered enlightened, or precious, or inspiring, or deserving to be praised and cherished. Instead it is a festering sore, which rots from the center outwards until there is no flesh left to feed upon. If ever there was a crime against humanity, it is their crime of ignorance, their inability to understand neither the world they rule nor the people they have conquered.
Its legions come offering gifts of civilization and Prometheus’ fire but they choose to never comprehend how those they have come to embrace find no solace or comfort in their offerings. This has truly been the sin of Rome’s emperors and senators from their time of conception. Though desired, they can never understand that which they have lusted can never be fulfilled because one man’s passion is another’s hatred. This is Rome’s true gift to the world, hate; a fiery, all consuming, unimaginable hatred that is destined to leave millions dead in its wake.
Remember well the day that wind from the west came to the far eastern shores of our great sea, not as an army to pillage but as a friend, specifically asked to give aid to a battered priest. Our priest-king Hyrcanus, embattled in a war against his own brother in a never ending struggle to wrestle the kingdom and the throne. And remember it well that when the dust had finally settled, there was no longer a kingdom, but a province, ruled not by either of the two brothers, but by a vassal that danced a merry jig to the songs sung by generals and imperators of the most powerful empire that ever ruled. And recall that when these vassals proved weak and inefficient, they were replaced by men of the equestrian order, knights of Rome, that were sent to this far corner of the world so that they could reward themselves with treasures, rape our women and desecrate our most holy of places. Remember them well, for they have reduced us to this pitiful state where we are beggars in our own land.
And none have shown us favor since the first of the procurators was gifted by Tiberius to herald our doom. Neither Caligula, nor Claudius, nor Nero that has followed saw it any differently. We are to be made to suffer by the hands of this breed of men that they have sent to rule over us as their procurators. Cruel and spiteful, bitter as this land of rock and hot sand that they have been rewarded with as their prize for all the years they have served dutifully. This bitterness has turned their hearts black and these men of the aristocracy, these nobles of ancient families have turned their venom against the very people they rule. They line our roads with crosses from one horizon to the other with the corpses of our people hanging until the flesh is eaten by the birds that dot the sky overhead.
Where are our leaders to raise their voices against such atrocities? Our messiahs to bring a strong right arm against such brutality. Too many have fallen beneath the mighty hand that these procurators wield, and too many have been clamped in chains and sent to Rome, to stand before the Emperor to answer for crimes they have committed against this evil and corrupt Empire.
Now is such a time. Now is the time for us to fight for all that we believe in. This is where our war begins. We are at the junction when all that lives under oppression will rise in a single voice to shout that we will not suffer any longer. We will not remain helpless victims of a foreign occupation. It is time for all men to finally look deep within themselves and find that inner strength that long ago separated us from the beasts of the field. There is but one word that whispers over and over in our heads until we cannot hold it inside any longer and have to shout it out loudly for the entire world to hear. We cry out for freedom, and when enough of the people shout that word together in unison, then we will become a force that will settle for nothing less than achieving that dream. There are those of you that say we are not ready. The time has not yet come. The Lord God has not sent us a sign. I say to thee, nay! He has sent us a thousand signs; a thousand upon thousands but we have been blinded by our own ignorance. And even if the Almighty has been deaf to our plight, when he hears the shouts of our voices for freedom, he will be deaf no longer! Let the Empire of Rome tremble in our wake. Let all who bring death and destruction to the seed of Abraham know that in so doing they curse themselves. We are the children of Israel, and we have no master to lord above us but God. And with a mighty hand He will crush our enemies. Hear me my brothers. The breath and spirit of the Lord shall lead you!
Jonathan Cayapha

Thursday, July 12, 2012

From Sorrow Comes Great Joy

From Sorrow Comes Great Joy

The Balance

It is up to us to seek that balance, to find that release of the waters from the well of misery because the longer we allow it to remain the more foul it becomes until it seeps into the groundwater and pollutes everything else it comes in contact with. It is no different from opened bottle of wine we rarely pour, only to let it sit well beyond its time, until it ferments to nothing more than the bitterness of vinegar. What remains is a foul and disgusting brew that is so sour in the mouth that it is no longer recognizable as the ambrosia that once graced our palate. Nor is the sweet syrup from the cane, the hive or the maple tree anything more than the theft of those living organisms labour and life blood that we have seized the moment of our joy from their sorrow. The balance of joy and sorrow has existed from the dawn of time and it is the purpose of each and every creature to seek the harmony of that co-existence. More so in our case because mankind has forgotten along the way what true happiness is and why it should be cherished and preserved.
At the time you experience a moment of great joy, then seize that opportunity to stare into the darkness of the well and find a corresponding sorrow that can be lifted in the hanging bucket and then poured out upon the land never to sully the waters again. Look deep into your heart and you will certainly uncover a grievous sorrow that for so long has prevented you from experiencing great joy. Release that offense that life has made you endure and the tears will certainly flow and you will understand that you are weeping more so from the delight of casting that burden from your soul once and for all.

Until Then

Until we have suffered greatly we cannot appreciate the tremendous joys that this life affords us. Until we have carried an insurmountable burden we have no knowledge of what it feels like to have a great weight lifted from our shoulders. Until we have suffered from a broken heart we do not understand how finding eternal love differs from all we had experienced before. Until we have suffered and experienced an unrecoverable loss we cannot appreciate how much joy and happiness we had while what we lost was still with us. Until we hold the broken pieces of a cherished dream within our hands we cannot find the elation of reconstructing it piece by piece until we have restored the treasure to our satisfaction. Until we have stared death in the face we cannot appreciate how magnificent the gift of life is and how we must never take it for granted. Until we have shivered in the dread of an everlasting winter we cannot find the absolute delight of basking in the glorious rays of a summer’s day.
Until we have been downtrodden and cast from the bosom of YHWH, we cannot experience the joy of our return to His grace and His loving kindness. This is the lesson and gift God has presented to us throughout our three thousand years of Jewish history, letting us know that only through the despair of being His suffering servants can we actually find the purpose and joy in life. As incongruous as these tears of happiness may seem, to all of you that ask why we must suffer so if we are truly His children then I answer that it is all part of the balance that must be experienced if we are to appreciate all that the Lord has given to this world. And until we can empty the well completely by counteracting every drop of sorrow contained within that pit existing within all of us with both enlightenment and understanding of the joys that are manifested in equilibrium, then we will never attain that point of eternal happiness that we seek. Each of us stands at the edge of the well, bucket in hand. The choice either to stare into its depths and sigh, “this is impossible,” or to roll up our sleeves and shout, “I can do this,” is entirely left to us.
Avrom Aryeh-Zuk Kaha