In episode # 117, Dr. Reese sits down with the most famous rabbi on Youtube, Rabbi Manis Friedman. In this discussion, they talk about the healthiest way to have a relationship with God. They dive into why Kabbalah is now openly taught, if the garden of eden was actually on earth, why humans experience guilt, why the Torah is all true, and why Hitler hated the Jews. Plus - Who are the 36 righteous people and how do they operate in the world so secretly?
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Speaker 2 (00:00:48):
Rabbi, welcome to the podcast.
Rabbi Friedman (00:01:44):
Dr. Reese (00:01:45):
What's the healthiest way to have a relationship with God
Rabbi Friedman (00:01:52):
Speaker 4 (00:01:53):
Rabbi Friedman (00:01:56):
And that's true of every relationship. Hmm. The best way to do it is their way To have a relationship with God Truly Means to step out of yourself, Which is of course, like, you know, the first step of any relationship, Step beyond yourself. Otherwise there is no room for someone else in your world, Stepping out of yourself. That's the biggest challenge. I think in religion, Given what we're taught and given what we're told The next big hurdle is If you wanna have a relationship with God, you have to be absolutely convinced That God wants a relationship. Mm. Otherwise it's a one way street.
Dr. Reese (00:02:55):
Rabbi Friedman (00:02:58):
You wanna be closer to him, but he doesn't need you any closer than the door is. The door is closed.
Rabbi Friedman (00:03:05):
You can't get closer. Unilaterally. Sadly, we are told over and over again that God needs nothing from you. You need him, but he doesn't need you. Then we're told to love him with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our might. And it makes no sense whatsoever.
Dr. Reese (00:03:25):
He does need us. Doesn't he?
Rabbi Friedman (00:03:28):
I think that's that, that is a big hurdle for people who have studied a little bit of religion.
Speaker 4 (00:03:34):
Dr. Reese (00:03:37):
Well, if we're using the word relationship, <laugh> it makes sense. Cuz if you're in a relationship with another human, they need you. You need them. It's it's a partnership.
Rabbi Friedman (00:03:49):
No, unless you're willing to accept that relationship with God means a one way relationship. Since you're very dependent on him, you gotta make sure that he's not angry at you.
Rabbi Friedman (00:04:05):
Otherwise he's not gonna give you the goodies that you need. I don't think people are willing to accept that.
Dr. Reese (00:04:13):
Yeah. Still loves us, but
Rabbi Friedman (00:04:20):
Well, he may love us, but not need us. Well then you can't really have a relationship Being the object of someone's love is not really a relationship. If they don't need you, If you're not significant in their lives, But they love you. Let's let's share entertainment. It's not really a relationship.
Speaker 4 (00:04:46):
Rabbi Friedman (00:04:47):
It's like for example, a husband that says, I love my wife very much, but if she left, I wouldn't be terribly upset. Is that a relationship?
Dr. Reese (00:04:57):
Right? Understood. How often would you say someone should? And it may differ between people, but should pray and speak to God.
Rabbi Friedman (00:05:10):
That's a very, that's a very advanced, A very advanced stage in our relationship with God. Of course we can speak to God. And we must because Communication is a big part of a relationship.
Speaker 4 (00:05:28):
Rabbi Friedman (00:05:29):
But to get to that point where you actually have something to say to God, <laugh>, that's, that's pretty impressive. Hmm. I think the first stage is, can you at least let God initiate the relationship and you try to just reciprocate. That would be the first step. Right? Cause it has to begin with him. He's the creator. So if he doesn't initiate the relationship, there's, there's no way you can start it. There's there's no, There's no point of meeting. He has to start. And if he initiates a relationship, It's pretty serious.
Dr. Reese (00:06:17):
What's an indication of that, of that story.
Rabbi Friedman (00:06:21):
Oh firstly, the fact that you're alive <laugh>
Dr. Reese (00:06:23):
Rabbi Friedman (00:06:24):
Yeah. That's a pretty serious indication.
Dr. Reese (00:06:26):
Could it be someone going through a really tough time and maybe in a fit of crying, they just feel this overwhelming need to drop to their knees and talk or something to that effect
Rabbi Friedman (00:06:42):
That could happen. It's not a very happy scenario. I don't know too many people come to God out of desperation. That shouldn't be the preferred way. And we shouldn't wait for, for when we're desperate. I don't, I don't think God wants us to come to him in desperation. The fact that we're alive And the fact that we sense that our existence is purposeful, That there's actually a reason and a purpose for our existence. That's our first contact with God. Cause if there is a purpose for my existence, it means that someone Caused me to exist For a reason.
Dr. Reese (00:07:39):
Rabbi Friedman (00:07:41):
I'm not an accident, Right. I don't just happen to exist. I exist for a reason. Well, whose reason not mine. Cause I don't ask to, to be born. So obviously someone Who caused me to exist did so with a reason. Well, that's a pretty big compliment. Now I need to find out who that is. And what is the reason?
Dr. Reese (00:08:15):
How about forgiveness?
Rabbi Friedman (00:08:17):
That's a powerful thing.
Dr. Reese (00:08:18):
Rabbi Friedman (00:08:21):
The sense of guilt that we all live with, Is that just pathological? Are we just crazy? What are we guilty of? Why does everybody feel guilty?
Dr. Reese (00:08:35):
Rabbi Friedman (00:08:37):
So again, if there were no creator and we don't exist for a purpose And therefore can mess up the purpose, Then what are we guilty of? See if we're just evolving, Then evolve as best you can. What are you guilty of?
Dr. Reese (00:08:58):
Rabbi Friedman (00:09:00):
So the fact that we carry this sense of guilt is another proof That we have a built in sense of purposefulness. And if I think I messed up my purpose, I feel guilty Without that sense of purposefulness, I'm not messing up anything. What am I feeling guilty about?
Dr. Reese (00:09:27):
What about something we did wrong,
Rabbi Friedman (00:09:30):
Wrong for what wrong? What's wrong?
Dr. Reese (00:09:35):
Well, someone, um, going down the wrong path or maybe they steal from someone.
Rabbi Friedman (00:09:40):
Yeah. And what is wrong with stealing? <laugh> I'm just trying to evolve and survive. So if I can steal better than you I'll survive and you won't. So what am I doing wrong? I'm surviving at your expense. Well, that's the way the Gamet and those that are the fittest don't. So who invited or invented or, or Accepted this notion That you can misbehave By what standard are you misbehaving?
Dr. Reese (00:10:27):
Mm <affirmative> so, I mean, we're here for a human experience.
Rabbi Friedman (00:10:33):
That's actually one of the things that Hitler hated the most about, about Jews. He blamed the Jewish people for introducing this unhealthy thing called conscience. He thought that that was that, that was a weakness and, and a disease in the human system because a human being should be a barbarian. You need to kill somebody kill 'em don't lose, sleep over it. That's a healthy human being
Dr. Reese (00:11:09):
Rabbi Friedman (00:11:12):
And it was based on Darwinian theory. If we're all fighting for our survival, then just do whatever it takes to survive. And where does this guilt come from?
Dr. Reese (00:11:23):
Rabbi Friedman (00:11:25):
Jews invented it.
Dr. Reese (00:11:27):
Rabbi Friedman (00:11:28):
So instead of accusing Jews of poisoning, the well <laugh>, he accused Jews of poisoning, the human spirit
Dr. Reese (00:11:38):
Guilt is also pointing towards the past, which is already over. Right?
Rabbi Friedman (00:11:45):
Dr. Reese (00:11:46):
So if you're guilty of something from a year ago, it's already done with you're you're you're here now.
Rabbi Friedman (00:11:53):
Yeah. What's the difference now? That is not true of the vast majority of human beings throughout history. That's a pretty strong indication of something real. And that's something real is not you angered God. And now he's going to get you. That's so childish and primitive. It's worse than that. You have a purpose, you have an intended, um, Destination that you're supposed to get to. And what you just did is going to block your access is gonna set you back. So you are failing in your mission. That's why you feel guilty. Not because God is angry at you, But he may be
Speaker 4 (00:12:51):
Rabbi Friedman (00:12:53):
But what you're really feeling is that you, you, you ruin something very valuable in your existence, in, in your being well, what is that? Your innocence? Well, what does innocence mean? It means you were going along on the right track, leading to your proper and, and intended destination. And then you got off at the wrong stop. So that's not Some kind of competition between the human being and God, and I'm trying to survive. God's wrath. It's much more personal.
Dr. Reese (00:13:49):
How do we get back on that track if we, uh, get off at the wrong stop?
Rabbi Friedman (00:13:54):
Okay. So here's where another crucial idea comes in. If I'm here To be perfect And I do something that ruins my perfection, it scars me and now I'll never be beautiful again. Then we got a problem. How do you fix it? Well, you can have a little plastic surgery, but that leaves its own scars, But we're here to serve him. And we were serving him properly. And then I took a wrong turn or got off at the wrong stop. And for that moment I stopped serving him. So what's the solution. Get back to serving the solution is go back to serving him. Yeah. You're a little scarred. That's okay. Scarred. People can serve God. If I didn't serve God today, what should I do? Serve him tomorrow. <laugh>
Dr. Reese (00:14:59):
It's like being on a diet, fall off, get back on <laugh> what's the best way to serve God.
Rabbi Friedman (00:15:07):
The best way to serve God is to do for him. What his intention and creation was all about. God wants to be invited into this human, physical, finite ugly condition Until this world becomes his primary home. In other words, God wants us to bring him down to earth.
Speaker 4 (00:15:36):
Rabbi Friedman (00:15:37):
Now why does he need us to bring him down to earth? Well, because if he simply invites himself into this earth, <laugh> it wouldn't be earth anymore. It would become heaven. God wants the earth to invite him the human condition to become receptive to him. We are the human condition. We have freedom of choice. It's up to us to either invite God or resist God. So the one thing God cannot do is make us love him. Doesn't that make sense?
Speaker 4 (00:16:21):
Rabbi Friedman (00:16:22):
If God is so powerful, why doesn't he just make us love him? Right? Because if he makes us love him, it's not our love. It's his right.
Dr. Reese (00:16:31):
It takes our free will away,
Rabbi Friedman (00:16:33):
Right? Without free will. We don't love him. He's loving himself By creating creatures who love him. Free choice means when we love God, it's our love were love And that's what he wants. So he has to give us freedom of choice in that everything else, he makes better choices. So let him choose where you live. Let him choose your talents. Let him choose when you're born. When you die, they're all his choices. And we're grateful for that. Cause his choices are better. But the one thing he cannot choose for us is how we feel about him.
Speaker 4 (00:17:23):
Rabbi Friedman (00:17:26):
So what does God want? God wants us to invite him into our thinking into our feelings, into our experience. Not by forcing it by our, choosing it
Dr. Reese (00:17:46):
To become kinda one
Speaker 4 (00:17:49):
With him in a way,
Rabbi Friedman (00:17:50):
Right? Let me, lemme give an example. The first human being Adam
Speaker 4 (00:17:58):
Rabbi Friedman (00:18:00):
Was created half male and half female, One side, like two, like two sides of a coin. One side was male. The other side was female. One being But half male and half female, Then God separated them. And we had two separate beings, one completely male, one completely female
Speaker 4 (00:18:32):
Rabbi Friedman (00:18:34):
Immediately after separating them. God tells them to get married, to cleave, to each other and become one, Which is kind of strange because they were very much one Inseparably one. And yet God separates them and says, oh, you need to become one. So get married and become one again. What, what is the point Of it is OUM was created half male and half female, but they were back to back. They didn't see each other By separating them And then instructing us to get married. God is saying, now you can become one face to face. And that's why intimacy in, in marriage Must be face to face. What is the difference between back to back and face to face? One of the differences back to back is involuntary. It's not personal. I don't even know who I'm connected to
Speaker 4 (00:20:03):
Rabbi Friedman (00:20:05):
Face to face means. I know you. I choose you. I face you. So I give myself to you and it's you that I'm giving myself to, Whereas back to back means yeah, we're connected. I don't know why. I'm not sure to whom I didn't do it. It's not personal. And therefore not intimate Face to face means intimate. So really every time a married couple are intimate, not face to face. It kind takes a little bit out of the, out of the relationship. Interesting takes a chunk out of the relationship. It distances them. It creates an impersonal connection and that's not what marriage is supposed to be. It's supposed to be deeply personal. And the same thing with our relationship with God, Our soul was once a little piece of God, God separates that soul from himself, sends it down into a body, gives it freedom of choice and says now be mine. So obviously we can ask the question before I was born. I was completely yours. I knew nothing else.
Speaker 4 (00:21:36):
Rabbi Friedman (00:21:37):
So what's the point. The point is before you were born, you knew nothing else because there was nothing else. It was not your choice. Now that you have freedom of choice. If you decide to be his now it's face to face. And that's what we're looking for. Really in religion, we're not looking for rules and regulations. We're not looking to win awards or get a place in heaven. That's not the point at all. What we're looking for is to be able to see God face to face, To know him, to know what he wants, what he needs, how he needs it And to do it for him. How do we know what he wants? He has, obviously we can never guess The husband who keeps guessing what his wife wants. <laugh> Is obviously in trouble half the time. Yeah. So we have, so God gives us a to
Speaker 4 (00:22:57):
Rabbi Friedman (00:22:58):
Which is a, a very detailed and intimate description of himself. What he loves, what he hates, What gives him pleasure? What gives him pain? Very, very revealing. God bears his soul to us in the Torah. I or how, but somehow to, into law, The question is laws. Do you obey? How, how few laws can you get away with? But that's not. It is It's face to face. So one sincere mitzvah can outweigh 10 sins.
Dr. Reese (00:24:01):
How come God did a bunch of talking in the Torah and then eventually kind of goes silent.
Rabbi Friedman (00:24:10):
Yes, God went on mute. But here here's the point. After telling everything need to know about him, God went on mute And he now needs us to unmute him To be his voice to the world. That's the chosen people concept Chosen to be God's voice. Now for many, many years, We couldn't fulfill that role because the world wouldn't let us speak. We were muted By pogroms, by, by inquisitions, by crusades And then the Holocaust. So you would expect that by now we have completely forgotten how to speak or what to say. We've been muted for so long. The miracle is we never forgot the message. We never really became mute. We were just biting the time, waiting for the moment when the world will unmute us and then we can deliver our message, Which is now, which is what we're doing right now on the zoom podcast.
Dr. Reese (00:25:46):
Rabbi Friedman (00:25:48):
We've been unmuted, But we need the courage of our convictions to speak proudly, to speak clearly with confidence. We've preserved the message. It hasn't changed. We haven't watered it down. We haven't created, uh, our own interpretations. It's it's God's voice, but we have to unmute it. So the internet, Like everything else happened exactly when it was necessary and useful. Mm N no, not a moment sooner.
Dr. Reese (00:26:31):
Yeah. Be still and know that I am God. Is there something to that? Where if we get really still, if we get really meditative where God may, it's not
Rabbi Friedman (00:26:43):
Meditate, it's not meditate. Silence the noise in your head, which is all about yourself And deliver the message that you were given to be delivered to the world. In other words, get yourself out of the way. Don't be self-conscious When you deliver the message. You're not being you. You're being the messenger. That's the quietness. It doesn't mean sit on a mountaintop and, and think No speak loudly, But get yourself out of the way. Cause that's just static and noise.
Dr. Reese (00:27:28):
Drop the ego.
Rabbi Friedman (00:27:30):
Yeah. So silence one part of you so that the other part can speak clearly, confidently and authentically.
Dr. Reese (00:27:39):
Rabbi Friedman (00:27:40):
Are you an Orthodox Jew? Are you a conservative Jew? Are you religious? We gotta get rid of that. That's the noise that has to be silenced. Cause the message is not about Orthodox or religious. The message is how to bring God into the world. Everyone needs to do that. No matter what label you put on yourself or others put on you. So silence that at Unhealthy part. And then you can speak like a mench,
Dr. Reese (00:28:22):
Like a mench. Yes. It is very hard to drop that ego. We're we're we're programmed since kindergarten, you know? And uh, we have a personality analogy. It's tough.
Rabbi Friedman (00:28:39):
Well, a big part of our ego has already been eliminated simply by our history. If anything, we don't have enough ego. We feel inferior. We feel Embarrassed. Like we have to Justify our own existence. Little like Israel. You have to defend our existence. Every time I hear that expression, it makes me, We have a right to defend ourselves. <laugh> what other country ever says. That that is so pathetic. Why do you need to say that? Who doesn't have a right to defend themselves?
Dr. Reese (00:29:32):
Even your dog does. Right.
Rabbi Friedman (00:29:35):
But Israel keeps saying that, Oh, we have a right. And sometimes get really excited because the United States said that we have our right to defend ourselves. See that's damaged. Our ego has damaged. We have to regain confidence. Cause we've lost it. Where egoless, where defensive We're apologetic for our very existence. Now that's what 2000 years of abuse can do to you. But it's time to heal. And, and it's, and it's healing nicely.
Dr. Reese (00:30:28):
About a year ago, I had rabbi Rami Shapiro on this podcast. And I, I told him this, my little story, which I'll share with you as well, that yeah, I was my mom's Jewish. So I was raised Jewish and I had the bar bar mitzvah. And I wasn't very interested in it at 12 years old going into 13, like why, why I don't wanna do this? <laugh> uh, but traditional Jewish where you go to school and you become an outcast because only one or two kids are Jewish and everyone else is doing Santa Claus. And somewhere along the way, I, I just dropped it. But then later in life, in my thirties, when I started really getting, doing my research and stuff, I discovered Cabala and everything. I was like, man, if they taught me this, I would've, I would've been interested. Why is it that based on what I know Kala isn't taught until someone's around 40 years old.
Rabbi Friedman (00:31:45):
Well, it's no longer true. Okay. KA can be taught To younger people Assuming that they have the maturity to appreciate what they're hearing.
Dr. Reese (00:31:58):
Rabbi Friedman (00:31:59):
So it could be that. Had you been taught the same thing when you were younger? It wouldn't have had the same effect as When you hear it as an adult, but there are ways that you can teach even couple ballistic ideas on a, on a fundamental school level. For, for the average student. One of the major principles of Is that God is the needy one Because he created the world with this vast eternal plan, every detail matters and so on. That's what you learn in Cabella that can be communicated to children.
Dr. Reese (00:32:51):
What a alive God is needy. Wow.
Rabbi Friedman (00:33:02):
See, that's why it was for many, many years reserved only for the, not only for over 40, but in addition to being over 40, you ought to also have to be a scholar in all other parts of the Torah. And in addition to that, you had to be an extra sensitive soul. So even among the greatest S not everyone was allowed to study the, the cab, it was really, really limited restricted. What was the sensitivity that you had to have before you could study to, uh, the sensitivity was, if I told you that God needs you more than you need him, how will that affect you? If you're not a really sensitive romantic soul, you would lose respect for God and blow him off. He needs me, then I'll do whatever I want and too bad for him. That was the danger. But About 300 years ago, or maybe 400 years ago, The sages of the time decided that we are not going to make it without the Cabella, because people were no longer inspired to observe and to serve God for their own benefit. We had to tell the world that serving God is for God's benefit.
Rabbi Friedman (00:34:51):
And that as you serve God, the fringe benefits are yours. The perks, of course, if you're serving God, good, things will happen naturally, But you're serving him not yourself Today. We see it more clearly than ever. You try to tell someone today, you know, if you keep kosher, you'll live longer. If you keep cha, as your family will be together more often, nobody wants to hear it. Stop telling me how to live my life, To take it even a step further. Not only don't, I want to be told how to live my life. I'm not sure I even want to have life. So if you can tell me that by doing certain things, I will live five years more. I'm not sure I want it.
Dr. Reese (00:35:56):
Rabbi Friedman (00:35:59):
What's so great about life,
Speaker 4 (00:36:01):
Rabbi Friedman (00:36:03):
No one ever asked that before, unless they were severely depressed,
Dr. Reese (00:36:08):
Rabbi Friedman (00:36:09):
But today everybody's asking it
Dr. Reese (00:36:16):
Is the Torah, a history book, or A bunch of mystical parables with great meaning or both,
Rabbi Friedman (00:36:29):
Or both. Everything in Torah is true, Accurate and literal. So the historic events Described in the Torah are also true. Not that it's a history book, cuz most history books are not true.
Speaker 4 (00:36:56):
Rabbi Friedman (00:36:57):
Most history books were written with a bias.
Dr. Reese (00:37:01):
Rabbi Friedman (00:37:03):
The, to is simply true. Now I had this experience Was sitting in the airport And this guy approaches me And launches into a little sermon. He's an evangelist, he's a missionary. Right. And he starts telling me about every word in the Bible is true. It is the word of God. And every word is true. Nothing I could disagree with.
Dr. Reese (00:37:37):
Rabbi Friedman (00:37:39):
But then he says, after about 15 minutes, he says, so what is your relationship with the Bible? So he used the word relationship. So I took that literally. And I said, I'm a Cohan, which means I'm a descendant of Aaron. So Aaron is my grandfather, Which means that Moses is my uncle And Miriam is my aunt. His mouth fell open. He mumbled something. And he walked away. Which left me wondering What surprised him, what shocked him. He gave me a 15 minute sermon about how every word in the Torah is true. Every word in the Bible is true. So there was an Aaron, right? He had children, right. They had children. Right. So why are you so shocked that I'm one of those children,
Dr. Reese (00:38:49):
Rabbi Friedman (00:38:53):
You see When he said true, when he said every word in the Bible is true, he meant true. In a religious sense, We believe in its truth. Is it actually true? Never thought of that. It was his belief that it's true. He never thought that true meant literally factually. Correct. But the Torah is literally factually correct. Except in those cases where the Torah is using metaphor,
Dr. Reese (00:39:41):
Hmm. Is the parting of the parting of the red sea metaphor or fact
Rabbi Friedman (00:39:50):
Actual literal Physical
Dr. Reese (00:39:58):
God intervened, helped out.
Rabbi Friedman (00:40:04):
There's even, there's even archeological evidence for it Because what happened was Thousands of, of Egyptian soldiers drown at that event. Right. That, that should show up in the record of the population of Egypt after that for a long time. And for a long time, if you check the history of the, of Egypt, there were far more women than men. So it's it's effect.
Dr. Reese (00:40:47):
Do you think Noah's Ark will ever be discovered
Rabbi Friedman (00:40:50):
Dr. Reese (00:40:54):
Yeah. You think they'll be able to find the, the ship.
Rabbi Friedman (00:41:00):
They must it's up there somewhere. They gotta find it. Some claim they have found it.
Dr. Reese (00:41:09):
Yeah. Hmm. There are a lot of mystical meetings in there too. Of course, based on my study of Al
Rabbi Friedman (00:41:19):
Of course, because behind every physical, Um, reality, there is a spiritual counterpart magic. Like every blade of grass has an angel That stands over it and tells it to grow.
Speaker 4 (00:41:41):
Rabbi Friedman (00:41:42):
So the blade of grass is some is a physical, factual reality, But that's not all it is The fact that it grows. That's a little spiritual. That's the invisible, the intangible behind that spiritual, there is something godly. So an angel that tells it to grow. That's its spiritual energy. What is an angel, an Emissary from God, God appoints an angel to every blade of grass to make sure that it grows. So the physical is the blade of grass. The spiritual is the growth Capacity and The cause behind it is God himself.
Dr. Reese (00:42:39):
So that's a good segue to my next question. I, I have a good friend who grew up evangelical in the church and he left the church. At some point, I told him I was having you on the podcast. And I said, Hey, anything you want me to ask? He said, well, I think the concept of Satan is great to bring up the Christian imagery of him comes almost exclusively from Dante's Inferno. He says, but the actual scriptural and Judaic presentation is that of a non evil and integral part of heavenly ecosystem. That was his statement. I was wondering what you, what you think of that?
Rabbi Friedman (00:43:27):
Well, God created the world balanced between good and evil
Dr. Reese (00:43:34):
Rabbi Friedman (00:43:34):
Right and wrong. It's like a scale. You know, a balancing scale. Our job is to make sure that the good outweighs the bad. Now that balance is represented by the angels And the devils. There isn't one Satan, All negative traits, all negative energies are, are sat Because they're the negative side, the, the ugly side of, of, of this world. So Satan is just another word for angel, Except that this angel, Uh, represents the, the negative side or to put it bluntly. Satan is an angel that gets to do all the dirty jobs. So Satan is the angel of death. Same thing. Satan is the evil inclination that tempts you to sin. Same thing. Satan is the judge That demands punishment for misbehavior, But it's all God's doing. It's an angel, like all other angels that don't have a will of their own, an agenda of their own, Their apps. They're absolute, Uh, tools. In God's hand, they don't have an opinion. So to think that Satan is some kind of a rebel fighting against God, that that's Greek mythology, that that's not kosher at all right. There is no energy fighting God. Everything in the world is God's creation. Now God created angels of kindness, angels of healing, angels of compassion. He also created angels of death and angels of temptation and angels of cruelty.
Rabbi Friedman (00:45:51):
They're all his angels. They do only what they were created to do. And it's all they can do. So to believe in Satan, as God's antagonist, That's idolatry. Yeah. That's
Dr. Reese (00:46:12):
So you could say fear is a devil as well. Fear. Yeah.
Rabbi Friedman (00:46:18):
You can say love Because there's holy love and there's unholy love.
Dr. Reese (00:46:25):
Rabbi Friedman (00:46:28):
So UN holiness is an equal and opposite reaction to the holy. So if there is holy love, there's also unholy love. There's holy compassion. There's unholy compassion. There's even Holy faith and unholy faith. So yeah, everything exists on both sides of the scale
Dr. Reese (00:46:59):
Duality. <affirmative> What's your view of Jesus, the Christ, a mystic with a great message or a son of God,
Rabbi Friedman (00:47:16):
Every member of the Jewish people is a son of God. God says you are my son, my first born. That's why I took you out of Egypt. So who was he referring to? The Jewish people who he took out of Egypt, As far as we know, Um, he was a student in one of the academies in the times of the T Times of the missioner actually. And he was expelled from the Yeshiva cause he didn't live up to the, to the rabbi standards. And so he was, He was a little resentful and he went off and started a theory, not a religion, a theory that Judaism should be based on scripture, not on rabbinic law. It wasn't so terrible except that people took it very literally. And uh, 400 years later, it turned into a religion, A religion based on scripture without the oral law. I'm not, I'm sure that his intentions were never to create another religion.
Dr. Reese (00:48:39):
No, he just, if I'm not mistaken, he called it the way.
Rabbi Friedman (00:48:43):
It's pretty nice to know that a large part of the Earth's population worships a Jew
Dr. Reese (00:48:51):
Rabbi Friedman (00:48:54):
Who brought the message of God, to people that we would never reach.
Dr. Reese (00:48:59):
Rabbi Friedman (00:49:00):
You gotta give them that credit.
Dr. Reese (00:49:02):
Yeah. At it. Yeah.
Rabbi Friedman (00:49:03):
The world knows about God creation, Adam and Eve, the 10 commandments Because of Christianity.
Dr. Reese (00:49:14):
Rabbi Friedman (00:49:15):
But Christianity added was not his idea. I don't think he would approve
Dr. Reese (00:49:23):
Who or what are the 36 righteous people.
Rabbi Friedman (00:49:28):
Oh, they're hidden.
Dr. Reese (00:49:30):
<laugh> Is there always 36?
Rabbi Friedman (00:49:37):
And they're always hidden.
Dr. Reese (00:49:39):
So if one passes away, another one takes its place.
Rabbi Friedman (00:49:43):
Yeah. But there, there are far more than 36 at any given time. There are 36 that we don't, That we don't know of, Whose righteousness we don't fully appreciate, Which means they're not your ordinary righteousness, which we do recognize their righteousness is beyond our recognition, Which means they're super righteous
Dr. Reese (00:50:15):
And they're, they don't appear. They're not gonna be on YouTube.
Rabbi Friedman (00:50:18):
They may be. You just won't see how righteous they are.
Dr. Reese (00:50:23):
Rabbi Friedman (00:50:25):
Because you, you, You will see that they are righteous, but you will never fully Appreciate how righteous,
Dr. Reese (00:50:38):
How do they become that though? Is there like an initiation
Rabbi Friedman (00:50:41):
They're born that way? And they are meant to be the, uh, the anchor in case everybody else lo loses their way. You always have at least 36 who are incorruptible. And so you'll always have that anchor.
Dr. Reese (00:51:01):
Could Jesus have been one of the 36 of his timeframe?
Rabbi Friedman (00:51:05):
Dr. Reese (00:51:06):
Rabbi Friedman (00:51:11):
Okay. If he had been, his message would not have gotten so distorted
Dr. Reese (00:51:20):
Are the 36 of right now, this era, are they all over the globe? Are they in Israel
Rabbi Friedman (00:51:28):
Dr. Reese (00:51:28):
Everywhere. Interesting. Would they be considered What the Buddhist and Dallas would consider enlightened?
Rabbi Friedman (00:51:49):
We're all enlightened a certain degree. Mm-hmm
Speaker 4 (00:51:52):
Rabbi Friedman (00:51:54):
Anytime you can put yourself aside and do something. Altruistic is enlightened. That's a common thing. It's not so rare. As we, as we make it sound, A guy walking down the street and he sees a child suffering. He puts everything aside and rushes off to help the child that that's enlightened. It's not his child. What does he care? He does care. That's enlightened is how many people are fully enlightened. How many people spend their entire life, every waking hour concerned with others rather than himself. Okay. That gets to be a little more rare.
Speaker 4 (00:52:40):
Rabbi Friedman (00:52:42):
But it's not miraculous. It's not heavenly. It's just a really good human being.
Dr. Reese (00:52:49):
Is it possible with effort To get our thoughts, to go silent and only use our mind as a tool when we need it?
Rabbi Friedman (00:53:04):
Absolutely. It's something we all practice All the time.
Dr. Reese (00:53:16):
Is there a method of practice that you would recommend to, to someone
Rabbi Friedman (00:53:25):
I was driving in the car with my granddaughter, who was nine years old at the time mm-hmm,
Speaker 4 (00:53:32):
Rabbi Friedman (00:53:33):
She's sitting in the back seat and she says, I wanna S slurpy
Dr. Reese (00:53:40):
Rabbi Friedman (00:53:43):
I said, okay, We'll pull up to the next, uh, Seven 11, what the, who said? And, uh, we'll get a slurping. She says, but mommy doesn't let,
Dr. Reese (00:53:58):
Rabbi Friedman (00:54:00):
I said, I am your mother's father
Dr. Reese (00:54:03):
Rabbi Friedman (00:54:05):
Which makes me your grandfather. And my job is to spoil you.
Dr. Reese (00:54:09):
Rabbi Friedman (00:54:11):
So we'll stop and we'll get you a S slurpy. And this nine year old says, you know, just because you want something doesn't mean you have to do it.
Dr. Reese (00:54:21):
Rabbi Friedman (00:54:26):
She's nine years old and she can silence The noisy part of herself And choose what is right. It should be a common daily occurrence. It is, But we can always improve on it.
Speaker 4 (00:54:51):
Dr. Reese (00:54:59):
How important is crying?
Rabbi Friedman (00:55:01):
Dr. Reese (00:55:03):
Rabbi Friedman (00:55:05):
It is very important. In fact, it is, it is somewhat divine. We cry because God cries.
Dr. Reese (00:55:14):
Rabbi Friedman (00:55:17):
And that's why we have to cry properly. Like everything else. There's holy tears. And there's unholy tears.
Speaker 4 (00:55:27):
Rabbi Friedman (00:55:27):
<affirmative> but the reason there is crying is because that's a feature in God and we're created in his image. So because God has the capacity to cry, we also have the capacity to cry on a human level. Crying means experiencing something that our heart cannot contain and our mind can't wrap itself around. And so it's an experience that is so intense. We need an outlet. We need a chimney To let it out and the tears let it out. So it's a safety valve for really intense feelings.
Dr. Reese (00:56:16):
Rabbi Friedman (00:56:16):
Either positive or
Dr. Reese (00:56:17):
Negative. Sometimes emotions can get trapped And we gotta release.
Rabbi Friedman (00:56:24):
And without tears, the heart would explode.
Dr. Reese (00:56:27):
Mm. Why is the Hasidic tradition so different from the, the traditional Jewish American tradition?
Rabbi Friedman (00:56:40):
It is. And it isn't, you know, there, there there's no mitzvah. There's no commandment. There's no observance that Hasidim invented. It's all the same 613 commandments. You know, It's just, the tone is different Because you can read the Torah in many tones, Like God said to Adam, you ate from the tree. I told you not to eat from How many tones. Can you say those words? You can say, You ate from the tree. I told you not to eat from you are therefore going to suffer. Okay. That's a tone. Or you can say You ate from the tree. I told you not to eat from. I told you not to do it. Now you're in trouble.
Dr. Reese (00:57:38):
<laugh> right, right.
Rabbi Friedman (00:57:40):
<laugh> or You ate from the tree. I told you not to eat from. Wow. You're something else. <laugh> You're not like an angel. You can actually stand up to, I like that. Or You ate from the tree. I told you not to eat. How did you know really? Where did you that
Speaker 4 (00:58:13):
Rabbi Friedman (00:58:15):
So Adam said, I didn't know. She knew He gave her the credit. See, same words, completely different story. Right? So Hasids brought a new tone To the same words. Th shall not murder. Val shall not murder. Animals can eat each other, but you You're a human being. You can't, You can't. Cause if you do you'll, you'll, you'll die from guilt. So he's not saying don't, he's saying you can't, You're a human being. You have too many sensitivities. You can't act like an animal. It won't work for you. See same words.
Dr. Reese (00:59:18):
The thing with the, the acidic tradition that I see is just a, a great sense of community and oneness. And I think that's pretty cool,
Rabbi Friedman (00:59:30):
But that's the result of a certain way of thinking. Nobody went out to create a community. They taught The Torah in a certain style and everyone attracted it to that way of thinking join The result was a community,
Dr. Reese (00:59:48):
Rabbi Friedman (00:59:49):
But that was not its purpose. And that's why it's not limited to the community. We should be here on a podcast telling all the, all the non-Jewish listeners, What Hasidic thinking is all about. Cause they'll find it relevant Without joining the community. It's, let's figure out what we're doing in this world. Why we're here. If we figure that out, then we can afford to be happy.
Speaker 4 (01:00:21):
Rabbi Friedman (01:00:22):
I can entertain myself and distract myself, but I'm never really happy Unless I know what I'm doing here
Dr. Reese (01:00:32):
To be service to God and to fulfill his needs, cuz God is needy.
Rabbi Friedman (01:00:42):
And if I haven't done it yesterday, I can do it today.
Dr. Reese (01:00:46):
There it is. How can someone find you and explore your work rabbi?
Rabbi Friedman (01:00:53):
It's good to know. Dot org
Dr. Reese (01:00:56):
Rabbi Friedman (01:00:57):
Hundreds of hours.
Dr. Reese (01:00:59):
Hundreds. <laugh> because we have the internet at the right time.
Rabbi Friedman (01:01:06):
Yes. The biggest Yeshiva ever.
Dr. Reese (01:01:15):
My last question, what's the meaning of the story. The garden of Eden,
Rabbi Friedman (01:01:22):
We were not kicked out. We've volunteered to fix the ugly world. Garden of Eden doesn't need fixing. So we had the option of staying there. I say we as if I was there, <laugh> Adam and Eve had the option of staying there and enjoying a perfectly Holy existence forever. The other choice was there's an ugly world. You can't let it remain ugly forever. So they volunteered to descend to that lower world, the world of mortality and struggle against it, Suffer with it, But fix it in the end.
Dr. Reese (01:02:17):
So the garden of Eden is not earthly.
Rabbi Friedman (01:02:21):
It was not
Dr. Reese (01:02:24):
Different dimension, different plane.
Rabbi Friedman (01:02:28):
So Adam and Eve literally sacrificed their comfort, their imorality to fulfill God's purpose, which is to elevate the ugly world, the lowest world, which is our world and bring him down to make this world holier than heaven. So Adam and E are heroes, not villains. And that's why we name our children. Adam and we name our daughters Eve.
Dr. Reese (01:03:04):
Yeah. I have a cousin Adam. Sure. Mm-hmm
Rabbi Friedman (01:03:07):
<affirmative> and Hava is a very popular Hebrew name for girls.
Dr. Reese (01:03:14):
See, this is the stuff that I wasn't taught at 12 years old.
Rabbi Friedman (01:03:17):
There you go.
Dr. Reese (01:03:19):
<laugh> rabbi. Thank you so much for your time today.
Rabbi Friedman (01:03:24):
It was a pleasure.
Speaker 2 (01:03:26):
Thanks for listening to inner peace with Dr. Reese. If this episode opened your heart, feel free to on social media and tell your loved ones, also be sure to subscribe. So you never miss episode until next.