righteousness

You will not attain righteousness till you spend in charity of the things you love.

One thing we have endeavoured to observe most scrupulously, namely, never to depart from the strictest facts and, in dealing with the difficult questions that have arisen during the year, we hope that we have used the utmost moderation possible under the circumstances. Our duty is very simple and plain. We want to serve the community, and in our own humble way to serve the Empire. We believe in the righteousness of the cause, which it is our privilege to espouse. We have an abiding faith in the mercy of the Almighty God, and we have firm faith in the British Constitution. That being so, we should fail in our duty if we wrote anything with a view to hurt. Facts we would always place before our readers, whether they are palatable or not, and it is by placing them constantly before the public in their nakedness that the misunderstanding between the two communities in South Africa can be removed.

The foundation of righteousness and the root of perfection in the service of G-d lies in a man's coming to see clearly and to recognize as a truth the nature of his duty in the world and the end towards which he should direct his vision and his aspiration in all of his labors all the days of his life

Whenever I give moral instruction, I first try to demonstrate the inherent power and quality of human nature... the wonderful virtues which all human beings can acquire... God has implanted in every person the capacity to attain the very highest level of virtue. But people cannot grow in virtue on their own. We need (soul) companions to guide and direct us on the way of righteousness ... We are each capable of achieving the same degree of moral goodness.

Hillel used to say: “A brutish man cannot fear sin; an ignorant man cannot be pious, nor can the shy man learn, or the impatient man teach. He who engages excessively in business cannot become wise. In a place where there are no men strive to be a man. Moreover he saw a skull floating on the surface of the water and he said unto it: Because you drowned others they drowned you; and those that drowned you will eventually be drowned… The more flesh the more worms; the more possessions the more anxiety; the more women the more witchcraft; the more maidservants the more lewdness, the more manservants the more theft. But the more Torah the more life, the more schooling the more wisdom; the more counsel the more understanding; the more righteousness the more peace. If a man has acquired a good name he has gained something which enriches himself; but if he has acquired words of the Torah he has attained afterlife.”

Rabban Gamaliel the son of Rabbi Judah the Prince said: “Great is study of the Torah when combined with a worldly occupation, for toil in them both puts sin out of mind. All study of the Torah which is not supplemented by work is destined to prove futile and causes sin. Let all who occupy themselves with communal affairs do so for Heaven's sake, for then the merit of their fathers sustains them and their righteousness endures forever. And as for you, G-d will then say: I count you worthy of great reward as if you had done it all yourselves. Be careful in your relations with the government; for they draw no man close to themselves except for their own interests. They appear as friends when it is to their advantage, but they do not stand by a man in his time of stress… Do His will as if it was your will that He may do your will as if it was His will. Make your will of no effect before His will that He may make the will of others of no effect before your will.”

Often lack of wisdom can result in deeds lacking compassion. The philosopher Karl Popper was asked in an interview if he believed in evil. No, he answered, but I believe in stupidity. His reply struck me as remarkably Buddhist: often in Buddhist teachings, the wise are associated with righteousness and the foolish or ignorant with evil-doing. As sweet as honey is an evil deed, so thinks the fool... Lack of wisdom blinds men to attitudes and actions that deny the basic humanity that should unite all peoples, regardless of race, language, creed or class. Once set on a course which emphasizes differences and exacerbates conflict, there is little room left for compassion. Wisdom can thus be seen as important not just for making compassion effective, but for generating compassion itself.

They who perform one precept in this world will find it recorded for their benefit in the world to come; as it is written, 'Thy righteousness will go before thee, the glory of the Lord will gather thee in.

Let's trade in all our judging for appreciating. Let's lay down our righteousness and just be together.

God knows it is emotionally satisfying to be righteous with that righteousness that nourishes itself on the blood of sinners. But God also knows that what is emotionally satisfying can be spiritually devastating.

Lastly, though I affirm that after a man hath arrived to such a condition in which a man may not sin, he yet may sin; I will nevertheless not deny but there may be a state attainable in this life, in which to do righteousness may become so natural to the regenerate soul, that in the stability of this condition they can not sin.

Poverty of spirit should accompany us all our life long to let us see that we have no righteousness nor strength of our own for sanctification; that all the grace we have is out of ourselves, even for the performance of every holy duty; for though we have grace, yet we cannot bring that grace into act without new grace, even as there is a fitness in trees to bear fruit, but without the influence of heaven they cannot be fruitful. That which oftentimes makes us miscarry in the duties of our callings is this, we think we have strength and wisdom sufficient, and then what is begun in self-confidence is ended in shame. We set about duties in our own pride and strength of parts, and find no better success; therefore it is always a good sign that God will bless our endeavors, when out of a deep sense of our own weakness, we in prayers and supplications like our Lord also water our business with strong crying and tears

GOD AND ISRAEL -

God:

Though bereaved and in mourning, why sit thus in tears?
Shall thy spirit surrender its hopes to its fears?
Though the end has been long and no light yet appears,
Hope on, hapless one, a while longer.

I will send thee an angel My path to prepare,
On the brow of Mount Zion thy King to declare,
The Lord ever regnant shall reign again there,
Thy King, O proclaim, comes to Zion.

Israel:

How long, O my God, shall I wait Thee in vain?
How long shall Thy people in exile remain?
Shall the sheep ever shorn never utter their pain
But dumbly through all go on waiting?

p. 23

God:

Have faith, hapless one, I will pardon and free,
Not always shalt thou be abhorrent to Me,
But be Mine e’en as I shall return unto thee,
’Tis yet but a little space longer.

Israel:

How long till the turn of my fate shall draw near,
How long ere the sealed and the closed be made clear,
And the palace of strangers a roof shall appear?

God:

Hope on for a shelter and refuge.
With healing shall yet thy entreaties be graced,
As when Caphtor was crushed shalt thou triumph re-taste,
And the flowers cast off shall re-bloom in the waste,
Hope on but a little space longer.

Israel:

My people of yore ’neath one people was drowned,
But from Egypt or Babel deliverance found,
But now we are hopelessly compassed around
By four birds of prey grim and speckled.
They have eaten my flesh, yet to leave me are loath.

p. 24

God:

The Rock you must trust to remember His oath,
Your lover that went shall return to His troth,
Hope on, hapless one, a whit longer.

Lord of the world, O hear my psalm,
And as sweet incense take my plea.
My heart hath set its love on Thee
And finds in speech its only balm.

This thought forever haunts my mind,
Some day to Thee I must return,
From Thee I came and backward yearn
My very fount and source to find.

Not mine the merit that I stand
Before Thee thus, since all is Thine,
The glorious work of force divine,
No product of my heart or hand.

My soul to Thee was humbly bent
Even before she had her birth,
Before upon the sphere of earth
Her heav’nly greatness made descent.

Who shall reason of Thy greatness?
For Thou hast encompassed the sphere of
Jupiter with a seventh sphere,
And therein revolveth Saturn.
And his body is greater than that of the earth
ninety-one times by the measure of him,
And he completeth his revolution in thirty years of his course,
And stirreth up wars,
And spoliation and captivity and famine,
For such is his appointed task;
And devastateth the lands,
And rooteth up kingdoms
According to the will of Him
"Who hath appointed him to His service,
Even such strange service."

Who shall descend as deep as Thy thoughts?
For from the splendour of the sphere of Intelligence Thou hast wrought the radiance of souls,
And the high angels that are the messengers of Thy will,
The ministers of Thy presence,
Majestic of power and great in the Kingdom of heaven,
"In their hand the flaming sword that turneth every way,"
Performing their work whithersoever the spirit wafteth them,
All of them shapen to comeliness, shimmering as pearls,
Transcendent creatures,
Angels of the outer courts, or angels of the Presence,
Watching Thy movements.
From a holy place are they come,
And from the fount of light are they drawn.
They are divided into companies,
And on their banner are signs graven of the pen of the swift scribe.
There are superior and attendant bands,
And hosts running and returning,
But never weary and never faint,
Seeing but invisible.
And there are some wrought of flame,
And some are wafted air,
And some compounded of fire and of water,
And there are Seraphim in burning rows,
And wingèd lightnings and darting arrows of fire,
And each troop of them all bows itself down
"To Him who rideth the highest heavens."
And in the supreme sphere of the universe they stand in thousands and tens of thousands,
Divided into watches,
That change daily and nightly at the beginning of their vigils,
For the ritual of psalms and songs,
"To Him who is girt with omnipotence."
All of them with dread and trembling bow and prostrate themselves to Thee,
Saying: To Thee we acknowledge
That Thou art He, the Lord our God;
Thou hast made us, and not we ourselves,
And the work of Thy hands are we all.
For Thou art our Lord, and we are Thy servants,
Thou art our Creator, and we are Thy witnesses.

Three things remind me of You,
the heavens
who are a witness to Your name
the earth
which expands my thought
and is the thing on which I stand
and the musing of my heart
when I look within.

The essence of prayer does not consist in asking God for something but in opening our hearts to God, in speaking with Him, and living with Him in perpetual communion. Prayer is continual abandonment to God. Prayer does not mean asking God for all kinds of things we want; it is rather the desire for God Himself, the only Giver of Life, Prayer is not asking, but union with God. Prayer is not a painful effort to gain from God help in the varying needs of our lives. Prayer is the desire to possess God Himself, the Source of all life. The true spirit of prayer does not consist in asking for blessings, but in receiving Him who is the giver of all blessings, and in living a life of fellowship with Him.

And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.