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Tamar Yonah is one of Israel's most popular English-speaking radio show hosts. She made Aliyah from Southern California and after serving in the Israeli army began a prolific career in radio, including production, news and program development. She was the original creator and producer of 'The Aliyah Show' and still works whenever she can in that field. Tamar is a political activist, wife and mother residing in Judea and Samaria and currently hosts the top-rated shows of The Weekend Edition & The Tamar Yonah Show. Her award winning blog covers current events, religion, politics and anything else that's on her mind.
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Elul 13, 5767, 8/27/2007
Why Isn't G-d Cool? Why is G-d considered a Square? I mean, what could be cooler than G-d? He's the ultimate artist, the ultimate scientist, the ultimate everything. Just look at a mountain, a molecule, a flower, a galaxy. What could be cooler than the physics, the system, the energy and vibes that this universe runs on? The smartest men in the world couldn't come up with such a perfect creation.
And yet, I'm sitting here reading an article in the news paper about the newest hip thing our youth are swarming to, -a new grass-roots open air bar and dance 'club' for Tel Aviv's youth. It's Friday night in Tel Aviv. The soldiers are home for Shabbat, and they want to 'party'.
My question is, if people are looking to 'get away' from the daily grind of work and life's challenges, and meet friendly people where they can find stimulation, why is it in a night club/dancing/drinking atmosphere? Because even in these places, you are judged on how you look, and what clothes you wear. Are you sexy and will you give out, or are you a dork? People at nigth clubs see only the facade. It isn't the real thing. So why do our youth put energies towards things that are fake and won't last?
I was raised that on Friday nights, it was family night. We all gathered around the table and had our Shabbat meal. Sometimes, when we were older, we'd have big 'Shabbatonim', -where you joined your youth group and celebrated Shabbat together. People sat at long tables and sang songs, had a great meal, and then had a great Dvar Torah, a lesson from the Bible. People were judged on who they were as a person, because we shared the same values... belief in G-d. If you gave a good Dvar Torah, you were respected even more. People were valued for their personalities, their talents, their kindness, and midot (character traits).
Believing in something higher than oursleves - ushering in the Shabbat.
I don't think that night clubs are the place to be appreciated for the 'real you'. Even though the free outdoor night club is more relaxed, it's still a meat market. It doesn't fill the emptiness that people are feeling... If someone is looking for friendship, companionship, and an escape from the 9-5 work jungle, the emptiness will just return as soon as the sun comes up in the morning, and the beer wears off. So then why is spending your Friday nights together at a table in wholesome, friendly, worthwhile pursuits not the 'IN' thing to do today?
Gathering together at a Shabbat table.
Seems to me, that we need to redirect our society to more truth, and less falsity and let downs. People who have had a real Shabbat experience, with good food, good people, songs, dancing and intellectual stimulating conversations at the Shabbat table want more and more of it. The 'feel' of Shabbos is exhilerating!
So many people who are secular, who have tasted what a real Shabbat is like, have become religious. They have felt the wonderful, joyous atmosphere of this day of rest, of rising above the material, and feeding the spiritual side of our souls. They feel the peace of Shabbat, they feel G-d and His love for us, in giving us the Sabbath day to disconnect from the rat race and phoney masks of life. People can feel valued for who they are, engage in real dialogue, and know that when they meet that 'someone special', that that person won't throw in the towel and look for comfort elsewhere when life gets a little rocky. They will know that that someone will be committed and stick to their morals see the situation through, until the good times come again. - Because they believe that Torah is G-d given, that it's a gift to mankind, and that though we won't be fulfilling our animal desires whenever we want to, we know that holding to the Laws of the Torah will ultimately be the best thing for us, as well as for society at large. Keeping the Torah and embracing the values it gives us offers so much to make our lives happier and more content. It has a lot more to offer than beer and trance dancing.
G-d, the 'Ultimate Artist' and His cool creations