700 Club Clubbed

The aftermath to my appearance on The 700 Club with my friend Pat Robertson last Monday astounded me.  Like noxious mushrooms after a rain, articles suddenly sprang up condemning Pat for something people thought he said, and condemning me for not condemning him.  Also, I received a bunch of negative communications, almost all of them from self-proclaimed Jews.  I find myself sadly amused by hostile letters written to a rabbi that are filled with Yiddish curses.

They ranged from one or two politely critical ones to the majority, featuring vile and vulgar expletives about me and my family; two contained explicit death threats.  I am not complaining, I’m a big boy and can take care of myself.  I am accustomed to telling the Truth and living my life accordingly in spite of the anger this occasionally generates among fervent and extremist secular fundamentalists of all ethnic backgrounds.

What drives people with extremely limited data to rush to judgment and quickly criticize, condemn, and excoriate others?  What happened to giving people the benefit of the doubt?  I think it is collateral damage from the retreat of religion.  I believe that it is Biblical wisdom that lubricates human social and economic interaction and when that becomes eroded, people rush to judge one another harshly.

…in righteousness you shall judge your friend.
 (Leviticus 19:15)

Still, this is a bit vague. After all, what does ‘righteousness’ really mean?  Fortunately, ancient Jewish wisdom tells us about very important paragraph markings that can be seen in a traditional Torah scroll.  These divisions provide a graphically visible separation of a Torah column into specifically related topics. This verse is part of a paragraph which includes another verse:

…and you shall love your friend as you love yourself
(Leviticus 19:18)

Thus we see juxtaposed two parallel ideas (1) judge one another righteously, and, (2) love one another as you love yourself.

In other words, judge others the way you’d like them to judge you—giving the benefit of the doubt. Sadly, those who wrote angry denunciations were rushing to draw the very worst of conclusions.  They were hardly judging the way they’d like to be judged themselves.

I do have to say that the impact of these few vitriolic letters was utterly overwhelmed by the colossal cascade of positive and enthusiastic letters from friends and fans who saw the 700 Club interview on CBN.

Which brings me to an interesting aspect of most of the vituperative letters: most of those who scrawled them did not bother to view the twenty-minute show.  They wrote to me after reading Internet reports written by ideologues not shy about their hatred for religious conservatives such as Dr. Robertson and me.

Disregarding the obscenities and threats they contain, these letters revealed that their authors view Pat Robertson as virulently anti-Semitic and me as a hateful and unworthy member of the Jewish people for associating with him.

Let’s see what the interview was about and what Dr. Robertson actually said.  We were discussing my new book Business Secrets from the Bible which is a sequel to the best-seller from 2002, Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money.

In this new book, I reveal forty business secrets from the Bible, but in a short interview, I focused on only a few examples.  One of which was that many start-up entrepreneurs mistakenly try to do everything themselves.  I explain that you should try to do those things that only you can do while hiring others to do everything else.

Attempting a humorous example, I observed that you seldom find Jews tinkering with their cars or mowing their lawns on weekends.  I did not say that there are no Jewish lawn landscapers or Jewish car mechanics.  That would be nonsense; like other successful groups, Judaism does not view any form of work as menial.

My point was that auto-mechanics should hire plumbers to fix their water pipes, and lawn maintenance specialists should hire auto-mechanics to fix their cars.  This frees each to become more competent in his own field and better able to serve his fellow humans.  I explained that not only would my mechanic repair my car more competently and more quickly than I could but that in the time he did so, I could probably make more money than he would charge me if I applied myself effectively to my own trade.

During the 700 Club interview I mentioned the Biblical foundations for this principle of the morality of specialization which western economics only grasped when Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations at the end of the 18th century.

Responding to me, Dr. Robertson laughingly alluded to diamond polishing as a popular Jewish specialty.  This is to say that diamond polishers should not repair their own cars any more than auto mechanics should spend months polishing a raw diamond to present to their fiancées. Instead, they allow the diamond specialist to do the polishing while they pursue their own work.

There was nothing troubling in this conversation.  Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the industry knows that over 90% of the diamond business, whether in Manhattan, Antwerp, or Tel Aviv, is conducted by Jews.  So what?

There was nothing anti-Semitic in this conversation.  There was no suggestion that all Jews are rich.  I explicitly stated that obviously there are poor Jews but at the same time, it is hard to ignore that Jews are disproportionately represented among the Forbes Four Hundred and other listings of the financially successful.

The entire point of much I have written and published is that Jewish financial success is not racial and genetic but cultural. Furthermore I demonstrate how anybody can learn, understand and apply the cultural principles rooted in the Bible just as so many Jews have done over the centuries.

However, there are always a few bitter and hateful individuals.  People whose loathing of Judeo-Christian tradition and repugnance for Biblically based conservatives makes them abandon facts and focus with frenzied fanaticism on microscopic morsels they scoop up and transform into bogus evidence to justify their hate.

Pat Robertson, regularly honored and loved by Israelis for his remarkable generosity to the Jewish state has yet to be shown to have ever caused harm to any Jew.  It is a frighteningly dangerous precedent for Jews to abuse the terrible term anti-Semite in order to bludgeon those with whom they disagree into silence and submission.  It is not only dangerous but it is also stupid and evil.  Some of my fellow Jews should be ashamed of themselves.  I know I was embarrassed to see a friend so insulted by those to whom he has always been kind and gracious.

The only people left in the whole world who still openly like Jews and support Israel are America’s Evangelical Christians.  I sometimes worry that God might wonder whether we Jews really do deserve these good friends.

Meanwhile, let’s remember that we unnecessarily jeopardize relationships by failing to judge others the way we’d like to be judged.  Furthermore, those to whom you do extend the benefit of the doubt will never forget your goodness.

3,326 years ago, God judged the Egyptians while bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. Each year, we relive this Exodus by celebrating Passover, including refraining from work and earning money on the first and last two days. See the sidebar for next week’s details. Take advantage now of our remaining open hours to enjoy holiday savings on our Library Pack and Library Pack PLUS (including free shipping in the continental U.S.). These packages provide hours of stimulation, enjoyment and growth, improving your economic, family and social life at an unbeatable price. Enjoy!

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All or Nothing

Sadly, but readily, I’ll confess that I am no dancer.  It’s not that I wouldn’t like to be a Fred Astaire on the dance floor.  It’s just that when I dance, more than anything else I resemble a drunk trying to trample a cockroach.  One of my many problems in this arena is that I remember only one thing at a time.  I can remember a kindly advisor (actually it was a contemptuous teenager) at a family celebration telling me to wave my arms.  This I can do but since the rest of me stands as rigidly as the Statue of Liberty the overall effect is less Astaire and more like a seizure.  When I remember to bounce lightly on my toes while syncopating my feet, well, we’re back to stomping cockroaches.  It really is important to apply all elements of an integrated solution; to use all the recommended ingredients in a recipe.

Running a business means taking care of production, marketing, accounting, and several other key areas.  No matter how proficiently you pursue only one of those, if the others are neglected, you won’t see success.  Building a happy and tranquil family also depends on simultaneously progressing on a number of fronts.  A military campaign is another example of this principle.  If an invasion is successful but the air cover and supply lines are neglected, all is lost.  No complex task or project can be accomplished with blinders on.  One must understand all the components that taken together comprise success, and then figure out how to move forward on them all at the same time.

Part of Israel’s success as a modern, democratic state is surely due to her ability to focus simultaneously on defense, tourism, industrialization, infrastructure, immigration, and many other concerns.  In all likelihood, understanding the total picture entered the DNA of Israel from the following Scriptural source:

 And you shall guard them and do them [the laws and statutes] for doing so [is evidence of] your wisdom and understanding in the eyes of the nations who, when they hear about ALL these statutes will say surely this is a nation of wisdom and understanding. (Deuteronomy 4:6)

 Ancient Jewish wisdom describes how this verse would have read almost identically had the word ALL been omitted.

 …when they hear about these statutes (they) will say surely
this is a nation of wisdom and understanding.

 See what I mean?

Nonetheless, that word ALL is vital.  If the nations see Israel observing and doing only selected laws and statutes, perhaps only those they feel emotionally drawn to, the result would be quite different.  The nations will not say, “This is a nation of wisdom and understanding”. Instead they are more likely to say, “How weird, bizarre, and generally inexplicable is this nation!”

Revering only the parts of the Bible we like the sound of, does not make us effective children of God; it subjects us to ridicule.  Seeing the Bible as the comprehensive life plan that it is, not only makes us effective but it also makes us admired.

There are those who take the Bible seriously on family matters but who ignore it at work.  There are those who meticulously study the Bible and obey its edicts on charity and justice but who regard its rulings on other social issues to be anachronistic.  All the folks in these examples are getting as much benefit from the Bible as they would from eating a culinary delight prepared by a careless chef who omitted a few key ingredients.

When you respect the Biblical statutes, that important word ALL is the key.  If you try to make a bed so perfectly that a sergeant’s coin bounces off the blanket, you need to pay equal attention and apply equal tension to ALL four corners. God’s word is no different. Whether certain concepts resonate with us while others baffle us, we do well to recognize that they are all intertwined.

This crucial teaching that economic and sexual truths are inextricably linked leaps at you out of the Hebrew verses leading up to the Flood in Genesis. (Rabbi, you mean sexual depravity can really destroy finances?) Share my 2 audio CD set, The Gathering Storm: Decoding the Secrets of Noah (specially priced right now) with your friends and family. You will be amazed and uplifted to hear how ancient Jewish wisdom on these verses applies prophetically to our times, right now, right here. Learn how to construct a spiritual ark for your family, enveloping those you love with God’s protection.

TGS_small

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Time Is It?

Guess what, kids!  We’re going to Disneyland in three years’ time!  Guess what, Honey!  We’re being transferred to Paris for two years; our flight’s this afternoon, just after lunch.  Both scenarios are equally ludicrous.  It is also absurd to fire an under-performing employee and give him twenty-four months’ notice but telling the same employee that he must be out and off the premises within an hour is just as wrong. What time is right?

How long should you spend psyching yourself up to propose marriage to your girlfriend? A week? A month? An hour?  Which is right?  “We’re offering you the job and would like to hear back from you with your decision in _____.  Well, how long?  We’d like to hear back from you in twenty minutes?  Silly!  We’d like to hear back from you before the end of next year? Ridiculous!  What time is right?

As usual, ancient Jewish wisdom points us in the right direction.  See these verses:

On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place…
(Genesis 22:4)

 And on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, he made a feast…
(Genesis 40:20)

 …let us go…three days’ journey into the wilderness, so we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.
(Exodus 3:18)

And be ready by the third day; for on the third day the Lord will come down…
(Exodus 19:11)

And it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal dress…
(Esther 5:1)

Joshua commanded the officers…saying, prepare provisions for within three days you shall cross over this Jordan…
(Joshua 1:10)

For space reasons I have confined myself to only a few of the many Scriptural references to three days.  Is it not peculiar that all these events and many others in the Bible involved a time span of three days?  Why not five days?  Why not four days? Coincidence?  No, of course not.  It’s a lesson.

Like all numbers, the number three in Torah nomenclature possesses its own special significance.  It alludes to how we humans experience time.  We are aware of the past, we understand something called the future, and we live the present.  It is always in the context of these three parts of time that we should evaluate our lives and our experiences.

When we wonder whether something will be fun, we are really asking whether it will make the present pleasurable.  One of the reasons a car accident can be so horrifying is the realization of how its consequences might affect the future.  I recently saw an interview with an elderly criminal sentenced to one hundred and fifty years behind bars. He said that what made life intolerable was not the thought of dying in prison, but that of losing connection with his children and grandchildren.  In his case, having a past made the present much more unendurable than it might have been for someone who did not already have deep and rich relationships with descendants.

Through the preponderance of three-day time spans, Scripture is telling us that we need to take into account our past, our present and our future.  Whether it is Abraham confronting the reality of sacrificing his son, the Israelites preparing to meet God at Mt Sinai, or any of the other examples, people need to give themselves enough time to integrate the experiences of the past with the approaching future into something they can absorb in the present.

In our own lives, when large decisions or changes loom, the three-day metaphor tells us that the right amount of time needs to be enough time to acknowledge where we are coming from and assimilate that with where we are, while moving decisively into the future. Taking too little time leaves us reeling while taking too much time dulls us, just as ignoring any of the three points of past, present and future leads us down faulty paths.

Moving from difficult straits to brighter horizons using three spiritual secrets revealed during the Exodus is the heart of my audio CD, Let Me Go: How to Overcome Life’s Challenges and Escape Your Own Egypt.  The practical and powerful tips in this audio CD transformed the destiny of the Jews, propelling them from poverty to prosperity and from misery to independence.  They can do the same for individuals.  Now would be a good time to decisively improve your future by changing your present!  Are there any whom you love who need a boost into a better life-orbit?  For a tiny investment, you can bless them. This amazing life-changing resource is available at a substantial discount right now (even more when you download!) and can guide you to harness your past, utilize your present and move forward to a better future.

Let Me Go

P.S.: Clash of Destiny remains on sale for another 24 hours!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Esther’s One-Two Punch

What do toddlers and sales professionals have in common?  No, this isn’t the latest riddle from your in-flight magazine. The correct answer is that both employ profound psychological principles to project their wills.  Toddlers do so instinctively while sales pros do so after sophisticated training. But we all can use these timeless truths to practice partnership power that helps us achieve our goals.

Almost every triumph, success, or achievement that we enjoy depends upon at least one other person’s cooperation. We invariably require at least one other person, whether a friend, mentor, customer or investor to help us achieve our desires.  There are many unsuccessful ways to try to enlist others to our purpose.  Can ancient Jewish wisdom help us identify effective ways to encourage people to partner with us?

When a human being performs an action, there are two consequences, internal and external.  For instance, if I tell someone a lie the external result is that I’ve misled that person.  The internal consequence is that I am reduced in moral stature, seeing myself subconsciously as a little less worthy than I was before.  Not surprisingly, I find it a little easier to tell another lie because I view myself as less admirable.

It’s equally true on the positive side.  For instance, when I help another human being, I not only change his or her world, but I also change me.  I make myself a more charitable man and start seeing myself that way.  Not surprisingly, the next person who asks for my help will be more likely to get a helpful response.

Researchers asked some residents of an area to accept and display a tiny sign reading “BE A SAFE DRIVER”.  Two weeks later, the researchers asked both this group and another group of residents that never received the first request, to allow a large billboard saying “DRIVE CAREFULLY” on their front lawns.  As part of the request, they were shown a picture of a nice house almost completely obscured by a very large, poorly lettered sign bearing that message.  Only 17% of those who had not received the first request accepted the large billboard.  However, a stunning 76% of those who had accepted the small sign also agreed to place the large one.

Robert Cialdini, a scholar who has studied persuasion, explains that even a small action changes a person’s view of self; thereafter, the person tends to act in concert with that view.  Scripture taught this rule millennia ago.

Queen Esther used this principle to achieve her goal of securing the king’s help in preventing the genocide of the Persian Jews. She started by inviting the king and Haman to an intimate dinner.  (Esther 5:4)

The entire purpose of that first banquet was to enable Esther to invite the two men to another private dinner.  (Esther 5:8)  Only when they accepted her invitation and appeared at the second banquet, did Esther plead for her people. (Esther 7:3)

Ancient Jewish wisdom explains why Esther didn’t make her vital request to save the Jews at the first banquet.  She knew she had to accustom the king to granting her requests so she began with a simple one.

…if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them…
(Esther 5:8)

Once the king complied with this humble request, he set himself up to be far more likely to comply with whatever she might next ask. His view of himself as a generous monarch and loving husband was reinforced, leading to a positive response when Esther asked:

…If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request.
(Esther 7:3)

Though God is not overtly visible in the Book of Esther, His wisdom and teachings inform almost every verse as His servants reshape history; their own as well as that of the Jewish people.

Whether you are a parent or a plumber, a business professional or a ballerina, you too can gain a greater understanding of influence strategies from studying Bible, and this can help you achieve your objectives in your career and in your important relationships.

With Persia (Iran) once again menacing the world, we can rely on the Bible to help us make sense of world affairs and guide us to triumph over personal challenges. Gain greater insight with the help of my 2 audio CD set, Clash of Destiny: Decoding the Secrets of Israel and Islam, on sale right now. . Follow the trail from Genesis through the Scroll of Esther in this mind-blowing teaching as Scripture casts prophetic shadows to the present day, providing a beacon of light in these dark times.

Clash of Destiny Case

  •     What Muslims know about prayer that most people, even those who pray regularly, don’t.
  •     The dark side of laughter.
  •     Why recruits in Arab terrorist training camps say “Heil Hitler”.
  •     How to rise above our cultural and genetic legacy!

 

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Sing(apore) for Your Supper

“I’m sure you’re doing your best.”  This is a subjective statement.
“Your grade dropped to a ‘D’ this semester.”  This is an objective fact.

“Management is satisfied with the company’s 2013 performance which was in accordance with expectations”    Subjective.
The company lost $3.7 million in fiscal year 2013.  Objective.

Measuring performance objectively brings success whether the goal is competing in the Olympics, losing weight, or increasing profit. Or, yes, learning.

Let me give you an example from Singapore, a tiny island nation with a racially and culturally diverse population that until 1965 was dependent upon Great Britain. Back then, less than fifty years ago, it was a sort of international welfare case with a Gross Domestic Product per capita about one twentieth of the United States.  This means that on average, each Singaporean produced less than one twentieth of the economic value that the average American produced.  Today, Singapore’s per capita GDP is slightly higher than that of the United States.  What brought about that miracle?

Lee Kuan Yew, who served as Singapore’s first prime minister for thirty years and is still known as the Father of Singapore, stated that it happened because of their education system.  How does it differ from education in America?

Among other factors, Singapore places a heavy emphasis on objective subjects like mathematics and science as opposed to subjects that have the word “studies” in their titles.  They don’t do social studies, earth studies, and environmental studies in Singapore. The country routinely scores at the very top of each year’s International Mathematics and Science Study while the United States according to recent data, scored at number 23, well behind countries like Thailand, Russia, Slovenia, Hungary, and Belgium.

Lest you respond that we must spend more on education, another objective fact tells us that Singapore spends about $2,000 a year per student while in the United States the comparable figure is about $12,000.

There is much data that those who care about children should examine. Focusing on objective facts rather than subjective fantasizing would be a good place to start.

Concentrating on objective actions and behaviors also helped transform a rag-tag band of slaves into the Hebrew nation about 3,326 years ago.  You see, little about life as a slave encourages objective analysis.  Foolishly, a slave master’s goal is often to keep the slave working endlessly. The slave’s time loses all meaning since a high level of accomplishment rarely betters his situation.

The Exodus was surrounded by many of God’s rules and rituals for the precise purpose of introducing the concept of an objective way of looking at reality.  Rather than fuzzy generalities, Exodus chapter 12 contains hundreds of specific details defining exactly what the Israelites must do before and during the Exodus from Egypt.

People whose lives lack objective measure amble and dawdle through the day.  By contrast, God directed the Israelites to move with such haste that even the dough wouldn’t have time to rise. (Those of us who have ever been shocked to realize how long we spent surfing the Internet would do well to learn this lesson.)

Also, membership in the group that was to be delivered from Egypt was not left to subjective feeling.  “Aw, c’mon, I really, really feel like an Israelite.”  Instead, each male was to be circumcised, surely a very objective indicator. Either you are or you’re not.  (Exodus 12:48)  Then in precisely 49 days they were to be standing at the foot of Mt. Sinai. Not 48 days and not 50 days. Precise and objective detail.  It is no wonder that the Israelites transformed from slaves to one of the most successful people in the world.

Understanding how details in the Bible reveal underlying vital messages such as this one, is an example of the type of ancient Jewish wisdom that I share in my brand new book Business Secrets from the Bible: Spiritual Success Strategies for Financial Abundance. I would love for this book to bless you and those you love and I can’t wait to hear your feedback. Find out more about it here and see how you or someone you know can greatly benefit from it, available now at a reduced price.

Please be aware that I will be conducting teaching on these and other Exodus topics at a special 8 day Passover Conference Retreat at the beautiful Rancho Bernardo Inn resort in San Diego from April 14 to April 22.  I would love to share the Pesach festival with you.

Business Secrets from the Bible, 350x533

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