For as long as I can remember, I’ve never gotten along with numbers. Math lessons were an ongoing nightmare for me, I can never remember any number by heart (not just phone numbers but even my bank account number) and as an almost direct result, I do not like to deal with money.
But since my family and I moved to Argentina ten years ago, inflation has forced me to deal with numbers every day. How to manage a family budget with three children when rent rises by sixty percent(!), Schools by thirty, health insurance at a similar percentage and food I no longer know how much. It is a task that requires not only planning but also a lot of patience. And if these are the economic problems that the middle class is facing, what will 32.2% of Argentines living in poverty and 6.3% below the poverty line say!!!
Here I want to deviate for a moment and say something, there is no research on this matter, but my intuition almost stamps it: The high rate of divorce in Argentina is closely linked to the economic pressures that almost every family in this country has to deal with. I’m not saying that because of money people decide to “split-up”, but constant stress in the most basic area of life, does not exactly help couples live stably and comfortably, which is necessary if we want love to flourish.
Let’s go back to the numbers. In addition to the budget of my dear family, the numbers of ALMA INSPIRA, the non-profit organization I’m headed, are also circulating in my head all day. How to build an annual budget that will allow on the one hand to provide excellent service and on the other hand allow every person to learn and develop, even if he cannot pay the basic cost of the courses? How do I raise the salaries of my amazing staff, who don’t know the word strike, but I know that the salary they get isn’t enough? How many donations from abroad should I raise? And besides, how much time and energy do I need to devote to educating for the generosity and solidarity in our community? (Which means, for example, that a person with the means will pay for someone who is not able, and that not all the scholarships we give will come from the ALMA INSPIRA fund).
To summarize the first part of this article: I do not like numbers but I have no choice but to deal with them.
For the second part, life cannot be just a war for economic survival. There is a certain time each day, or at least once a week on Shabbat (which by the way was the tremendous renewal of the third commandment of the Ten Commandments, which tell us every person regardless of their economic status should take a rest one day a week) where it is worthwhile to disconnect from the numbers and connect to something higher, something uplifting.
What exactly does this mean?
I think if someone were to ask me to define the specialty of ALMA INSPIRA, I would say we are experts in 3D living! In other words, in showing life in all its dimensions.
We do not ignore the material, flat and visible dimension, but in every area of life (yes really in every area!) We are able to show that there is at least another deeper dimension and that when we enter it, life takes on a completely different meaning.
And one of the wonderful ways to get into “life in 3D” is through stories.
All the great spiritual teachers (from Jesus to Rabbi Nachman of Breslov) knew this secret and therefore turned their teachings into stories. Stories have the ability to evoke in a person the dimension of the soul and if you think about it for just a moment, you will understand exactly why: numbers and data require our intellect but when we hear a story (or hear music) we actually silence the mind and automatically open ourselves to another experience.
And I have always loved stories. When I was a little girl, and there were no TV series except for Little House on the Prairie, I would write stories in sequels and each week stand in front of the whole literature class, and read to my curious friends, a chapter. Later, when I was studying at the Hebrew University, I was drawn to Talmudic stories that in my eyes are miniature masterpieces in which the world was reduced to a few lines, that in order to decipher them historical and linguistic knowledge are not enough, you need inspiration and willingness to enter the world of characters and “live it.”
Anyone who already knows my personal story knows that in 2000 I took a long maternity leave from Talmudic teaching and flew to the “End of the World” (Concepción Chile) to accompany my partner in his new job. And that very year I became acquainted with a book that was going to change my whole life: “In the Light of Truth the Message of the Grail.” Thanks to this, I acquired the knowledge to see all the dimensions of life and creation, knowledge that became after seven years the basis for all the courses and activities of ALMA INSPIRA. This, as mentioned, many of you already know from my other articles, but what not many know, is that while studying chapter after chapter in this masterpiece, I began to connect this knowledge with my favorite stories from the Talmud, but now thanks to the “message of the Grail” I could Understand them in 3D!
And so, eight beautiful stories came together, becoming the first course I taught in Chile long before ALMA INSPIRA was born: stories for the soul.
Believe me, 3D movies do not meet the bar of these stories! They will take you for a deep dive into the depths of life and then lift you into the sky! I assure you that after that, all the fussing about the numbers of life will get the right proportion. Sorry… the right dimension!