כָּל מִצְוֹתֶיךָ אֱמוּנָה שֶׁקֶר רְדָפוּנִי עָזְרֵנִי
"All your commandments are Faith" (Psalms 119:86)
וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי בֶּאֱמוּנָה וְיָדַעַתְּ אֶת יְהֹוָה
"I will betroth you to Me with Faith, and you will Know G-d!" (Hosea 2:22)
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Whether any of us like it or not we are still living in the Olam Hazeh, the "Old World" sinful order. Political realities matter and religious people need to have their voices heard! When we stick our heads into the sand and pretend that the world around us has no bearing on us or that we are too holy to get involved, we are only deceiving ourselves and selling our children into slavery! Spiritually we are "transcendent" perhaps, but for now we are very much the people of material earth! We are commanded in Torah to be the caretakers of this domain. The "fake news" claim that all Jews oppose Donald Trump and his attempts to restore the fallen US republic, or as he says, to make America great again," are patently false. Many of us have been supporting him from the beginning. I got behind him a week after be declared his candidacy and I still support him (although I do not always agree with what he does). It is an outrage that the elite in both parties, the media, and much of the court system is doing everything in their corrupt powers to stop him. If he fails our nation fails.Mr. President, the American people are with you even if the Washington Swamp is not!
Read All Of Presidents Trump's Tweets as they happen!
Since 1969 I have devoted most of my time and energies to seeking G-d. I have done this through intense study, prayer, travel, meditation, and exploring the various world religions "from the inside." Along the way I have received an MA in World Religious Studies, three ordinations, various initiations etc.
Some things have become very clear to me over the years, but my quest is not yet over. I am not so presumptuous as to proclaim myself a "master," however I have learned much and realized some. Part of my derech (path) includes assisting others in their quests. I am here to help as I can.
My Path is Chassidus, Hasidic Judaism, I focus on the teachings of the Chassidic masters, especially the BESHT (the Baal Shem Tov, who by the way, was not an ordained rabbi) and Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. I am a member of Der Alte Weg Chassidus. Rebbe Aryel Nachman ben Chaim is my Rebbe. The House of Seven Beggars is my home shul. My wife and I are members of the local Conservative Shul.
I am not interested in titles. Some people refer to me as a rabbi, some as a Rav, etc. Please note that I do not claim any titles for myself, and am not interested in honorifics. Refer to me however you prefer. While I am a teacher of Judaism, religion and spirituality in general, I do not hold a rabbinic ordination (I do hold ordinations in other religions I am no longer affiliated with). I have an MA degree in World Religious Studies, a counseling degree from East-West Seminary, and various other pieces of paper from various places. While I continue to study, I have no plans of seeking additional pieces of paper. But never say never!
Life experiences, sincerity, prayer, and research are what makes a teacher, not degrees and certificates. Knowing G-d personally and sharing religious truth is what makes a religious teacher, not the approval of sectarian bodies and boards. If you consider me to be one of your teachers, rabbi or rav is fine if you'd like. Call me whatever you wish, I'm just "Shlomo."
In my quest for truth over the past almost fifty years I have placed a special emphasis on Judaism (of course), Christianity, Islam, the Sanatana Dharma (i.e. Hinduism in its various offshoots, including Buddhism and Sikhism), practical Taoism, Wodanwic (and other Welsh and Celtic spiritualities), etc. and have studied all of the major and many of the minor religions, sects, and denominations in depth as part of my own personal quest. I have never sought financial gain from my studies and I do not accept donations. If you wish to donate, please give to the House Of Seven Beggars and mention me. You can also buy fun products from the Rebbe's Store.
If my efforts here at AllFaith.com and/or my social media outlets bless you, then I am happy. But honestly, if they don't, I am still happy! True happiness comes from devekut: i.e. from attachment to G-d alone. Devekut through emunah (i.e. active faith and trust) has always been my preferred Derech (Path) to the Eternal, and the Eternal One has always been both my Source and my destination.
I am an independent minded member of Der Alte Weg Chassidus (i.e. "the Old Way Chassidus" of the Besht, the Baal Shem Tov zt’l). Chassidus is a traditional Jewish approach that deals with a wide range of spiritual concepts including G-d, Torah, Talmud, the soul, Kabbalah, mysticism, etc. At its heart however, Chassidus is all about emunah -- active faith and trust in HaShem alone. Chassidus develops devekut, attachment to G-d like no other system I have found. This approach provides an understandable, practical expression to our ancient teachings that are as relevant today as they have ever been, perhaps even more so. Chassidus comes in many varieties. Be the YOU HaShem created you to be
שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל חשם אֱלֹהֵינוּ חשם אֶחָד
Sh'ma Yisra'el HaShem Eloheinu HaShem Eḥad
"Hear Y'israel, HaShem is our G-d, HaShem is ONE"
Please note that AllFaith.com is completely independent of the various groups I associate with. The views expressed here are my own understandings and do not necessarily reflect those of anyone else. Likewise, the views of these groups do not always express mine. Please refrain from making assumptions about my beliefs and practices until you get to know me. In many ways I'm not your average Chassid. I'm not even your average Jew. But then... few Jews are when you get to know them!
On some political, social, and a few religious topics I am more "liberal," while on others issues I am more conservative/orthodox. I am an Orthodox Jew. We are members of a local Conservative shul because it fits us better than the other local options. I am quite independent in my outlook and do not travel in lockstep with anyone nor any group within or without Orthodoxy. HaShem is my only authority, the rabbis and sages are my advisors and counselors. To me, a Jew is a Jew. Some are more observant, some less.
I'm just me. I believe and do what HaShem leads me to believe and do, within the bounds of my personal limitations and our shared traditions as Jews.
I am a committed Religious Zionist.
Without supporting the Nation and Land of Israel, our eternal Homeland, one can not honestly claim to be loyal to our Holy Scriptures, Traditions, People, or Religion in my opinion. Far too many Jews today, even some rabbis (both Orthodox and non-Orthodox), are turning against Israel and betraying the Hope of Redemption. The Hope of Zion is the bedrock of Judaism and our people.
Of course I'm not naive, the secular government of Israel today is far from perfect. There are many things I wish were different there. Among these, I wish it were made possible for all Jews to return Home and live there. For far too many of us aliyah is not an option. HOWEVER I stand firmly and immovably with Israel even as I beg HaShem to transform the Nation of the Jews into a truly Jewish Nation, to paraphrase Moshe Feiglin, as described by our holy prophets and teachers.
If I can be of assistance to you, just let me know.
~ Shlomo Yochanan Phillips
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The Writings of the Ranbach, my Rebbe (Rabbi Aryel Nachman ben Chaim)
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My main focus is Judaism. I have an MA in Religious Studies, a degree from an Interfaith Seminary, etc.
I am familiar with most belief systems and can answer most questions.
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