Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Simchat Torah

Earlier today in a Borough Park Chabad Synagogue, Rabbi Yitzchak Reitport delivered an address which reached to the core of what the festival of Simchat Torah is all about.

Since Simchat Torah is about rejoicing and dancing with the Torah scrolls, he began with a question, "Why don't we celebrate this festival in late Spring on the anniversary of the day when God's revelation descended on Mount Sinai and He uttered the Ten Commandments?"

Rabbi Reitport continued by quoting well established Jewish tradition that after the Ten Commandments were uttered, Moses stayed up on the mountain another 40 days to receive the Tablets. He descended to the unfortunate incident of the golden calf and shattered the Tablets. Then he spent the next 40 days in prayer to reconcile God and the Jewish people. Next, he ascended for another 40 days to receive the second set of Tablets and descended with them on Yom Kippur (yes, that was our very first Yom Kippur).

Since Yom Kippur is a day of tremendous awe, lighthearted celebration is out of character. Our lighthearted celebration begins soon after Yom Kippur, with the festival of Succot, which culminates in Simchat Torah. So essentially, on Simchat Torah we celebrate the completion of the whole process of receiving the Ten Commandments.

There was a fundamental difference between the first and second set of Tablets. Had the golden calf not been built, reality would have been fundamentally different and we would have only needed the written Torah scroll for guidance, without the aid of an oral explanatory tradition. Hence, the first Tablets only came with the written part of our tradition.

The second Tablets came with both written Torah and an accompanying oral explanatory tradition. The nature of the oral explanatory tradition is that it requires a lot of mental effort; ponderous study, discussion and interpretation. Here the mind of flesh and soul meets the Divine Mind in sublime union.

Had we just had the first Tablets, we would have been missing out on the part of the Torah which lends itself to this special union with the Creator's Mind; as everything would have simply been clear procedure without any need to resort to ponderous efforts. So what we truly celebrate on Simchat Torah is that special union with the Divine Mind which only an oral explanatory tradition allows for.

Rabbi Reitport added that the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe stated that the reason for why we recite the "Shecheyanu" blessing on Simchat Torah (a blessing normally reserved for new joyous events) is because of this special union with the Divine Mind which is renewed at this time of the year.


From Soul to Sole

There was a woman,
 I loved from soul to sole.

Her spirit shined,
As the high noon sun.

Her hair radiated,
Reddish golden rays.

As the sun's orbit,
She traveled the world.

She could speak of,
Cultures beneath her gaze.

She understood,
Language within language;

Utterances of mind,
 Shadowed by mouth.

She moved me with,
Her song within songs.

I yearned for my days,
To be spent by her fire;

Being endlessly warmed,
In full spectrumed joyous exchange.

Alas, she didn't want me,
I still don't fully know why.

I implored n' begged,
"Who will love you soul to sole?"

Businesslike silence.

I still know not her answer,
Even if I did, it can't satisfy me.

I only take satisfaction,
That this was God's kind plan;

Along the forested path,
To discover my destined one.



I see that I have ...

But do I have a ...

I used to!

You whoooo!
...It's safe to come out.

You are sorely missed.
...Where have we lost touch?

Your fleeting absence ...
 ...Is much, much too long...


Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Secret

We connect not by the power of coercion, but by the power of attraction.

He and His Attributes

The Tanya often mentions the following quote from the Zohar which literally reads, “He and His bones are One.” Reformulated idiomatically the quote means, "He and His attributes are One.”; i.e. that the Creator is One with His attributes.
As I explained in previous writings, the Creator's Oneness and Infinity are really the same thing. Saying the Creator is One is the same as saying that He’s Infinite. Vice versa, saying that He’s Infinite is the same as saying that He’s One.
Briefly reviewed: His Oneness is so pure that it's seamless, meaning no parts. The logical underpinning of this concept is that since He’s the ultimate of perfection His Oneness too must be perfect. A Oneness is only perfect if devoid of its opposite, namely multiplicity.

Moving on to demonstrate His Infinity, a partless Being has no beginning, middle or end; as these too are parts. The result is that His Oneness equals His Infinity.

Though there's no difference between His Oneness and Infinity, it is my understanding that inside of the created realms, spiritual and earthly, His Oneness becomes the origin for what is cosmically female and His Infinity becomes the origin for what is cosmically male. This is a lot like the phenomenon of thunder and lightening. Both are the same event, an electric disturbance in storm clouds. Yet, it this one event have two separate experiential manifestations; one for the eyes and the other for the ears, i.e. lightening and thunder. So too, what’s identical in the Ultimate Source, the Creator, can manifest separately - as the cohesive tendencies of cosmic female and the expansive tendencies of cosmic male.   
So how are His attributes One with Him? Here I am discussing an answer which is on a different level than the Tanya’s answer. The Tanya's answer mostly addresses the dynamics of O'lam Atzilus (the World of Emanations). I am working with how the concept is also true in the Oneness/Infinity of His Being as well.
The nature of children is that their traits fall somewhere on the spectrum between their parents’ genes. In fact, in a sense, one can say that this is what it means to be a child of two parents - i.e. a human being who’s genetically in between two parents.
All the Creator's attributes are caused by some interplay between cosmic male and female. So quite literally all these attributes have "parents". Differences in the influence between cosmic female and male will make one attribute different from the next. For example, there's more cosmic male influence in the attribute of divine supervision and more cosmic female influence in the attribute of hearing prayer. This is not surprising, as human children who share the same set of parents also tend to have a variety of tendencies; some tending more towards one parent than to the other.
Just as cosmic male and female have their origin in His Infinity/Oneness, so too the origins everything which will emerge from the union of cosmic female and male also have their origins there too, as existing between Infinity and Oneness. Since in this kind of pure existence Oneness and Infinity are identical, therefore, everything between Oneness and Infinity are identical too. Hence, in that ultimate core state of origin, He and His attributes are indeed One!

In Kabbalah’s famous “Tree of Life” diagram, the right column is cosmically male. The left column is cosmically female. Then there’s a middle column which is the “child” of the right and left columns. It’s between the polarized extremes of cosmic male and female; a middle path between them. Clearly, all three columns of the Tree are manifestations of what’s seamlessly identical the coreness of Ultimate Being; Oneness, Infinity and all in between.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

From "A" to "The"

As You fill every drop of space,
 So You fill every moment in time.
You're the ultimate of goodness.
 Where You are, there's goodness,
Only goodness!
 A gleaming core of goodness.
In every moment we are in,
 Right here is Your goodness.
If here, how can we find it?
 Maybe it's too beyond for us.
Yet, we can have some access.
 It's small, but yet so important.
It may seem like a tiny drop,
 Inhabiting an immense ocean.
Yet it isn't as tiny as it appears,
 As it touches the very goal of life.
Even if we can't find "the" good,
 In any moment we can do "a" good.
While it may not be "the" good,
 It certainly is validly "a" part of it;
More than simply being part of it,
 The "a" good might be our only role.
So even if we find not "the" good,
 By doing "a" good, "the" good finds us;
As "like finds like",
 In sweet cosmic alignment.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Positive Present

Many have told me,
"The positive will come".

As if the distant future,
Is a bank for all that's good.

But God is ultimate good!
Can His positive be delayed?

To say so, is like heresy,
 Implying a Godless void in time.

If God is present in time,
Then this moment must be good!

I pray for open eyes to see it,
So God's own joy can vibe my being.