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Running on Jewish Time

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Experiments in the Experience of G-d

There is a wall through the center of my brain. One side there is the mind that quotes Shakespeare and casually discusses the probabilistic nature of the universe. The other side finds messages in the random shuffling of my mp3 player and talks to G-d quietly in the middle of the night.

These two sides have very little to say to one another. G-d is G-d and gravity, gravity and arguments against either are met with the same incomprehension.

How does the rock fall? At an acceleration of 9.8 meters per second. Don't believe it, fine, go measure it. Who cares where the rules can from, that has no bearing on what the laws are.

Why does the rock fall? Because G-d wrote laws for His Universe to dance to. Don't believe it, fine, go ask Him. What difference does it make what the laws actually are, He can change them at will.

The two are so very separate operating according to different standards or proof and truth and investigation. It is a struggle to imagine where they might meet, of

"...Running an experiment. I'm trying to be a Navi [prophet]" the little girl sits stiffly, intensely scrutinizing the road for unexpected behavior. Her rigid form in stark contrast to the peaceful
summery day.

" A what?! Why?"

" Because the rabbi said that there aren't any neviim now. So I'm testing if he's right or not." her gaze unwavering, expectant.

" ... by being a Navi." I hadn't heard that right.

" How else do you test it? I waiting to see if my vision comes true." I guess not.

" Ummm. What do you think a Navi is, exactly?"

" Someone who can see the future. So I've imagined the future and now I'm waiting." her hands tighten around the edge of the bench. Oh dear. What now?

" Chabebe, a Nevuah is an experience of G-d. of perfection, of inifinity, of being as close to Him as humanly possible. and sometimes, Hashem gives them knowledge that they have to transform from the pure idea into a vision. It's not a crystal ball."

The little girl's hands grow white knuckled as she leans forward, frowning fiercely at the road. The silence lengthens and deepens. Holding my breathe, I didn't mean to crush her dreams... it's just that, who does this kid think she is?

" Alright." she wrenches herself from the road and focuses on me with a frightening intensity, "How do I do that then?"

" Errrr... Um. Well. You have to have a certain ability to visualize the abstract." Somehow I did not

think this would a problem for this kid.
"You have to know all of Torah, perfect your midot, be recognized by a Navi Muvhack." words half-remembered tumbling out of my mouth until the torrent finally ground to a halt under the scrutiny of that clear, cool gaze. Another silence expanding like a blushing rose of embarrassment.

"Where can I find more of this?" Words sliding through the silence.
That I knew.
"Yad HaChazaka, Rambam, Sefer Melachim, but look it up in the Sefer Mitzvot first, though." Okay. Let's see if this scary child can hack the real stuff.

With a tilt her of her head, she opens her mouth as a brown van pulls up and a voice wafts out, "Sorry, I was late. I hope you've been keeping yourself busy."

The little girl frowns, "The results failed."

" Come on, sweetheart, get in. We have to pick up your brother at school and we don't want to be late."

Right. Okay. So if scary little eleven year old can try and merge the two, let's see what I can do.


  • Youre so right.
    One is about the how..the other is about the why..
    One side sees..the other side imagines..
    One side observes and stays stagnate..the other side grows...

    By Blogger David_on_the_Lake, at 8:49 PM, February 15, 2006  

  • Excellent post. Gotta think about that one.

    By Blogger Stx, at 11:27 PM, February 15, 2006  

  • Don't knock children, they have powerful minds since they are so pure.

    There are many cases where we rely on children and the ignorant in Judaism.

    There is a famous story written at the back of the tikun klali I have. Where the king wanted to test the Jews like Chanania Mishael and Azarya and throw them into a fire to see if they would burn. The rabbi asked for 30 days where the whole community fasted and prayed. On the 30th day the rabbi asked them all what they dreamed of. One pure old god fearing but ignorant man said he saw the word "Ki" twice and "lo" three times. An old talmid chacham was able to interpret this as "Ki" taavor Bamayim eitcha ani uvanaharot "lo" yishtefucha "Ki" telech bemo eish "lo" tikaveh velehava "lo" tivar bach" When the king made the huge fire they sent this old man that had the dream. The tzadikim were able to see three tzadikim come out of the fire and escort the old man through and he passed through it with out getting harmed or burned.

    The three tzadikim saed "vehu Rachum" in honor of the first nes, until "Anah melech rachum vechanun" the second said until "ein Kamocha" and the third said until the end. From then on they were metaken to add Vehu rachum to the shacharit on Mondays and Thursdays that are yemai din.

    Another example is if an educated sofer or baal koreh is not sure what a letter is in a sefer torah, we ask a child that is learning alef bet. Ther reason for this is that they will not try to make a psak since they don't know enough. Children especially if they come from a pure source only know truth we have to be soooo careful with their feelings because their prayers are so dear to Hashem.

    A thought cancels out a thought, think positive and love and that will surround you.

    By Blogger Littleredridinghoodie, at 7:32 PM, February 16, 2006  

  • You have added to my latest question. Things are starting to become strikingly different, my two worlds are clashing, going at eachother at a pace faster than the speed of light.
    It is possible to find the world in Torah, but is it really possible to find Torah in the world? If not, what am I doing?

    Scary little eleven year old may just bring back nevuah. Maybe not, but I almost hope she keeps trying.

    By Blogger araya(uh-ray-uh), at 7:46 PM, February 16, 2006  

  • Cute story, make one wonder though where a child gets thes ideas.

    By Blogger Pragmatician, at 7:37 AM, February 17, 2006  

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