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So a good brother turned me onto wordpress.com to start a blog. He’s into my writing and what I have to say and feels others would be, also. So, I signed on. First, I broke rule no.1, which is keep it short. The pieces I posted were written prior to the blog. Rule no.2 is when you e-mail your friends, make sure you give them the correct address.
Tonight is the last of a series of lectures I have been giving in Jerusalem, attempting to illuminate the ultimate uniqueness of Reb Shlomo Carlebach’s legacy and help one begin to develope the capacity to aquire these abilities for themselves. The lectures will be transcribed. Anyone interested is receiving a copy, please drop a line.
I just realized that in posting my horoscope, I neglected to attribute its source and wish to correct this. The astrologer I look at is Rob Brezny and his site, freewillatrology.com. It is well know that Judaism forbids the use of astrology to tell the future. This is correct as it robs one of their belief that free choice and free will are their’s to create their own future. Maimonidies – the Rambam – is very strong that the knowledge that we have b’chirah chafshit – free choice – is critical to authentic living and true service of the Creator.
He adds that astrology is an authentic phenomenon, but may be employed only to advise what energy is flowing into the world and therefore the potential available to the individual. This is exactly, to my understanding, what Rob Brezny does. And while I don’t neccessarily live up to and take advantage of the potential he reveals, he is always right on target.
I have hanukah/birthday posting, check the latest: Sagittarius Horoscope for week of December 21, 2006
Happy Holy Daze, Sagittarius! My gift for you is the following oracle: A breakthrough you were blessed with in 1995 will be coming back around in 2007. How? Three possible ways: (1) You’ll be inspired to make changes to whatever sprung from that original breakthrough 12 years ago. (2) You’ll be visited by a new version of that breakthrough, on a higher octave this time. (3) You’ll attempt a quantum leap that resembles the original, but happens in a different area of your life.
January 1995, I became an Israeli citizen and embarked on the work that has more or less been my work ever since. More after I return from Uman. All the best.
This was originally composed the Thursday before Rosh HaShanah as my ‘message’ for the New Year. Events and preparations prevented me from sending out. My intention was then to follow-up after the chagim and see how everything measured up. Once again, events of a compelling nature imposed themselves and it made little sense to try and yet come to any conclusions.
It is now December 3rd and the time as come to at least continue.
What Do I Do?
Part One: Preparing for the New Year
It’s Thursday morning. I haven’t davened yet. I Can’t. Who’s davening? Who’s me? What defines me? Is it what I think? Or what I feel? Or what I do? Last Friday on the way home to Tekoa from Yerushalayim, having passed Efrat, a big rock was thrown at me by one of our cousin’s and I received it on the side of my head. I have not yet been able to really deal with it yet. But I know the trauma is lurking behind every breath I take and moment I live and will soon require attention.
But if I was blessed with not having my outer face shattered, my inner face has most definitely been. And so, here I am.
It’s the best kind of hard time of the year, Elul. The end of the year and Rosh HaShana is coming. And whether I want to or not, I am forced to confront. I am forced to examine my year and myself and figure out where I’m at, where I’m going, where I’m being led. It’s inevitable. From without, the divine magnetic power of that which is flowing down from Above, especially here in the Land, is too potent and commanding to ignore or resist. From within, with the constant dramatic changes and shifts in ‘reality’ that is all pervasive, it’s so hard to find stability and continuity, that I am impelled to question what’s up with me and where is my place in these times and events.
Boker Tov, Moish! And Happy Birthday and Freilich’n Chanukah and Shavua Tov! And, and, and…
So now ‘I’m 54’ and something is different. I’ve picked up snatches of it over the last months. It’s all still quite vague but the feeling persists that I’m getting closer, if not close. And since what I see, what I can see, is founded so much upon pieces of information gained over the last 17 years, it’s really quite impossible to simply lay out in a concise, comprehensive and in any way, linear fashion. But who cares? I’ll give it a-go anyway.
The vision of my life evolving in four essential stages has been emerging in greater relief of recent. They can be identified as follows:
Stage 1 – Dec.1952-May 1974, 21 and ½ Years.
This stage can be considered living fully within the dominant, protective space of home and family. Whatever independent experiences I had, and they were considerable, everything was defined and shaped by my parents’ home and that their home was my home.
Stage 2 – June 1974-May 1989, 15 Years.
This period I see as the incubation time for a very round peg trying to find itself in a very square hole. One one level this is also true of the first stage of my life. Stage 2 however, was fully a confrontation with the world outside of the protective home and trying to find my own definitions.
The imperatives were imposed from the outside, in towards me. It was defined by the lens of a sophisticated, enlightened Modern Orthodox Judaism, itself shaped by the reality of life in the larger world of New York City during those tumultuous years. Not knowing any alternative or that an alternative was even possible, it was a time of trying to find myself within society’s permissible reality.
Stage 3 – June 1989-Dec. 1994, 5 and ½ Years.
For me, this is still the dividing line to what I have seen as the halves of my life. The first half is defined as life within and defined by the ‘straight’ world and the second half, the ‘hippie’, counter-culture world and life on the fringes and margin’s. This was a time of throwing off assumptions, presumptions, perspectives and approaches towards life, reality and the world, imposed from without. Read the rest of this entry »
To begin, this a piece I have begun working. It’s very parochial, but who knows who’s out there reading this anyway! It’s unfinished.
The Last Revolution: For What Else Is There Left To Do?
The prison of ghetto Torah and the redemption of the Day After Tomorrow.
We Jewish People have seen it all and we’ve done it all. We’ve been slaves and we’ve been free people. We’ve been sovereign in our Land and we’ve been exiles among the nations. We’ve been free people through of our association with the Creator, the Torah and the unbroken chain of 4000 year of history from Abraham, while living in exile, poverty and oppression. And we’ve been slaves, having adopted and mastered the forms and functions of foreign societies, by seeking and attaining wealth and compromised power.
We are a fulfilled prophecy, having returned to our Land, Jews governing Jews, but yet still sad, still fearful, still unsafe, still in conflict from within and without. And we are unfulfilled prophesy living in exile amongst the nations, copying their ways and holding back – holding back from being the paradigm Light Unto The Nations. We are today indeed the embodiment of all the contradictions of our history – both our glories and our tragedies.
Hakol Kol Yaakov, HaYadaim Yedey Esav
We have the voice of Jacob/Israel, proclaiming that All is One and Liberty to All, but invest our efforts and energies in mastering and utilizing the hands of Esau with the concomitant distortions, confusions and necessary distractions. Many amongst us feel like slaves despite the political freedom in our Land while others feel free while still in exile distant from our Land. We are wealthier, more powerful and influential then anytime before in our history but yet divided amongst ourselves, lacking a common vocabulary that would overcome our impotence in uniting with common vision and destiny enabling us to make the transcendent, manifest.
We have conferences and symposiums, conventions and convocations, seminars and workshops all designed to explain ourselves to each other, still yet trying to define who we are, where we’ve come from, how we arrived at this place and time, what are our ills and strengths, what must we fix and how, and all of this leading to what? We produce research papers, articles and books. We film, record and document everything. We are supremely sophisticated in utilizing technology and invest an immense amount of resources and energy in gathering and disseminating all this. And yet inside Israel the majority of the people are startingly and tragically ignorant of the most basic aspects of our history, our traditions and native wisdom and ways. And outside the Land the vast majority remain bored and uninterested in even asking, why be a Jew.
After all this time and effort, how can this be? What is missing? What is left to do? And what are we waiting for?
On May5th, The Forward, left-leaning weekly Jewish newspaper in New York, published a scholarly opinion piece by Pulitzer-Prize winner, David Mamet. Entitled “On the Inevitable Decay Of Governments,” Mamet traces the journey from the original uniting of individuals in common cause to the eventual distortion of ‘first-principles’ that time and the impetus towards self-preservation, produces. And he makes clear that the process to insure such preservation embodies the nutrients of its own destruction. He was writing from the perspective of one examining the United States and concluding that the rot has set in, suggesting an end to the American experiment that can be foreseen. Read the rest of this entry »