for He desired a homepage in the lower realms

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Chanukah!

Happy Chanukah to family and friends!

Chanukah celebrates the "Eternal Jew" - the shining light that can never be snuffed out.

Soo... Following in the shadow of Arch-Blogger "Nobody", I'll posit the following assignment:

LIST TEN DEFINITIONS that describe the Jewish Spark... Now - that's my idea of clean chassidic fun!

My sudden inspiration is from the video "Lights" which portrays "essential Jewishness" through imagery of dancing Alef-Beis letters. Particularly the letter Alef. Alef: Oneness; a seamless connection with G-d.

So that's my first definition...

A Freilichin Chanukah!
- Posted by Delirious Damsel


Blogger nobody said...

you know, i was once giving a class extolling the greatness of the jewish body over the soul. i brought a piece of a maamer that discussed how the source of the soul is from oros, and the source of the body is from atzmus, a higher source. a few of the lubavithcer ladies there started screeching and waving their hands and spewing, "but, but, but... what about 'chailek el-ka m'maal momesh?!' you're wrong, you're not learning it right, it means something else because the alter rebbe was meduyuk to add the word momesh - a cheilek of g-d momesh."
does sound pretty compelling, doesn't it? i also used to think the 'cheilek... momesh' vort also meant like from the highest part of 'H - atzmus, ain sof, whatever. really, it's not as gevaldik as it's cracked up to be. so it makes me think, what did people think in the olden times before the alter rebbe wrote this line, that he was compelled to emphasize how the nefesh elokis is part of an emanation of g-d, mamosh? like what would people think otherwise? why mamosh, as if one would think its a metaphor otherwise?

the whole body vs soul thing is very interesting, actually. i learned something i never heard before about 2 pieces the alter rebbe wrote in pyena, the last two things he authored before the histalkus - one became capitol chof of igeres hateshuva and the other is called 'nefesh hashiflus' i think. in these two pieces, the alter rebbe puts a spin on the perspective of physicality that is different from how it's presented in tanya and all the other maamorim:
in tanya, we say that because physicality feels itself to be an existance far zich, "ani v'afsi oid," it conceals g-dliness. we need the soul to prevail over the body to perform holy tasks, thereby elevating the body and making the world a dira b'tachtonim. precisely because physicality has the ability to conceal g-dliness, is davke why 'H wants a dwelling place there, in the lowest realms, make the physicality a vessel to reveal spirituality.

in kapital chof and in nefesh hashiflus, the alter rebbe introduces a twist which alters our understanding. rather than,'let's elevate physicality (which conceals g-dliness)a vessel to reveal g-dliness', how about this: physicality is the only existance which feels itself as its own creation (ani v'afsi oid). therefore, davke it most resembles g-d, the 'ain oid milvado'. physicality is actually g-d like on the most essential level. what physicality says is, 'ani v'afsi oid,' but what it itself actually is is the greatest testiment to g-d's existence, because it alone shares that very quality with g-d, 'ain oid milvado'.

seems subtle, but actually a universe of difference (in understanding physicality), i think.
anyway, although this thought may (or may not) seem poshut, it seems to be rather obscure - it doesn't come out in the most popular teachings - i was very excited when i first stumbled across it... a new research project!

8:01 PM


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