Friday, June 01, 2012

Thursday and Erev Shabbos

Thursday May 31, 2012

4:25 PM - It's been a long day.  Went to sleep at one-ish, woke up at 4-ish.  Did some work in "the dawn's early light," napped a bit and got up again at 6:20.

Ran Shacharit, taught four courses, had one administrative meeting, met with a several students, chatted briefly with my dear friend Barry The Guard,participated in Mincha, did end of year work, work emails, breathed - but not enough.

"And Breathe" 
Dr. Weinstein 
repeated impassively
as he moved the cold
of the stethoscope on
 the hollow of my back

Little did he know 
that he was teaching
me the secret of life
to breathe and breathe
and keep on breathing
like it's not your last

4:34 PM - That memory and that poem just came to visit me.  I hope they stay a while.

4:54 PM - At work, working.  Prepping.  Thinking about last night.  Last night I saw Danny Sanderson perform and it was a pleasure.  In addition to the great music he is also a great joke teller.

7:08 PM - Trying to finish writing a final before leaving, still at work at work.

I was pleased, on the subway last night, to see that Poetry in Motion is back, with this poem by Dorothea Tanning:

This brief poem fills me with questions.

10:36 PM - Meant to post this before leaving my office at 7:30, but I rushed and forgot. Caught the 7:40 bus, got home around 9.  Now, heading toward sleep - with hope.

10:43 PM - So one Talmudic statement says that studying Torah for insincere reasons is okay because it can lead to sincerity.  Another saying asserts that one who learns for insincere reasons would have been better off not having been born. The Gemorah answers that there are two insincere attitudes referred to here: If someone learns in order to get honor that can lead to sincere study.  If someone learns in order to antagonize  and hurt others then it's better that he not be born.

A colleague of mine put this out to his class to discuss. First, a student suggested that what the answer is saying is that if you study for honor, it's okay because that kind of study can become sincere one day.  But if you study to cause trouble then it can never become sincere. Another student said something sharper: both ways will lead to sincerity in the end. But the route that hurts people along the way is not one worth taking, better off dead than to hurt others with your Torah persona.

Friday 7:34 PM - Soon Shabbos will arrive with Zelda's rose in her hand, and we forgetters will remember - maybe.  Soon Shabbos, and we will move closer to eternity - if we try for one second.  Soon Shabbos and the week behind us will weaken - if  we hold on tight to Shabbos.  Soon Shabbos and the world will change.

Shabbat Shalom World.


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