Friday, August 24, 2012

We're the Horse AND the Rider


A  song of the seventies asked, "Can you see the real me?" Much has been written about the self and what it means to become oneself (working toward this definition was a major graduate assignment in my Human Behavior and the Social Environment Class in Social Work School). When I was a kid I didn't hear talk about this sort of thing, not anywhere.  When I was seventeen I was taught in yeshivah in Israel that we are our souls, not our bodies. That seemed to be the party line and the mantra of spiritually inclined yeshiva people and I compliantly towed the line

I recently read an article about writing, in which the author took to task the writing rule, "Show, don't tell."  He pointed out that when we were kids we never had class time for "Show, Don't Tell." As we all well know it was "Show and Tell."  He said that writing is like that, we stand up before all our friends, excited about what we have to share, and then we show and tell.  Similarly I think that while we are taught that we are soul not body, we are actually soul and body.  The body can be a slippery slope and thus I understand the temptation to avoid it (just like it's easier to shun telling in writing due to its downside, rather than admitting that showing and telling need to be intertwined).

I'm approaching a milestone birthday.  I believe the soul is our essence, and yet - as long as we're alive (and maybe later too) our body is a major part of us.  I'm thinking about this a lot lately.  I wrote this poem some years ago and posted it when I wrote it.  I'd maybe tweak it a bit, but basically stand by it.

I'm still processing my Israel trip.  Israel too is physical and spiritual. Even Shabbos, approaching as I type, has a physical component.  I'm thinking about the quote pictured above.  We need to show our soul. We also need to care for our bodies.  May we be so blessed.

2 Comments:

Blogger Miss Trudy said...

Good Shabbos, Rabbi!

August 24, 2012 at 6:28 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Thanks. Just saw now. Great to hear from you. Hope you're well.

August 25, 2012 at 10:52 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home