Saturday, December 15, 2012

Gut Vuch

9:09 PM - You can go home again, at least for some time. And I have again. Again. I'm in the basement of my childhood, as poetic as that may (or may not) sound it's literal too. My cell phone is low and I thought I packed the charger but can't find it. Gan zu letovah. It feels good to have the cell phone out of commision for a change. I am ambivalent about technology in general. even my presence here on the blog, on the internet...

9:34 PM - Just had a meta experience, spoke to my brother on the phone from our childhood home.

9:45 PM - I'm enjoy my stay with dad. I'm enjoying the present as I process the past. Chanukkah is ebbing away. Shabbos has flown. I liked the rabbi's speech this morning. He told me after that it was inspired by this post. He noted that the most famous question about Chanukkah is the one of the Beis Yosef though he wanted to address the second most famous Channukah question. He said that the latter one was more lamdush and that it was first asked by the Pnei Yehoshuah. He then said in the name of Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb (to see his bio, click link and go 9 down) in his sefer, Ateret Yaakov that when you start something new it's best to start it as purely as possible. Rabbi Gottlieb connected this with why the entire way we do the mitzvah of lighting (every family memebr lighting one more candle each night) is weel beyong the usual perimeters of hiddur mitzvah. The rabbi's own addition was that the choice to only use oure oil was a response to the Greek ideal of physical beauty, which was less than pure...

10:07 PM - I really enjoyed this week's Dvar Torah in the Jewish week by Benjy Telushkin. Here's an excerpt:

The brother’s exclusion of Joseph may have been intended to eliminate the threat they perceived that he posed . However, by banishing Joseph, the brothers became incomplete, no longer representing the Jewish nation in its wholeness. They imply this when they unknowingly meet Joseph in Egypt. Joseph, appearing now as Pharaoh’s adviser, quickly accuses them of being spies. They deny the charge, explaining, “We are all sons of one man, we are truthful people” [Gen. 42:11]. The Zohar points out that the Hebrew word for “we” in the second part of the verse has an unusual spelling, nachnu, missing the letter aleph. Even if the brothers claim to collectively represent their father, the absent aleph, the first Hebrew letter that represents oneness, reveals the brother’s actual disconnect with the “one man” to whom they link themselves. Though the Jewish promise Jacob embodied was spread amongst his multiple sons, the brothers no longer construct the promise in its wholeness anymore.

Two verses later, the brothers reword their introduction, saying, “We, your servant, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in Canaan. The youngest is with our father, and one is gone” [Gen. 42:13]. Now the aleph is returned to the “we,” anachnu, since the brothers righteously acknowledge that they no longer comprise the entirety of their generation. This marks a step where the brothers welcome back Joseph but only through their memory of him, unrelated to his current circumstance. Joseph is not “gone” but is alive and Joseph lives right in front of them.

11:12 PM - Going to close this post.

May G-d bless us all this week and always.


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