Saturday, January 26, 2013

Shavua Tov

Eight years is eight years.  That's the amount of time I've been writing here.  You could call it long or short.  All I know is it's been eight years.

When I started blogging there was a group pf people who used to blog as well.  The group and its individual parts seems to have fallen away with a whimper. Recently a fellow blogger from once upon a time asked about the chevra, "What happened to us?"

Blogging can be whatever you wish it to be, but for me it feels most true when it's free associative and unedited.  As an art form that's how I think of blogging, as I think of any art form - honest, raw, and done in a way that is beautiful as only you can be.


Today I picked a book off my shelf. I bought it for myself at the end of last year at the same time that I bought one as a present for a dear departing colleague.  It's called A Little Salvation, and it's a collection of poems by Judson Mitcham.  Years ago this friend used the work of this author when he was teaching Kohelet.  He kept recommending that I read this fellow and I kept forgetting the name, kept asking him to remind me, and then I'd forget again.  It seemed like the right present to remember to give my friend while he was leaving.

I discovered and was moved by this poem today:

In Memory of Adrienne Bond
By Judson Mitcham

A great poem does not end. It will go on
inside the lucky ones who've heard it well
who've caught its praise. And Adrienne was one.

A poem lays down the haze of winter dawn
to make us know some story we must tell
until we tell it right. It still goes on,

that spell against the night, that quiet song
made well, to hold the sad, the beautiful.
Few sing like that, but Adrienne was one.

There is no music deep enough to mourn
this woman whom we loved, no words to fill
our empty page but hers. And they go on

and say our names and tell us what we've known:
she moved within our lives as no one will.
This April day when Adrienne is gone,

something's broken in us all,
and that same thing is singing in us still.
A great poem does not end.  It will go on.
It does go on. And Adrienne is one.


Amazing how much growth can happen over a day.  Here are the same Shabbos irises on Erev Shabbos and Motzai Shabbos:


One of my favorite sefarim is Yerachmiel Dovid Fried's Tziyunim Be'Emunah VeYesodot HaDat BePeirush HaRamban Al HaTorah. It's a small, priceless, booklet that lists key hashkapha related Ramban's on each parsha. Four that he cites at the start of the parsha from the start relate to a. how the redemption of Mitzrayim involved a malach but the future one will be directly by Hashem (Artscroll's Ramban commentary skips this one because it is kabbalistic and beyond it's scope), b. a long discussion about who complained about being brought to the desert to die and a delineation of different groups that complained in different episodes, c. a discussion about Hashem's telling Moshe not to call out to Him when they seemed stuck at the sea in light of the fact that it doesn't seem that Moshe had called, d. an elucidation about Malach Hashem versus Malach Elokim and their relation to the anan.


Guess where I wrote these:

Holy Bet Medrash
More than a mere study hall
You are a safe place

Bet Medrash, you are
my Kotel in dark galut
my place to lean on


This was inspired by the words of one of the honorees, Richard Bernstein, at a Matan dinner I attended on January 17th (because my outstanding student Talya Wasserman was also honored):

Challenges give you
Things you seek and do not find
Any other way

Goodnight and May G-d Bless


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