Sunday, March 30, 2014

7:13 AM-9:19 PM

7:13 AM - Talking to a sixth grader about the Final Four. Getting ready for minyan in the home of my friends and Shabbos hosts.  When it started it I went with nate Silver's predictions.  Florida, Virginia, Arizona, and Louisville.  I'm thinking about Tazria and the question of if we're a body or a soul.  I'm thinking about what causes pain and what brings happiness in life...

8:21 AM - Home from shul.  Just did a rap using three random words for a bunch of kids.

9:01 AM - Just played Pied Piper for a while, a group of kids crowded around me.  Nice.

The source for happiness is one of the cheif sources of unhappiness - Eric Hoffer

Always let the truth get in the way of a good story - Me

9:12 AM - Watching Rabbi David Forhman 's animated presentation on Tazria on my friend and host's Iphone.  He's switching it to another Parsha because he wants be to appreciate the presentation and Tazria is good, but it's the start of a cliffhanger.

Rabbi Fohrman on VaYakheil - The juxtaposition of Shabbos and Mishkan teaches you that what's forbidden on Shabbos is what was done in making the Mishkan. What's the meaning of this connection? G-d created a world in six days changing the world from nothing to everything - from man's point of view.  But what about from G-d's point of view? Creation was a carving out of space for something else- tzimtzum, out of love. It's like having a child, out of love - like a womb that's in your body not for you but to nourish someone else. G-d made an environment for us in what we call six days, full of complicated laws and pieces. These laws were for us alone. We're told we were created in G-d's image, to be like him.  Just like He created a perfectly calibrated environment, so must we.  G-d did melacha- creatively  making a nurturing world.  Man can do that too, like G-d.  The middle of the Torah is all about man creating (the end of Shmot, all of VaYikra, the start of Bamidbar) like G-d did. It's about creating a space not for us, but for G-d - the Mishkan.  Just like G-d keeps physics for us, we keep tumah and tahara, kodesh and chol, things that are strange to us- we do it for for Him, for His space.  So this is the link between Mishkan and Shabbos- rest. It's key.  Betzalel means, betzeil Keil.  In the shadow of G-d is what most say, but really it's betzelem Elokim.  Like Neil Armstrong Betzalel took a leap for all of us, mankind, mirroring G-d.

9:43 AM - Got a ride home at 10ish.  Father and sons are playing Stratomic Baseball.

I think Anim Zemirot may be my favorite Tefillah. It's considered so deep and holy we are told not to say it too often. What it seems to be saying repeatedly and poetically is that we can't understand G-d.  I think the more we meditate and reflect on how G-d is HaMakom and the world is in Him and not the reverse, how there is an infinite gap between man and G-d, the more we have a chance of connecting with and feeling close to G-d. Ironic. Anytime we give explanations that include phrases like "G-d's point of view" we need to say over and over and over again that this cannot be the full explanation because we cannot put G-d into our world as another person, place, or thing and decode his Master Plan in a comprehensive, neat, way.

11 AM - Just got home. As I started typing here a good old friend called me

12:30 PM - Had a fantastic conversation on the way home with the Rosh Yeshiva who gave me a ride.

Just dropped off dry cleaning and got a hair cut.

I want to write and write and write.

I need to get to Queens to join my dad in celebrating the 50th anniversary of friends. "These are the times to hold on to."

5:30 PM - Life is a roller coaster, and like an old woman once said- that's a good thing because merry-go-rounds are boring.

6:09 PM - I got home at 5:30 PM when I wrote the line above. I kind of know and don't know at the same time where time goes. I ate some homemade lentil soup, which I'm pleased with.

6:39 PM - Listening to the song "Rose of Memphis " on FUV.  Just sent out some pictures from today to a lovely couple from the shul I grew up in and to my dear dad.

7 PM - Commented on the people who commented on my sand haiku and wrote sand haiku of their own.

8:13 PM - Just wrote some poems.

9:04 PM - Some emails, some phone, some writing, some more lentil soup.

9:19 PM - I don't know why I write here. I do know why I stop and say good night.


Blogger uriyo said...

Thanks for this, especially the part about Anim Zemirot!

March 31, 2014 at 5:09 AM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Thanks Uri, I really appreciate the comment. My pleasure to share (more than the calf wants to suckle, the cow wants to nurse - Pesachim 11a).

I'm glad you like d the Anim Zemirot thought. It's big for me. I want to learn more and more about it and teach and maybe write more about it. To me I think there's a big yesod that we can only "get" G-d when we get how little we can "get" G-d. And that this is this secret of being close to G-d. And this secret is what's addressed in Anim Zemirot.

I praised you to someone for always finding me sources and they said they thought you were maybe from W Hempstead- is that right?

March 31, 2014 at 6:19 AM  

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