Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Flames and Wicks

The sages compare the flames of the Chanukah candles to Torah study (knowledge) and the wicks of the Chanukah candles to the mitzvot (action).

Theoretical knowledge (the flames) that fails to change the way we live is both empty and meaningless. What we learn must attach itself to something tangible (the wicks).

Every Chanukah we light candles and retell this history. Then, we rededicate ourselves to religious tolerance.

For centuries we have taken this knowledge (our Torah) and transformed into an act of righteousness and right actions (mitzvot).

This is the miracle that keeps on making Chanukah real and tangible.

Friday, November 15, 2013

River Rock

Tossed into the stream of life, I remain securely fastened to the earth below me.

I am like a river rock.

There are rainstorms and thunderstorms; above ground turbulences shake the roots of my rough stony paths.

Still, I remain a river rock.

The psalmist exclaims that God is a Rock for All Ages. I want to wrap around my world with that constant, concentrated and consecrated faith.

I am becoming a river rock.

I deliberately swim into my life’s source ignoring the instability of the atmosphere’s changes.

In faith and in folly, I am the rock that rivers roll over and over again.

Rock my rivers and return me to my routes.

Friday, November 8, 2013

I Was Asleep and Awake

"I was asleep but my heart stayed awake . . . until I heard the sound of my lover knocking.” -Song of Songs 5:2

In some ways we are all sleepwalking through various realms of consciousness. Throughout the day and night, we transition from states of awareness and consciousness to states of total incognizance.

We can be sound asleep and yet present to our dreams.

Is the opposite also true? Can we appear wide awake and yet remain dormant to our daily desires?

Ideally, we strive to remain intimately connected with the One, while stitching together the intricacies and activities of our everyday aliveness.

If we can practice holding both the intimate and the mundane, the insights of our dreams and the interactions of our waking hours, with pure intention, our path will be shaped by a wellspring of wisdom and clarity.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lost in Memory

Side-by-side they sit, the memories of my life. They know each other well, but they pretend that they don’t. They represent a shared fantasy, but they prefer to sit on the sidelines, each in a separate corner, each in a different costume.

There is a string that ties these memories together. When I take time to review these flashbacks, I am conscious of the thousand-and-one threads that bind them to each other. With what shall I sew these synapses? Will my recollections be beneficial?

The answers are coming with every newly classified thought. I am again lost in memory, and it feels good.