Thursday, September 07, 2006

Lily

Yesterday's lecture with Rabbi Levine confronted an issue I have overwrought myself with since I found myself in Israel. When does human choice begin and fate/destiny end- Or perhaps: Where does fate end and human choice begin? Do we all have a date, spiritually stamped on our forehead? Do we die because we have reached our expected level of spirituality? Are we more fortunate to die and experience the afterlife than suffer on earth? Can we actually begin to explain a concept we can barely hold on our plate?

"Rabbi Levine" I started, "I know it's a bit silly to even mention this, but when we get on talks like these, the afterlife- the universe, I can feel spoonfuls of insanity creep into my pores. I feel stressed- I feel as if the room is closing in".

When I was grieving deeply last year, I would sit on the tiled steps of the Eyal's home, late into the night, hoping that an epiphany would occur in the form of some visual spiritual awakening, where I would see and understand a concept that my heart could not swallow: devastation, loss= destiny?. I would be able to tell everyone "Yes! I understand it all now, all my concentration and all my pain makes sense and everyone will soon make sense of it too!!". Then I would lead a stream of well wishers into the Horizon of happiness whilst playing the flute.

Rabbi Levin began his explanation from not putting yourself in compromising situations to endanger yourself and your destiny, he explained one's spiritual merits. From his long explanation of life vs. death, it began to take shape. "So basically I've had it all wrong." I responded." When I joined the Peace Corps and did so to be altruistic, I thought perhaps my good deeds would result in goodness coming in all forms in my upcoming life, but in that assumption, my perception had been all wrong, I should understand that such good merits of humanitarian work is recognized in the form of being able to grow, learn, and get through tough times. The goodness of ones spirit is desired in order to attain spiritual fuel to get through life. Not to be rewarded."

After going over 20 minutes in the Shiur, I closed my mind on thinking on such a grand scale- it is so easy to get caught up on the feelings of infinity and how to carry that thought on your back. Instead, I strolled into the streets of Tel Aviv, relieved that the humidity dissipated itself earlier in the week. I met a handsome gentlemen under the streetlight of Disengoff and Ben Gurion and we strolled to my local for a cold pint and some talk about geometrics.

At this moment, and this week- i'd rather bother myself with chicken salad recipes and beginning my weekend. The universe can wait one more week, when i'm not feeling so hormonal.

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