Thursday, December 10, 2009

Almost like a jelly doughnut

Tomorrow night is Chanuka, and in honor of that I made a new label, "Chanuka", which contains much Festival-of-Lights-Goodness. Here's an excerpt from some of those posts, containing a newly freshened-up bit about my favorite Maamar of all time, Al Hanisim '29:

There are two main points of this maamar. The first is an explanation of the war between the assimilated Jew peoples and the faithful-to-their-father-in-heaven peoples. What was the root of their argument? The Greekifieds refused to accept the existence of G-d. Simple, no? You would think that things would've change in the last two thousand plus years, but I suppose that wise King Solomon was correct when he asserted that, "There is nothing new under the sun." The Greeks asserted the primacy of reason, as does our culture. If they didn't understand it, well, obviously it couldn't exist. And even the particularly enlightened ones, who acknowledged that reason is not the be all and end all of human existence, refused to accept a higher power. Even when they acknowledged that they didn't know everything, and even more so, that it is impossible to know everything, that intellect and logic can't explain all there is, they still refused to accept a higher power. Why? Presumably because they were having too much fun attending toga parties. But seriously, they had major issues with Kabbalos Ol. They couldn't accept anyone telling them what to do without a good reason. If they had known there was a good reason, just they couldn't understand it, that would have been ok, but for there to be no reason? This they couldn't accept.

So what is the way to fight this invidious form of human behavior? There's only one way: with Mesiras Nefesh. And that doesn't mean giving your life up either. It can also mean deciding to say Tehillim after Davening instead of running to breakfast and getting runny egg yolk from sunny side up eggs all over your freshly laundered shirt. Which happened anyway, as it turned out, but I suppose that's one of the reasons for sweaters.

Mesiras Nefesh means that you have to do something which is crazy, to tap into your internal soul-powers, to go beyond intellect. That's really the whole point, isn't it? To do something that makes no sense. Not to you, and not to your mother either.



The second part of the Maamar deals with a mystical explanation of the advantages of the horn, getting into a whole thing about Dovid and Shlomo vs. Shaul.

Also, a big Mazal Tov to Shmuelie Schapiro, brother of our great leader, who was not only in smicha last year in Motown but also came to the TRS+le7 wedding! At the lchaim I thanked him for getting engaged to a Crown Heightser so that I could repay the favor easily, and he said, "Repay the favor? It was worth every penny!" I thought that was very sweet.

54 comments:

Crawling Axe said...

Getting runny yolk on your sweater is even worse.

I can't accept anyone telling me what to do without a good reason either. Why should I? We have a good reason to keep mitzvos.

I think Greek's problem was not lack of evidence, but lack of ability to trust that something can be true and yet beyond our comprehension. Which is the kind of humility that modern science teaches one. People have no idea how quantum mechanics can be true. Even people who study it themselves. And yet, every time you take Advil (or cocaine, for that matter), it's a testament to the truth of q.m.

Crawling Axe said...

Greeks'

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

People often like to say that the problem with the Greeks was that they set too much store by intellect but in general these are people who lack it themselves. The real problem with the Greeks was that they thought reason led them to their conclusions but they were wrong. Reason itself was not the issue.

Crawling Axe said...

What was the issue? Pedophilia?

The Real Shliach said...

CA: Learn the Maamar.

Modeh: Ditto.

Bichlal, I merely report what the Maamar says. Go learn it yourselves.

Dowy said...

reporting wat the mamer said would mean posting a photocopy - here are ur own words, therefore:
wat does it mean wen we say do something for 'no reason'? wat in fact is the point of doing anything without a reason?
this i believe is wat chasidus calls 'below reason' meaning without any reason watever.
'higher than reason' means that the reason that you have, spurs u to act even beyond the limitation of the reason.

e said...

Hey! I didn't know S. Shapiro was engaged. Mazal Tov!

The Real Shliach said...

Dowy: That's the whole point! According to the Greeks, if you have a reason, or even if you don't have a reason but someone does, then that's ok. But if there is no reason that will ever be comprehendible by the human mind (chuckei retzonecha)? They weren't ok with that.

e: Now you know!

Dowy said...

ah thats just silly :)

Crawling Axe said...

But surely part of the reason must be comprehensible. There must be a window or a foyer that is comprehensible.

Anyway, good Shabbos and Gutt Yom Tov.

The Real Shliach said...

חוקה חקקתי גזירה גזרתי ואין לך רשות להרהר אחריה

(and the maamar continues, "even when your observance has nothing to do with the reason, i.e. You'll do it regardless, still you have no permission to try and figure it out)

sarabonne said...

You posted Thursday and I didn't see it until now? Gosh. Anyways, I was just thinking about this maamer so that's nice.

Anonymous said...

CA, you sound very smart and sophisticated, so could you please explain the connection between Advil, cocaine and quantum mechanics? That part went over my head.

Also, what do you mean when you say "people have no idea how QM can be true"? According to my understanding, QM theories are backed up by reliable methematics.

Crawling Axe said...

All modern pharmaceutics is based on q.m. Both theoretical knowledge of it and the fact that it's true.

Yes, it's is backed up by math completely. We know that it is true, but how it is true (and what it means that it is true), we have no idea. There is no intimate, intuitive understanding of the ideas, even by the experts in the field. (This was told to me by a number of people including an expert on quantum entanglement.)

The Real Shliach said...

Sara: really? You were just thinking about it? Impressive.

Nemo said...

E: you may be a grubbe yung, but is that any excuse not to read CH news at least daily?

Anonymous said...

engaged to my friend!
(she wouldnt approve of this)

The Real Shliach said...

She wouldn't approve of blogging? Shmuelie thinks it's cute.

Crawling Axe said...

TRS, don't make trouble.

The Real Shliach said...

There's nothing wrong with a couple having different opinions. For example, my wife and I have very different opinions about music.

Crawling Axe said...

You mean, she likes good music?

The Real Shliach said...

Good and bad are entirely subjective terms.

Nemo said...

Oh, it's Mr. TRS, romantic extraordinaire, who can disdainfully make fun of single people who have been victimized by the shidduch crisis.

The Real Shliach said...

When did I make fun of you?

Crawling Axe said...

Shidduch crisis?.. More like shadchan crisis.

e said...

the shadchan crisis creates the shidduch crisis.

Crawling Axe said...

Right. As a reductionist, I was just naming the most underlining phenomenon.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

This is worse than the porno links you sometimes get. I demand this be deleted immediately.

CA: צריך לומר underlying.

The Real Shliach said...

People without blogs can't demand things.

Crawling Axe said...

About blogs or in life in general? ("Where is my coffee?" "Sir, do you have a blog?")

The Real Shliach said...

Both, I imagine.

Crawling Axe said...

We should have an ID.

The Real Shliach said...

Or little name tags.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

People with blogs should not cast aspersions on people who are further removed from hevlei hazman.

The Real Shliach said...

(snort)

sarabonne said...

I am a blogger and proud! We should have public parades.

Crawling Axe said...

I would rather have a discount somewhere.

e said...

How about a parade demanding discounts?

Dowy said...

well...id quite like to smell the taste of real money...that would be interesting

The Real Shliach said...

How does one go about smelling the taste of anything?

Crawling Axe said...

The modalities of smell and taste are actually very connected. That's why when you're sick and your nose is stuffed up, everything tastes like crap.

The Real Shliach said...

True.

Anonymous said...

she wouldnt approve of me talking here. She is extremely proper (chassidish wise) a GREAT girl...
made fun of me for taking "A MILLION PICTURES OF TREES AND FLOWERS" I can hear her laugh (the noun)!

The Real Shliach said...

What's wrong with talking here?

I am glad to hear that she is a great girl, because Shmuelie is a great guy. I am also glad that she knows how to laugh, because Shmuelie too knows how to laugh.

What is wrong with a girl taking pics of trees and flowers?

Crawling Axe said...

This here din of iniquity?

The Real Shliach said...

How can you be a den of iniquity when you don't even serve drinks?

Crawling Axe said...

So, it's a cheap den of iniquity.

The Real Shliach said...

I'm not sure which of those two attributes are worse?

Anonymous said...

bec here- i am talking to nisht meidelach

vey vey

The Real Shliach said...

On the other hand, if I was in fact a girl, we'd have deeper issues...

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

I've tried dens of iniquity and I've tried cheap places. Cheap is worse.

"Nisht maidelach" HEH! apparently males are so terrible there needs to be a euphemism for us.

Crawling Axe said...

:)

If you like sledding, you should also like pushing the sleds up the hill.

Crawling Axe said...

Oops, the last comment was for the shchita post.

Anonymous said...

we woukd?