go out and learn

One of my professors from university, way back when, has a blog which he calls Angry Lucifer, anyways over there he just posted a long thoughtful piece on how life is a repetition of patterns even when those patterns are no longer meaningful.

I find that observation interesting in light of Judaism's intense insistence on laws that lead to a lot of repetition. On the one hand you could say it's just the religion's way of playing to our genetic need to act in patterns, but it's interesting and a little subversive (in the Diamond Age sense of the word) to think that all the major Jewish figures in history were those who broke with the patterns of the times and the world around them.

Starting with Avraham, who shattered his father's idols. Yaakov who bought a "birth"right. Yosef who broke the nature of desire. Mosheh Rabbeinu who (k'vyachol) doubted God. Aharon HaKohen who used deception to bring peace. David HaMelech who stared down a giant with a sling, and accepted a curse as God's will. Rebbe Akiva who laughed when everyone cried. etc. etc. We recognize those who defied the patterns of humanity in the name of God.

There is an interplay here in the difference between nature, which tends toward chaos, and life which is a movement towards order. Torah seeks a balance of the two. We move away from chaos, but don't want to get too close to order. On the border between the two is free will and Godliness. צא ולמד


Related posts

Blog Widget by LinkWithin