The secret Jewish Cannabis History and Wisdom teachings of all ages

Friday, January 14, 2005

responsa

I got some response to the blog that i wanted to explore a little bit before moving ahead in the narrative.

cannabis torah? kinda sounds like the aish toraj codes to me. i dunno... i've always kinda felt like you only need these funny proofs if you're trying to justify something that you're not 100% sure is ok. is there really a need 4 cannabis torah?

The inyan (context/theory) of looking for the torah of something is not to prove it's good.
Like it says in psalms, Ta'amu ooh reoo ki-tov, once you've tasted it and see that it's good, that's it. Nothing has to be proven. Torah is not just to see if something's "ok"... It's to recieve guidance on how to use, on what something good is for, what it MEANS, what it's ABOUT.

"Let a person ever study what his heart desires"
(B. Avodah Zarah, 19a)

Two good general drug use torahs, that really do apply for any intoxicant or poison used to transcend my stuck ideas about what reality is and how I am, include:

guidance for the indulgence of sweetness

"If you get a taste of honey
take only as little as you need and let the rest pass
lest ye take too much and
vomit it all up."
(Is that pirkei Avos?)

Very deep, right?

Anything "sweet" this applies for. A child will eat cake endlessly, because our longing for sweetness is infinite, but the nature of sugars is to digest mostly and best in the mouth, not in the gut. Taste it, don't pound it. Take too much, and, worse than anything else, one loses the true taste of how good the swweetness is.

This is true about Torah too, or course, and anything else that's sweet.
In traditional chinese medicine, it's considered very important to balance the sweet flavor with the bitter flavor, to keep one from getting mucusy, sluggish, and spaced out, to say nothing of fat and tumorous.

Guidance for harmonious use of medicine

It says in the Gemara in Brachos, talking about medicine

How do you know when someone needs a certain medicine?
If your healer says you should take a certain medicine and you trust their wisdom
but don't really particularly feel like you need that particular medicine
try it anyway!

Because maybe he can see something that you can't

And if you feel like you need a certain medicine but your healer says you really don't
take it anyway!
because maybe he can't see the sickness that only you experience

This is true about torah too, and anything else that heals but might hurt
You know better than anyone else what you need, if you're really being honest with yourself, And God is trusting you to be honest with yourself.
And when in doubt, right? When you really don't know which way to go, the talmud says, go right, a euphesim for the right hand path, that of action and doing as opposed to passivity and not doing. Balance is important and if you really know that you don't need the medicine, don't take it!

But if you're not sure about the right path, make a mistake on the side of doing as opposed to not doing, because living out of fear is not the purpose of creation. Fear is only to keep us from expanding to far too fast, the purpose of creation is to BE.

i think that we can be on the level that whatever good we recieve from smoking we can do on our own work without the crutch and to always rely on it put's you in crutches now maybe it's good to have a lchaim once in a while i can't tell anybody what to do and i even think it's good to bring out positive attributes of pot because so much negativity is associated with it.. it is really good to focus before you smoke the pot rather than just letting you take it were it wants you to go but if you try to find torah on it why won't you look for torah on heroine too and ecstacy and cocaine i know soeone who becane frum because he was overdosing on cocaine and now teaches torah and saves jews from missionaries just because you have an affinity for pot should'nt exclude acid and mushrooms now i think that the comparrison to wine is very good and the torah looooves to talk about wine how it can be a stumbling block for the fools and how it should be poured down the throughts of the righteous is very apllicable to drugs but wine is only healthy in limits and is better when you drink at a table with friends and family with a meal not alone in a room or in a back alley (though it was fun at times)

Heroin Torah? as opposed to marijuana torah? You could say the problem with heroin is that it doesn't really make people happy for very long, but maybe that's true for all drugs, and all Torahs. If someone is hurting so bad that the only way they feel like they can deal with life is to abandon it, I'm not going to be able to help them by taking away their medicine, that won't force them to cope, it'll just force them to scurry for shelter undersome other idol. Did you ever meet an ex-junkie who gave it up because he found something so much more fun? Are those guys amazing? Yeah... There's one way of saying, it's better to deal with the world and it's pains and struggles face on, and not use anesthetics to get past them. Have you ever had a root canal and said: no! no drugs for me. I want this to be real! I haven't. it just doesn't seem worth the trauma. You could say, anything really special, the less you do it, the specialer and healthier it is when you do. It might not be kiddush if we did it everyday, although some communities might have benifited from a period of daily intoxiation. It probablly saved alot of sould, alchol in russia and eastern europe. Doesn't meant Vodka is good good, or healthy, even in moderation, only that the joy that comes from having your troubles lifted off your mind might be healthier than the kidneys and liver you'd have without it. Apparently, wine, even in moderation, is really not as good for people as like, vinegar. We don't make kiddush on wine because it's good for us. We do it because it gets us high. If heroin made you seriously happier and more sensitive to your family and community the way that marijuana and/or psychedelics have and do when used harmoniously, then it would be wonderful. I've worked with harm reduction agencies, where they maintain that heroin, even at it's hgihest, isn't as much a really inspiring joy as much as just a nullification of reality.

Which is pretty deep of itself. What is deveikus if not self nullification in the passion for divine comfort? I've never messed around with heroin or cocaine, I eschew refined white anythings personally, but if anyone out there has hearda ny really good, profound heroin Torah, feel free to bring it down here.

I was searching less for particular Torah insights recieves through drugs, and more Torah insights about drugs, what we learn out from them and maybe guidance as how to use them more positively. Pious Rastas and Saddhus seem to do better with the stuff than bored teenagers generally, is that true? What's the good intention, any ideas?

"Anything that Jews find delight in has to have something perfect and holy at it's essence"
(paraphrased: secret of the Aishes yifas toar according to the Ishbitzer)

This week: Israel. Stay tuned.



2 Comments:

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