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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Hunger strike

Ever feel like there was something missing from your life? Something really important, that you almost might've once had, but somehow...?

In Judaism, we call that something the holy temple. That's gotta be it.

Conversely, doesn't it feel like there's some mysterious part of the tradition that's missing? Some context, some kind of detail that would make the whole Torah make sense? As it stands, we trust it and live with it to whatever extent we can and do, but doesn't it feel like we're hidden from some vital part of the story?

I've heard said by Yaakov Sack, quoting Freud, that the most important part of the tradition is passed on in silence. Total silence, all the things that are going on, that no-one can bare to talk about. Or knows how to at all.

Terrence Mckenna holds that, what is the temple we're longing for?
Once, we lived, really lived. Our mother the earth gave us all satisfactions, food and psychedelic drugs, growing all around. We learned what the things we saw growing were and what they did to us and other animals, and together, we grew for generations. Then, came the day...

Once, we had Mushrooms all the time, and would use them, to become better hunters, better seekers, smarter, more creative. Then, one day, some of us didn't feel safe hunting and gathering anymore. For some reason, the awareness of death that most of life is able to ignore in the moments of life became intolerable to Some People, who took responsibilty for individual tracts of land, and began to grow crops on them, in an attempt to have enough, non-poisonous food available all the time. What was the Tower of Bavel, says he, it was a storage house, for our first compiled community stash of grain. tall enough, that if anyone came to steal, one could just drop bricks on their heads.

And so, the three weeks, from the seventeenth of Tammuz to the ninth of Av have long been a canaanite period of morning, since way before any temple was set in Jerusalem. The destruction of the temple was ordained from the day of it's erection, and it's not just so much a period of mourning for a particular catastrophe, as much as a period of high alert going back... to what?

Doesn't it feel like there was something happening before the tradition we have passed on became the template for what's now called the Torah? Couldn't it be there's an older tradition incuded in It that's still available to clarify what G-d really wants, and what we're up with/against?

I've heard R Micha Odenheimer doresh, what's the Chumash about? It starts with a story of how we were introduced to the Etz Ha daas, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And God tells us, "eat of this, and you will die."

And in the wild, that's very much a reality,
Eat of the wrong fruit,
And you'll die.

How we must have dreamed and prayed
for a safer world
where we'd have stockpiles and aisles
of "safe" food, that we'd never have to worry was poisonous, ha!

And so we were dismissed from the Eden of living in the moment, and were doomed to live off the sweat of our brow, growing a subsistance crop. I gave unto you all the seed bearing herbs, and now you're down to and dependant, on that one grain. Or seven grains, that are included in one.

And so Cain kills abel, ultimately for the same reason that Abraham splits from Lot, ultimately for the same reason a temple would be destroyed-- in the fight to survive, the farmer cannot tolerate danger, lest his field not survive him the winter, lest the crop he now depends on die, and he'll starve.

This is what the three weeks ultimately comes from. Outsiders come and destroy our temple. Why? Because of weakness, and dis-unity? Yeah. And deeper than that, it's because of the memory of something terrible that happened because we were too caught up in our own trips to notice The Others.

want proof? check out the story of Tammuz. I'll get more into that... soon.

12 Comments:

Anonymous BrooklynHabiru said...

It is interesting to note that the only time the word 'Tammuz' is mentioned in the entire TaNaCh is during one of Yechezkel's visions of the impending destruction to be brought upon Yerushalayim by Bavel. During this vision he is essentially being given a tour of all the sinning that Am Yisroel had been encumbered with amongst which was Avodah-Zara "He then brought me to the entrance of the gate of the Bais HaShem that is to the north, and behold, there were women sitting, causing Tammuz to cry" Rashi (who’s 900th yahrzeit just passed on the 29th of Tammuz) says that Tammuz was an idol that was created in such a way that it would appear to be crying as if begging for offerings. The irony from my perspective is that these women were so mired in one of the many death/resurrection cults, that in a sense they were contributing and encouraging the death of the nation through spiritual warfare and creating a condition of self fulfilling prophecy [destruction of Bais HaMikdash/ re-building of Beis HaMikdash].

1:07 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Terrence Mckenna link is broken by the way

1:21 PM

 
Blogger Tamara said...

I think McKenna had some interesting theories about early humanity as well as the end of history (countdown to 2012), but I think there is a danger in romanticizing the past.

Aside from the 'fear factor,' there are obviously other forces that drive humans to create increasingly complex forms of society which include agriculture. The challenge is, can we match the outward complexity of our societies with an inward refinement of our own souls? Can we create interior civilizations which match, or even surpass, the complexity of our exterior societies?

4:32 PM

 
Anonymous Brooklyn Habiru said...

Speaking of the year 2012 (5772), here as in interesting but somewhat convoluted article by Moshe Lerman speculating the connections between Sefer Daniel, Kabbalah, Ikveta DeMeshicha, Rabbi Betzalel Ashkenazi, Arizal, Zohar, Rabbi Meir Kahane, Eliyahu, the new Sanhedrin, Yerushalayim, Or HaRa'ayon, Yovel, and one of five remaining “Shmitta” years [2012/5772] that are allegedly hinted at ... http://www.israelnationalnews.com/article.php3?id=5163

(Sorry I don't know how to use html tags, just copy n' paste if necessary.. I'm not that tech savvy)

9:03 PM

 
Blogger Yoseph Leib said...

"He then brought me to the entrance of the gate of the Bais HaShem that is to the north, and behold, there were women sitting, causing Tammuz to cry"


p.s. Habiru, I sent a correction over to wikipedia. Their translation of the pusuk implies more that the women themselves were crying, not the Tammuz, whatever that means.

MiVaChot-- does that imply making the self cry, or just crying? Does the pre-fix "Mih" imply something done to the self, or at least forcefully/willfully?

The irony from my perspective is that these women were so mired in one of the many death/resurrection cults, that in a sense they were contributing and encouraging the death of the nation through spiritual warfare and creating a condition of self fulfilling prophecy [destruction of Bais HaMikdash/ re-building of Beis HaMikdash].>>

Ah, wow. That through allowing the Tammuz to happen, they're perpetuating the cycle? It's a pretty old cycle, the summer/winter thing, I wonder how much the women were perpetuating it as much as genuinely being touched by it, IT's hard to make yourself cry if you're not really, deeply, recognizing something real.

Which I think is alot of why Chazal kept the babylonian names for the months. They could have out lawed the names mentioned, as already kinda is, in the bible i think even, where Jews aren't allowed to Identify times and places by the idol named after either (Unless of course, said Idol is no longer popularly worshipped as much as assumed to symbolize something, acc. to Chazal)

Instead though, they incorporated all the names as an official part of the tradition, even attaching hebraic meanings and/or acronyms
to the names. I feel like, if they were kept and sanctified, there must have been something in the MEANING of the names that sheds insight into the month and season itself. Tammuz is not just the name of the month, it's the name of the entire solstice and summer that follows it, an entire pattern of nature, forever as long as we've been remembering it.

Midrashic tradition puts the climate change into seasons as a consequence to The Flood, that before that, the whole world was always kinda temperate. This follows with T Mkcenna's theory that, as we move closer towards the end of time, Novelty is becoming more common, and stability more fragile, and the one of the maifestations of this pattern was the development of seasons on the earth's surface, where now, a cycle of hot and cold extremes was more polarized.

Destruction of the Bais Hamikdash/Rebuilding>>

Wow. Are you saying that the myth of Tammuz is what led the Temple not to be immortal, because we didn't really believe that anything could be Eternal but the cylces? That our whole anticipation of a third temple is like part of the same pagan narrative that we'd incorporated so deeply? That that was what the glory of the elohei Yisrael was against, this attachment to everything we've known to be true about the world since forever?


-----------------

Aside from the 'fear factor,' there are obviously other forces that drive humans to create increasingly complex forms of society which include agriculture.>>

Yeah, definitely. It wasn't fear that made apples go from crab to dee-licious. I used to wonder about the first fish, to just, poke up out of the water for the first time, after no one had done it for as long as it could remember (which, i guess for most fish isn't that long) I mean, for a fish to evolve into a mudskipper, into a dimetrodon, takes some kind of interest in going somewhere new that is generally as much love and desire as it is fear.

The challenge is, can we match the outward complexity of our societies with an inward refinement of our own souls? Can we create interior civilizations which match, or even surpass, the complexity of our exterior societies? >>>

Only if we want to, and maybe everybody really wants to, deep deep down.

1:39 PM

 
Blogger Tamara said...

"That that was what the glory of the elohei Yisrael was against, this attachment to everything we've known to be true about the world since forever?"

What was so extraordinary about Judaism was that it was a quantum leap from the pagan mind to a whole new way of viewing/being in the world. Not a negation of nature's ancient cycles, but an understanding that there was something beyond and a refusal to worship those forces, but rather the Force behind them.

4:13 PM

 
Blogger Brooklyn Habiru said...

As I understand it the prefix Mem means ‘from, source of, or out of’, to me reconfirming that as you have noted that the origin of the tears was the Tammuz idol itself, not the women (as for your mudskipper and dimetrodons its ironic we speak of the letter Mem http://www.meru.org/letteressays/mem.html ). Another way of looking at it is that from within idolatry is the source of tears (amazing to know that there are still people who believe in such hoaxes http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_stat.htm ). That Am Yisroel’s destruction is incumbent upon the worshiping of Avoda Zara [strange ideas, which quite possibly could appear normal considering circumstance, but strange in the face of the Torah’s Emes] (by the way your post about parties/AZ was great I loved it) in this case being a Death/Resurrection cult, as you have perceived my insinuation that indeed they were perpetuating the cycle of corruption of the Truth and the way things should be rather than the way they appear to be in the current natural order. I’m not sure what you mean by “IT’s hard to make yourself cry if you’re not really, deeply, recognizing something real”... are you implying that the Tammuz [IT] idol had consciousness and was actually able to recognize something ? I doubt this is the case, just wanted some clarification. As you have stated “ Tammuz is not just the name of the month, it's the name of the entire solstice and summer that follows it, an entire pattern of nature, forever(?) as long as we've been remembering it”, but then later recognize the Midrashic assertion that “climate change into seasons as a consequence to The Flood, that before that, the whole world was always kinda temperate”. Well then perhaps our Sages were able to remember a better time before both the earth and man had become corrupted. The earth and man influencing each other and effecting cosmic changes to each other via HaShem’s “hand”, away from its original beauty and innocence. “And HaShem looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth (Baraishis 6:12)” What is the nature of this “corruption”? According to Rav Soloveitchik zt”l it is that “all creatures had overreached themselves. Certain processes developed that changed the nature of animal and man. These creatures acquired new drives and began to display new demands that exceeded the limits set by divine will and aboriginal, undisturbed nature.” This includes such desires as that of consuming the flesh.... that yummy basar we enjoy on Shabbos and Yuntif, that after Noach, HaShem in a sense ‘acquiesces’ to mans desire for it and creates guidelines within which it is to be consumed so as to elevate a base want to something holier. Anway, Rav Soloveitchik continues to explain that a large portion of this corruption is based on pursuing something that is beyond ones jurisdiction and ontic sphere..... “that the benei ha-elohim (“distinguished men”) saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took them for wives of all whom they chose (Baraishis 6:2).”

The worship of the culture of death/resurrection which is an immitation of the surrounding environment relies upon believing that the world itself had not become corrupted and that this is the way things should be, but the Torah tells us otherwise. The cycles are not Eternal, only HaShem is Eternal. In fact I would say that the cycles are not even Immortal, though they seem to be to the human psyche, thus the worship of it. According to our holy traditions there will be sort of a Shabbos for the world, once again changing the natural/cosmic order of things, and returning it to its intended state in permanence - no more cycles inhabiting themselves in the culture sowing self destruction, only Eternal Truth. The Abarbanel, seems to imply that we currently need to maintain the system employed by the Torah by which months are identified by number. That numbers should be placed alongside the names introduced as a result of the Babylonian Exile.... they were adopted rather as a reminder of how low we have fallen, and to remember its lessons - likely each Babylonian name for month containing a lesson in what not to do. Our anticipation of a Third and Final Beis HaMikdash is not a result of pagan influence, but rather as a result of as how we as a collective somehow managed to be able to dearly hold on to a memory of how things should be, uncorrupted by the influences of our surrounding be it environment or other men. Somehow we seem to have become detached from Truth about the world, and allowed corruption to seep in - allowing for cycles to occur (destruction of First Beis Hamikdash/ rebuilding of Second Beis Hamikdash.). However a permanent fixture in our faith which despite its having been challenged by our actions is that of a coming of a True Age, an age in which continual knowledge is in abundance, the fear of detrimental and broken ideas no longer hanging above our heads, free of misconceptions that have become ingrained in the consciousness of Man. B’mahaira b’yamainu.

1:40 AM

 
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