The secret Jewish Cannabis History and Wisdom teachings of all ages

Friday, August 12, 2005

when vessel is shattered, what do you have left?

So basically, Tammuz does not just refer to an Idol. It means the force in the universe that is the peak of life and creativity, the Tzaddik Chai Olamim as we call it sometimes.

There's a problem with the idea of God that the atheists have caught on to. If he's so good, how can there be evil at all, right? How does he, not just tolerate it, but how can it be at all?

So, what we religious folk like to say is, oh, it's not so bad. Or even better, you're bad for noticing it. The fuckers had it coming, karma from a previous life and all that. Don't blame God for the things you did. Which is a little bit bullshit, if you're not blaming God, you're not thanking him either.

So, I heard another thing from Josh Lauffer, only atheists really have an idealistic idea of God, and that's why they don't believe in him, because God is supposed to be So Good, how can any of this bad be? Religious people kinda let God off the hook really easily, like an abused wife justifying her husband's... eccentricities. Aishes Chayil mi Yimtza, right?

So, one way the problem was phrased was like this: There's the big G-d, who includes everything, including evil. He Is Beyond mortal judgements of right or wrong, and, well, that's a hard G-d to pray to and feel close to. How could it be my beloved doesn't care more for me than anyone~anything else? And for that matter, how can I ask for anything to the impersoanl infinite, before whom all is equal valued and valueless.

And so, there's the little G-d, the smaller face, who's my hero. He fights my enemies, saves me from evil, and is just So Good, it makes me cry.

What's the problem with the little G-d? He sounds and feels almost exactly like a person. This is where theology gets tricky.

We need to be able to see god, hear god and or feel god in order to really mamish believe in god, otherwise how could we ever, really believe? So G-d has to become people sometimes. really all the time, if you have the eyes, but sometimes more so, more revealedly. Kings and parents, warriors and teenagers, all have a conspicuously divine quality. And Power is rendered to them to rule in the world, as G-d himself. Tzaddik Gozer Hashem Mikayem, the tzaddik decrees, and Hashem fufills, W Hashem Gozer, v HaTzaddik Mivatel, for that matter, what Hashem decrees, the Tzaddik has the power to nullify.

I feel like the concept of Tzaddik is very close to the concept of soulmate. There might be many, and it might be everyone, but really, it only a rare few, maybe thirty six in the world, and really, there's only one, in the whole world... at a given moment. Who is it? Could it be the both R' Nachman and the Baal Hatanya were alive at the same time? How could it be?

So, while one can get into the fun kabbalistic game of identifying whihc part of the soul of the tzaddik each tzaddik is, I feel like it's... something else.

One of the deepest acid trips I ever had, I'm at a Phish concert for the first time. It's a big show, at a big stadium, and i'm dancing like never before. Suddenly, after like three hours of dancing, I have broken through all the walls of tension and stiffness and whatever I felt was physically holding me back, and now I'm alive, not only more than i'd ever been before, but maybe, more than anyone's ever been before.
It occurs to me what a big cosmis thing it is for a jew to be dancing this awesomely in public, at such a universal peak of culture, the place where it felt like the light of the newest highest music in the world, with physical expression to it restored to Israel, it came with a wave of clarities-- The water moves all the time, the wave of life is moving constantly. The most stagnant in the back is constantly being wiped out of existence, and the frontest peak of the wave... that's what's called The Life of The World...

Innovation in torah is what has marked the charachters i've associated with being the neshamos klalliot for a generation, and there's a sense that whatever they lived, in those moments, pushed existence forward. And it was never any body personally, we're just riding the waves of the torah and priviledge that's been given to us, the tools and secrets of longing and davening and perseverance that's been gifted to us by all our rebbes... This is what has marked some as being The Tzaddik, and when you're there, God is looking right at you, and he can refuse you very little, if it's real.

How do you know if it real? If you're crying, G-d can't ignore you. If it's moving you like that, it has to be real, at least on some level.

what do you call godly? only that which looks it. Idols and Partufim, the only ways that hashem is perceived and identified, tells us nothing about what's on the inside, but it does command our respect and awe, and kind of puts us into a religious state. The one who's called "The" tzaddik, may not have more karma points, or be a more flawless human than anyone else, only that he's percieved that way. Tzaddikim are not nessesarily closer to G-d than Rishaim, except on the level of deeds and other similar visible standards of judgement. This is part of the secret of the proverbial "Don't make yourself too much a tzaddik" because wealth, karmic or other wise, is not the main thing, except on the outside. But on the outside, it sure looks like the main thing. It's the main standard for which things are weighed and compared, the main way you know that someone else has succeeded.

What's an Elohim? Areyeh Kaplan says it's the percption of G-d, and that's why authorities, judges, idols and rebbes are all called it. That's Tammuz and that's Yosef Hatzaddik, right? The tradition of Yosef's life has him born on the winter solstice and die on the summer one, much like any other traditional killed and ressurected solar deity. The twist on his story is that he's human, but a human with divine powers, that is, to feed people in times of famine, and divine understanding to interpret dreams.

Yosef is one of the few old testament heroes who never talks to or hears G-d. "Are interpretations not to Elohim? So, let me interpret it" Instead of hearing G-d, he manifests G-d, and speaks his will for him. Grant Morrison talks about a bumper sticker he loved, Instead of letting God do your thinking, let's tell him what to think for a change!

This is why, in Ishbitz cosmology, rabbinic authority is associated with Yosef, because it has to do with decreeing The Law, instead of listening for the law. The crux of rabbinic law is that's not in heaven, and that, as far as legilation, the voice of G-d has no authority anymore. As opposed to David, who, in Ishbitz, symbolizes the heart of longing for divine truth, that lives in the law, and for that revelation which is beyond the law. After a law is broken, he'll go back and take responsibility for it, but fear will not stop him from having crossed the boundary in the first place.

Obviously, everyone needs to have a little of both to be in the world and beyond the world. We need both the big G-d, to be beyond, and the little one, to stay alive.

And the flaw in both Yosef and Tammuz that gets them both killed is what all peak experience leads to: When ou're really alive, and shining like the sun, you become oblivious to everybody else. This is the danger of the summertime, and why, right in the peak of it, we stop and hold back-- lest we burn ourselves out. Lest we forget to drink enough water, and make sure the kids are taken care of.

The story with Tammuz, his wife gets dragged down to Sheol, and is allowed out only on condition that she find someone else to take her place. Upon leaving the pit to find someone, she sees her husband, and behold! he's just sitting on his throne, oblivious! He didn't even notice I was gone! So she drags him down to hell, and keeps him there until his sister talks her into trading places with him every six months, so that there can be life in the world sometimes.

How could she over power him? It must be that he felt so bad when he realized what he'd missed, that he let himself be dragged down. Yosef, is talking all this snap about his brothers, and their sins, and bragging almost about how great he's gonna be... How could he not notice that his brother's were angry with him, and wanted to kill him?

One midrash claims he did it all on purpose, he knew that Israel was supposed to be enslaved in Egypt, and he wanted to try to take their place. But, maybe he was just oblivious, caught up in the divine rapture of the moment, and honestly couldn't see anything but his own light. Happens sometimes, and we're all so afraid to be and express too much self in yiddishkite, because we're afraid of re-living that "mistake." Rebbe's are only allowed to be because they are so wholey devoted to their community. And Yosef's re-union with his brothers can only happen once he's really listening to Yehuda, to someone else's experience. He comes to power when he starts interpreting other people's dreams, becomes sensitive to other people's realities.

It's nice to be the god sometimes, and it's even nicer to not be anything at all, listening and present, not just in your own fire, but hearing your brother. Which the main work of the three weeks and T'sha B'av, right? The fixing of Av is hearing, the whole fasting and holding back from music and external joy-making things is to be able to hear, what's really going on with each other. Because the only reason we ever get invaded or destroyed is because we refuse to hear our enemies, our brothers, our lovers ourselves. Please, do us all a favor... who ever you feel like is attacking you, who ever you feel is trying to take away everything from you, your enemy, who ever's attacking you... listen to them for a second. Listen to what they're really asking for. If Hevel had done that to Kayin, If Kamtza had done that to bar Kamtza, If Yaakov had done that for Eisav... Well, he might have his daughter marry him, which is for another time.

Basically, when some one is yelling at you to die, they're really asking for attention for something else, and they don't trust anyone to care about that, so they
make noise instead. A girl in Brooklyn was telling me tonight, when someone's runnig down the street away from someone yelling "rape!" everyone ignores her, but when she's yelling "fire" people look to check it out. Please, listen to your enemies... don't obey them, but listen for what they're really trying to say. It might just save your life.

And, it might let you see the bigger truth, the realer God too. Temples, like Idols and Partsufim, are basically so that you can contain G-dliness a little bit. Without vessels, what can you do with light, right? This is a Shlomo torah, Zev Savetsky turned me on to. You need to make vessels to beable to hold the light, and the light itself is infinite. Tisha ba'v, when the temple is destroyed, is just like when the temple is built.

when the vessel
is destroyed
You suddenly see how infinite the light is.

Imagine you love someone
and they break your heart
and leave you, and say they never want to see you again.
It hurts.
And then, once you let go, is when you see how infinite the love really is.


Anonymous Ross said...

Imagine one mountain with five peaks, but, because we see the mountain from above a cloud layer that obscures the bottom, we only see the five peaks. We might imagine that there are five mountains, because that is all we can see, and we'd give each 'mountain' a different name, and ascribe to each attribute and individuality that didn't really exist, because if we could only see beneath the cloud layer we'd know that they were all one mountain. That's how I feel about HaShem (this is also how I feel about time - every moment is in fact part on one MOMENT). Elohim, Adonia, Shaddai, they're just names of peaks on Mt. En Sof - which of course everyone knows already. But so are all the other attributes, the human attributes. It's not that these attributes are imposed on a limitless 'big God' by humanity, that the 'little God' is made up as a tool to understand the big God. The little God is, too, a facet of HaShem. Each face of a diamond is like a prison containing the 'diamondness' in a form, limiting one's total understanding of DIAMOND, but not ever not being part of that concept. Even if we see all the faces of the diamond, that doesn't tell us about DIAMOND, but we still must accept that these faces are apart of that DIAMOND. The problem of suffering vs. all-loving deity: remember that suffering doesn't mean HaShem doesn't love you. Maybe it's for the best, soul-wise (not that you deserve it, but that your soul requires that experience to correct/change/grow some aspect of itself to bring it ever closer to perfection), or maybe it is a way of developing one's relationship with HaShem (all the peaks and the mountain), developing that love. The little God is a peak of the big God, but not a separate entity. Everything is a peak of the big God, but they're limitations that are scaleable, and while they tell us nothing of En Sof, they are all integral parts of the mountain.

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Anonymous TheBongerRebbee said...


Great post. Got to tell you I'm reading this the night after the active resistance against the hitnatkut has happened. Anyway, not feeling so amazing about the pain of Am Yisrael.

So I light a jay.

Then I hit your blog for the first time in a couple of weeks.

So, the farther I read into the post, the more stoned I was. It was a very nice experience.

Anyway, I'm writing to ask you two questions in regards to your post.

1. "The tradition of Yosef's life has him born on the winter solstice and die on the summer on".

Can you tell me where I can see this 'inside', i.e. mekorot?

2. "Please, do us all a favor... who ever you feel like is attacking you, who ever you feel is trying to take away everything from you, your enemy, who ever's attacking you... listen to them for a second."

Interesting idea. How would you relate that to the relationship that Am Yisrael is supposed to have w/ the nations? That is, are we supposed to "listen to the arabs"? What would we possibly hear?
What about the other nations of the world?

Anyway. Peace. Hoping to see you here in the Holy Land very soon.

12:08 AM

Blogger Yoseph Leib said...

I wonder what we'd hear.

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