The secret Jewish Cannabis History and Wisdom teachings of all ages

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I saw a friend in the street esterday, he told me was learning at a local Yeshiva, and was impressed and even envious of the depth of the learning. What was the sheeta that was so impressive?

Start with the assumption that the people arguing in the gemara could not be arguing over what they appear to be, that the two machloketeers must not actually have very divergent ideas or viewpoints, only subtle distinctions on how best to come to what they both already agree on.

And all the darshaning around has to assume that, with the imagination only circulating around the conditions surrounding the conclusion, with no contact against the conclusion itself.
This is depth, apparently.


To clarify the previous post: the main thing Israel needs to justify it's current incarnations and the assorted evils implicit in it, to both it's own people and to the rest the world that depends on Israel for guidance and meaning, is to make Israel into a place at least moving towards an existence close to the dream of what Zion and Israel has meant, to the prophets and musicians, since it was first imagined.

To do this, we need the sacred union of the imagination and the will to manifest the imagined.
The problem with building paradise is it's never actually what you wanted it to be. That might be ok, but knowing it diminishes the will to even try. Herzl's dream was facilitated by it's shallowness: not utopia but normalopia, with jewish theives being tried by jewish judges, arrested by jewish cops, paid off by jewish mafiosos, with friends in the corrupt jewish government watching out for them. Easy, right?

Zev Jabotinsky longed for the new jew to be a people "powerful, loving and cruel." Hitler similarly described the "new man" of his visions: "I have seen the new man: he is intrepid and cruel. I am afraid of him." Cruelty is empowering for someone without vessels to imagine a better way of winning, or reason to belive in the futility of cruelty, having surrendered to it's power so often in our lives. And so, we have become chofshi in our collective minds, only through our willingness to be cruel, initially to our enemies, but also to our families, for the sake of keeping them safe... or something.

As long as our sense of safety and security depends on our employment of the cruel, we are not going to stop, and it will come back to us in the same form.

How can anyone be held accountable for murder, if people only die when they are decreed to, one gemara asks? Someone who kills his brother can theoretically come before the court with the perfectly reasonable argument: I just shot him in the face, officer, but he only died because it was his time, right?

So Chazal say, sure, maybe so, but you must have sinned somewhere to be the bearer of his death, and you're about to get punished for that, and so: justification for cruelty doesn't repel the onesh of having commited it, it simply accepts the repurcussion that may follow as being worth it.

I used to have this argument with police officers in Israel when ever they'd search me randomly.
Religious people, i'd be like, y'know, if you had found something on me, and screwed me because of it, G-d would punish you for it one day, right?

No, i'm just doing my job, i mean, following what i'm supposed to do.

That won't justify anything you do before the heavenly courts.

No, it will. I will say to the administering angels: "I am a police officer, just like you, I am doing my judge, and you must blame only the ones giving the order."

I held it's not so true, responsibility belongs to everyone involved, and justice will be had inevitably from those who run from it the most... so what?

I feel like the main function of torah study as it is now is to keep people out of trouble, shtieging instead of hunting. Supported by tzdeka, it makes every body involved feel good. And it doesn't get anyone's hands dirty, with the possible exception of fundraisers and purity defenders.

This is not where the torah of transcending old patterns can come from, I don't think. it never has been yet, Chassidis traditionally being Not That, but centered more around drinking parties and public meal celebrations, weddings and so on. The binding of Chassidic ideas to The Torah World redeemed the yeshiva from stagnancy, and continues to almost make it worthwhile, but where is the torah of transcending old dangerous limiting thinkings going to come from?

Which dangerous old limiting thinkings? The nature of language and "figuring things out" that we depend on to "deal with the problem" is part of the problem, the fight that is inherent in the process. It could be that this has been an inherent part of creation and being up until now, the war, MAYBE IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE ANYMORE? Almost? Soon?

mmm. MMM. I don't want to figure out more effecient structures, unless i'm sure that's the only thing I can do to help. And even then, it's such a betrayal to the ideal, and maybe I could find a justification one day that would convince me it was the only righest thing to do... but what could inspire the better torah to come into the world?

The innovation, according to Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev, of Israel to religion, is the service of god out of love only, not need or effectiveness.

There's a problem with saying this: the main reason we serve god is actually for effectiveness: so that we will not be killed, destroyed, or otherwise displeasuresd. To love god because it's easier and more effective than fearing the master might make it a little better? But it's still not purely lshmah, and such a state might only be possible from not serving at all.

Let's say my mom asks me to do something for her... does her love depend on whether I do it or not? of course not!, I hope. How do I know for sure? Only if i'm obnoxious and refuse. And maybe get punished.

Knowing this, feeling this doesn't nessesarily make me a better son... doesn't help her live, theoretically, the rightest, nicest thing I can do is whatever she asks... but maybe, sometimes, disobeying now will make me be able and more willing, more free to really care later, and that's what lishma means.

There's been talk recently about what the chiluk between the Kotsker and the Ishbitzer was, What Shlomo was prioritizing and the confusion it causes in modern neo-chassidic culturre, and what it says about judaism now. It has to do with this subtle but far rammifying question, of when does honestly demand rebbelion, when is submission idolotry... Next time, on Cannabischassidis.


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