In a daze, 'cause I found G-d
The Talmud tells us that without the ability to forget, man would soon cease to learn.
(fat bowl of hash to the first person who can quote which gemara!)
Did you ever do drugs in order to forget something that you had been forced to learn?
This what Chanuka is about.
Maoz Tzur tells us how these impure greeks surrounded me, and defiled all my oils.They penetrated my walls and ruined everything inside. Children of understanding,eight"days", were now set for songs and celebrations.
Not knowing, R' Nachman tells us, is true knowledge, as is known (ha, ha!) Pretetendingto not know,however, is very dishonest, done traditionally for the sakeof the children,the citizens, to give them the pleause of believing. Buuuuuut,once someonecomes along and shatters the illusion, what's to do? Just because I found out there's no Santa Claus means I can't have Christmas anymore,l'havdil?
Thisis the problem with light, excess and otherwise. Once you're forced to see,the affectionate groping in the dark is made to end,and the wonderful thingwe were able to pretend can't fool nobody. Onlyonce the lights are dimmedagain can we sink back into what we once didn'tknow.
Rabbinic Judaism,that is, Judaism At All, begins with the Greek encounter, so says R' TzadokHakohen. Alexander comes to Jerusalem, and falls in love with us all. He sees a parrallel culture, guided by some kind of marriage of wisdom and passion,and is so happy to learn that his Greece isn't the only civilized thing in the world. And he begins a dialog with "the wise men of Israel" (so wise they don't even care about having names) asking some questions back and forth, and responding to theirs.
"Which of you is the wisest? We all know as much as each other."
"Who is called rich? One who's happy with what he has."
"Who is a hero? Someone who can conquer his own will."
These are the beginnings of Judaism, and the end of revelation. What's each of these answers giving? antidotes to the sickness implied by the question.
The Maharsha claims that with each question, Alexander was asking for praise, his favorite drug of all, and with each one, proto-chazal were giving him something else. in the end, he threatens to kill them for it, but for the promise he made at the beginning of the conversation that he wouldn't hurt them for their answers.
Why is it wrong to dose someone against their will? Because they'll resent you for it, and the whole trip will only be their resentment. That's the only reason, it's wrong to give anyone something they won't appreciate, only because then it's thrown away. If you could force them to appreciate it, on the basis of it's what they were asking for, it's something else, and then Alexander dresses them in finery and rides them around town.
It's one of the most obnoxious subversive habits of Judaism and Philosophy, to de-fang any idea-threat by telling it the opposite. Any truth is suddenly harmless, and assimilable. Nothing has to change. Also, may save our lives, like drinking saved the Indians.
A friend of mine was smoking trees on Shabbos once. Piquach nefesh, he said, I woke up So Destroyed, it was the only thing I could do to save Shabbos.
I ain't never done that per se, although I did once give up and try to make a phone call with my elbow, someone I was so desperate to talk to. I got her answering machine, nebuch.
Another Sabbatean inyan is to celebrate purim on chanuka, and everybody knows: chayuv Eenish LiBisUoMaY, Man needs to spice (intoxicate) himself, until he doesn't know.
we're not all that different
Antiochus's sin is trying to force illumination through violence. Violence is a symptom of rush, and impatience. "Don't wait for the translation (look up)" In this the Hellenists and the Sabbateans share a messianic fascism that is so compelling because Truth must not be denied.
It can't be true
That Shabbos doesn't matter
If i'm being forced to stop it
It can't be true
That Ice cream is unhealthy
It's so good
And you're just trying to keep me
from the pleasures of the world to come
How do you know something is good? Taste it.
How do you know something is real? When it tastes good, you want to believe.
There's a midrash
Where does the pure oil
hidden inside the temple
the one flask that was unpolluted
that gave Noah and olive branch
where did that olive branch come from?
The Garden of Eden. Remember?
pressed from that branch
and passed down, from Noah to Shem to Jacob
The forgotten little flasks
That he returned to retrieve
Leading him to fight the spectre of Rome
were that oil
passed on to become the anointing oil of Moses, and the Holy Vessels
and all the Kings and Shamans
until the end
The light of the eighth level
the level of understanding beyond the fiftieth gate
beyond where there is choice
an understanding that leaves only acceptance in it's wake
What's happened, Adam wonders
Where did the light go, he asks?
It's right here, G-d tells him, and candles are invented.
It's right here inside you.
Maybe something's different now
Now that we can Communicate
with the enemy
learn his language
No support for what you're thinking
We need not a voice
but new music
and context what can bring us together
A home is not a resourse
A temple is not a home, except for those who sleep and eat there
Lord show our feets to the beats the mysterious wonderful whatever's going on
I don't want to dance to names and identities
that a new that a new beat should ring forth from New Jerusalem
Your nakedest name only that dare not be spoken
The bnei Yissascher brings down a tradition
that in the Temple in Jerusalem, Adam and Eve's Solstice holiday was still being kept
Until the year of the Maccabbee victory, it was always on the solar cycle day of december 21st
And on the year of the re-taking of the Temple from the Greeks, it was changed to That Day
the 25th of Kislev, which was now a tad late.
Lighting eight fires on burning spears every night according to one opinion
There was some question, (the bnei Yissascher reports)
as to what would be the next year
when would we observe the holiday?
On the traditional solstice
or on the new day set by the maccabbees?
And it just so happened that that year
the 25th of Kislev came before the 21st of December
the spirit of the holiday was already in the air
Happy holidays folks!
p.s. Does this seem related to y'all?