a better Law has been illegal
back in a world where law almost makes sense, and nothing good is forbidden, rainbow was lovely, and deep things were expressed back and forth...
Meanwhile, Israel is all up and whoa and the Lord only know what's gonna be with this whole mess. It's a little scary that it's happening now, during the three weeks, although messianic redemptions are happening pretty often, it's still... troubling.
I'm in boulder Colorado now, the softest place in the U.S., where the poor can eat for free if they get to the right places on time, and rich let everything go. No one seems to lock their dors, and the cover charges get as low as two or three dollars for some pretty impressive music.
I was listening to some pretty impressive music erev shivaser b'tammuz, when suddenly I got really concerned. I looked around and saw people dancing, and suddenly, I really sarted to worry. I had visions of people playing while accusations built up behind them, and then angry left out ignored masses burning down the holy city on the mountain top.
How much fun can we have before we have to worry again? Nomian, un-messianic judaism, it feels like, is designed to have just enough fun, with just enough offerings to G-d and justice to be able to do so with a clear concience. There is a level of feeling good about doing something without having to justify it, and maybe i'm not there yet.
The little voice of mind telling you that you don't deserve the good you have, it can be listened to with a loving smile, quietly recieved and taken in with a full heart, and action can either follow or not follow, depending on the need of the moment. The voice in your head does not like to be ignored, it doesn't mind being affectionately quieted by higher truth... if the need being raised turns out not to be a) pressing b) true or c) anything I can help with.
And it's never C), right?, it's just very often leaving the dishes for someone else to wash because i'm busy. Or ready to be busy, ready to go do something else, something i'm already commited to.
That's the nice thing about commitments, they can free you from other immediate needs, and it's also the terrible thing about them, that they force insensitivity to the needs of the moment.
That's one of the reasons Rainbow is so special, Shabbos is so special, right? Commitments are almost assur, at least as far as Right Now. What are you doing on tuesday? Shut the fuck up, I don't say, I don't say, how dare I acknowledge tuesday when I'm in right now.
Hirhurim mutarim, reflections are permitted, so I can ask where are you from, how did you get here, I can talk about a plan I made before, as if it were a cute little story about something that once happened.
I can go on a mission, I can respond to immediate need. The garbage needs taking out, right now, for now, the dishes need washing, the couch needs dragging, as long as it's for right now, I can commit into it, and now i'm free, oseik b'mitzva means I don't have a single other thing to worry about in the world.
IT would have been nice to do a super long shalos sheudis at Jerusalem camp maybe, Opened it up into something very group talkie-singie--- maybe next year, it can be more populistic. Jerusalem camp was mellow, except maybe on shabbos, despite having the best and most convenient location ever. And in this one way, I appreciate how purposeless it felt-- we weren't trying to get anybody into anything, just do our thing, maybe in a way that lets people in. This is the conflict of Kiruv, right? If I don't make the party accessible, what's going on meaningful, I really am cutting you out. And why do that to the world? Buut, if i'm only doing it, or even largely doing it, just for the sake of getting you involved with me and my tribe, then what are we really doing?
We seem to be in a hurry to leave shabbos usually, and it's a little mysterious why. Isn't Shabbos fun? Why is Shalos Shuedis rushed so often? I made commitments for motsei shabbos, so now i'm free of having to spend time with it... ha! It's the easy way to end a conversation that you don't wanna have, right? Oops, gotta go, but it's been nice talking to you.
Is that dishonest? sure, but it might be the only way out without feeling like you're avoiding the immanent.
God loves us so much, alets us visit places and times when it really feels as if maybe everybody is cool and a righter law reigns, and in the face of such good, it's interesting what personal moral and values come out being questioned and which verified.
I Do Believe that in this life we experience messianic moments where judgement and law are ignored for the sake of love/truth, a.k.a. desire clarified. Rainbow gives over it's own dina d'malchuto, it's own law of the community, where some things that in most places have to be so tznious, so controled, suddenly don't have to be.
People feel safe giving everything away if they have enough and trust that they are cared for forever.
and it's nice to live in that on a large communal scale sometimes/all the time, I wonder how long we can hold it together
Josh says that it's the temporaryness that lets rainbow be, if we were holding on to land, responsible for much besides building moving and cleanup, we'd start to fight/hate each other real fast.
Land control leads to Cain killing Abel, to survive.
Boulder Colorado is testing that theory a bit, it's really nice here, and has been for at least a while. Thirty years of peace? So far so good...
Progressive, safe places, where some norms are experimented with raise the question: How careful did we really have to be? About drugs nudity, and property, I mean. And really, what i'm talking about is sex.
Parshas Pinchas came and went. Controversial theoretically, good, upstanding moral chassidim will do their best to explain it away, making deep and irrelevant points about what pinchas is giving over, in an attempt to avoid talking about what's really going on.
The best I heard was Rav Gavriel in Boulder, saying what's going on with Pinchas?
Cosbi and Zimri, and Israelite prince and a Midianite Woman, have public sex, amidst a bunch of Israelites falling for Midianite women in the desert and serving their God, the Baal Peor.
Following this, a plague hits all the people of Israel. So, Pinchas, a high priest, kills them with his spear, and hangs up the bodies for all to see. What's going on with Pinchas?
He's a cohen
Cohanim are supposed to be all peace, love, and reconciliation, right?
And, yet, he has this compulsion to do something else
something that other people would say he shouldn't do
But it's clear to him that god wants him to do it.
And that's the level of Chaya, the soul above Soul that comes down on him, and on you, in moments of clarity,
Of Pure Life, where there are no questions, no identities, where the role you once played doesn't matter,
I've got to do what my god says is right
Awesome, right? Gevalt. A lovely tietch that ignores the what-the-fuck question of WHAT PINCHAS DID (I.E. MURDER TWO PEOPLE,) and worse, HOW GOD SUPPORTS WHAT HE DID, by ending the plague that hit the people, and the mystery of what was Our God's problem with the whole situation.
Some people got really offended that I asked the question, probably because i kept accusing them of avoiding it. What do you mean, what Cozbi and Zimri did was wrong and disgusting!
More disgusting than killing people?
Baal Peor is disgusting, their whole god and service! Shitting and fucking in front of a giant phallus, that's gross!
Grosser than spilling lots of sheep and cow blood on an altar three times a day? I mean, what was G-d so bothered about?
Why couldn't he just come before the Midianites and reveal himself and say Come! Leave thy old service behind and join My People as we ascend to a new way of serving in Our Land? Why this passive/aggressive bullshit with a mysterious plague, followed by support of what's basically called in Islam an honor killing? What's Jah's priority here?
The only answer that I heard in my head that makes any sense so far, and please feel free to send me better ones, is that Our God is Our God, responding to Our Will, indulging Our Tastes, needs, and disgusts, maybe on a more sublime and unconcious level than we as a community might realize, but only in a voice that we recognize.
When everybody feels right about something,
there is no kitrug, no accusing force to deny it,
and so everyone loves the song of the poor and oppressed,
no one would say he has no right to sing it
And when everyone feels wrong about something
even those doing it, benfiting from it, indulging it, justifying it
might know that it's wrong,
and so R Nachman tells us that when rich people don't appreciate the good that they have, they become hateful even in their own eyes
And when we're not sure
if the good we have
is ok or not
we might not know what to do
and the more we deny that confusion
the more we resist crying out to G-D for understanding,
or arguing to make our point,
then we might just get sick or something.
The gemara brings down (somewhere)
that if Zimri had defended himself
he would have been justified al pi halacha
It's not G-d independent of Am Yisrael that wants Eretz Yisrael to be holy and special to Us.
It's us, that feels guilty over the other things we are drawn towards.
The son of a rabbi friend of mine, frum and as devoted to am yisrael as anyone i know was saying alot this gathering, for the first time that I can remember
"I don't believe in a God that punishes,
We punish ourselves, we punish Ourselves."
We get ourselves sick when we think we've done wrong but
don't want to deal with it
or talk about it.
But when we're in a place
where everything we were so guilty about
is totally cool, and what are you talking about, that's fine
It can be very confusing
Were we right before
or are they right now?
This the messianic confusion
how much to trust the old fears, how much dare I tell myself, or anyone
"things are different now."
One solution is to use the mind to prove how it's different
and you might be able to convince yourself and others
but that might not have anything to do with truth.
and it might not matter.
One solution is just not to care
"stop the train, i'm leaving
And it won't be too long, whether i'm right or wrong."
But how often do you care about something so much
that you don't care whether it kills you or not?
Zimri is no less a Kanoi than Pinchas
dying in the hope of bringing together the One god of two nations.
Did he have any idea that his life was in danger?
After Korach, how could he not?
the Arizal brings down
that Zimri and Kosbi
were the same souls as Dena and Shchem
And for that matter R' Akiva and Mrs Turnus Rufus
trying forever to come together from across worlds
Something Our God seems to have been resisting
I wonder why?
Maybe because the end of Yisrael
is the end of His story
and anything that threatens our collective narrative
he will fight
as long as we do.