I wrote this the other day and figured it was too mentally askew to be worth posting. I was in a bad place–stressed by finals, consumed by philosophy–and strange things happen in dark corners on bright days, you know? So I’ve been thinking about it anyways, and since I’ve had some more time to consider it, to reflect on it, I’ve found there’s actually some merit in it after all.
So with no further ado, I present to you “Dancing Fire”:
The Pirkei Avot is often translated as the Ethics of the Fathers, but even though “avot” means “fathers,” “pirkei” more closely translates as “chapters,” not ethics. So why the confusion? It’s because most of these books of the Talmud relate to ethical behavior in our daily lives. Throughout the past two summers and now throughout the past few weeks of this summer, we’ve looked at teachings as varied as how we do business with others, our obligation to bring God into every meal, and the importance of both group and solitary work. It’s amazing how so many of these lessons can be captured and gained from a text hundreds of years old.
Today’s teaching is a little different. Just like moving from the computations of algebra to the theory of calculus requires approaching the same subject with different eyes, it’s important to realize that there is more to daily behavior than simply what our actions define.
Long week. I know time cannot be properly perceived from a three-dimensional perspective, but I didn’t think it could feel so long. Or be so exhausting. However, I was treated to a delightful morning today, able to attend services bright and early, bathed in the brisk winds of a coast-crossing hurricane. It really was lovely weather save for the humid heat. And the melodies, the Torah reading, the discussions during kiddush. It really was a good way to start the day.