Posts Tagged ‘Tisha B’Av’

14
Jul

Kinah 6-Is It Sophistry?

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

She has fallen to the depths and there she remains.

My eyes await Zachariah Ben Berekhia’s prophecy,

hoping for the miraculous wonders of Gilgal.

My tear stained face is marred by the mire of Greek sophistry.

He acted first and later regretted, calling others to tears,

as He Himself exclaimed, “I cry for them!”

Strepsiades, in the Greek play, was eager to escape the payment of his debts. He was told that the Sophists, led by Socrates, had a good school and a bad one, and that through the bad one, injustice could be made to masquerade as justice. So he went expectantly to the school, and prayed to be made perfect in the logic that could cheat.

He was old and dull witted, and could not learn, and his son of quicker wit became the pupil in his stead. The son learned only too well the lesson of the wicked logic. He proved before long to the luckless father that it is the duty of a son to beat his parents and to despoil them. So the play ends with Strepsiades disillusioned and repentant.

The wicked logic must be abjured; the good one marks the path of happiness and peace.

I have faith with Aristophanes that it is so. Yet even as of old, the rival Logics can be heard contending in the law courts of today, and the seeker after peace and happiness is still bewildered by the din.

Is there a part of us, the one that suffered Greek sophistry, that wonders whether all the explanations for our suffering is just another form of sophistry? Surely, if we believe that God calls others to cry, and if God exclaims, “I cry for them,” and regrets the devastating destruction, we are not wrong to wonder about the logic that explains our suffering!

This, is part of what we lament in this Kinah: we are confused. Even with all the explanations for the destruction of Jerusalem, how are we to understand the logic is God is weeping with us and for us?

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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14
Jul

Kinah 37 – Finding The Magic

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

Long before the domestication of plants, early humans developed tools to unlock the usefulness of these foods, either by overcoming their defenses our own aversion to how they taste.

That’s probably what people must have sone in the case of the sap in the opium poppy or the bark of the willow, both of which taste extremely bitter – and both of which contain powerful medicines. Once humans discovered the curative properties of salicylic acid in willows (the active ingredient in aspirin) and the relief from pain offered by the poppy’s opiates, our instinctive aversion to these plants’ bitterness gave way to an even more convincing cultural belief that plants were worth ingesting even so; basically, our powers of recognition, memory, and communication overcame the plants’ defenses.

Humans also learned to overcome plant defenses by cooking or otherwise processing foods to remove their bitter toxins. American Indians, for example, figured out that if they ground, soaked, and roasted acorns the could unlock the rich source of nutrients in the bitter nuts. Humans also discovered that the roots of the cassava, which effectively defends itself against most eaters by producing cyanide, could be made edible by cooking. By learning to cook cassava, humans unlocked a fabulously rich source of carbohydrate energy [Michael Pollan; “The Omnivores Dilemma”]

My father zt”l used the salicylic acid in willows, what we know as aspirin, to explain the Rabbinic teaching that God creates the cure before the illness. We pray only for the ability to access the cure that already exists. Aspirin was in the world in the willow, and was waiting only for us to discover it.

Perhaps, this is also the meaning behind the opening statement of this Kinah: “Zion, take all the balm of Gilead for your travail.”

The Vilna Gaon described the secrets of Torah he brought to the light of day, as accessing the “Balm of Gilead,” secretly flowing from the Holy of Holies (Introduction to Even Sh’leimah).

We may even suggest that by approaching Torah as the Balm of Gilead, believing that the cure for all our spiritual ills, is hidden within it, waiting for us to discover it – overcoming our bitterness and aversion to Torah’s demands, will itself be part of the cure.

Just as we experience God as hidden during the exile, but continue to search for Him in our lives, so, too, we can acknowledge the healing qualities of Torah that are hidden, just waiting for, “our powers of recognition, memory, and communication,” to persevere, and discover what lies within.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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14
Jul

Kinah 15 – Swallowed Up

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, cannot believe when she watches a frog crumple, sag, and disappear into the mouth of a giant water bug. The bug seizes a victim with its legs, hugs it tight, and paralyzes it with enzymes injected during a vicious bite. The poisons dissolve the victim’s muscles, bones, and organs, all but the skin, and then through it the giant water bug sucks out the victim’s body, reduced to a juice.

I had nightmares after reading her book, but was able to empathize with the people who cried, “He has worn away my flesh and skin. He has swallowed the Temple, erect and tall.”

The years of warnings from the prophets did not help us as we were poisoned by the exile of the Ten Tribes, by the first exile to Babylon, by the siege, by the walls being breached; we felt as if we were being slowly dissolved by the enemy’s bite (See, “The Poison Squad”), and could not hear the words of the prophets spoken to the best in us, to our highest selves, to our potential. (See, “The Muse.”)

Our only hope is to reconnect with our greatness, “My righteous ancestors and their deeds, will I bring to bear, since He has breached my path. This, do I call to mind!”

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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14
Jul

Kinah 27-Finding Beauty In What Others See As Ugly

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“The Germans chew with the mouth closed and find it ugly to do otherwise. The French, on the other hand, half open the mouth and find the procedure of the Germans rather ugly. The Italians proceed in a very slack manner and the French more roundly, finding the Italian way too delicate and precious (C. Calviac, 1560).”

What some people see as delicate, others see as disgusting. What some people find ugly, may be beautiful to others, as we see in the quote above, and, in this Kinah:

“Jeremiah came upon, leaving the Temple, a once beautiful woman, now disheveled.”

“I insist in the name of God and man, that you tell me whether you are a demon among demons, or a mortal human, for you are as beautiful as one of flesh and blood, but you are as awesome and frightening as only an angel can be.”

It’s as if Jeremiah can’t make up his mind if the woman is beautiful or frighteningly ugly!

The Talmud describes that way we view the Destruction in a similar way: Long ago, as Rabban Gamaliel, Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Joshua and Rabbi Akiba were walking on the road, they heard the noise of the crowds at Rome traveling from Puteoli, a hundred and twenty miles away. They all fell a-weeping, but Rabbi Akiba seemed merry.

Said they to him: “Wherefore are you merry?”

Said he to them: “Wherefore are you weeping?”

Said they: “These heathens who bow down to images and burn incense to idols live in safety and ease, whereas our Temple, the ‘Footstool’ of our God (Lamentations 2:1)’ is burnt down by fire, and should we then not weep?

He replied: “therefore, am I merry. If they that offend Him fare thus, how much better shall fare they that do obey Him!”

Once again they were coming up to Jerusalem together, and just as they came to Mount Scopus they saw a fox emerging from the Holy of Holies. They fell a-weeping and Rabbi Akiba seemed merry.

“Wherefore,” said they to him, are you merry?

Said he: “Wherefore are you weeping?”

Said they to him: “A place of which it was once said, “And the common man that draws close shall be put to death (Numbers 1:51),” is now become the haunt of foxes, and should we not weep?”

Said he to them: Therefore am I merry; for it is written, “And I will take to Me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the Son of Jeberechiah (Isaiah 8:2).” Now what connection has this Uriah the priest with Zechariah? Uriah lived during the times of the first Temple, while the other, Zechariah lived [and prophesied] during the second Temple; but Holy-Writ linked the later prophecy of Zechariah with the earlier] prophecy of Uriah, In the earlier prophecy in the days of Uriah it is written, “Therefore shall Zion for your sake be ploughed as a field (Michah 3:12).”  In Zechariah it is written, “Thus says the Lord of Hosts, There shall yet old men and old women sit in the broad places of Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:4),” so long as Uriah’s threatening prophecy had not

had its fulfillment, I had misgivings lest Zechariah’s prophecy might not be fulfilled; now that Uriah’s prophecy has been [literally] fulfilled, it is quite certain that Zechariah’s prophecy also is to find its literal fulfillment.

Said they to him: “Akiba, you have comforted us! Akiba, you have comforted us!” [Makot 24a-b]

Where the other rabbis saw tragedy, Rabbi Akiva saw hope. Where they saw sadness, he saw joy. Or, in the context of this Kinah: Where they saw ugliness, Rabbi Akiva saw beauty.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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14
Jul

Kinah 15-The Poison Squad

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer, Spiritual Growth

The menu for the 1902 holiday dinner had a healthy serving of Borax, yes, the poison, after the apple sauce, after the soup, again, after the turkey, vegetables, and a final serving after dessert and coffee.

Harvey Washington Wiley, a chemist from the US Department of Agriculture, assembled Poison Squads, to test preservatives and additives to processed foods. He suspected that the country was suffering from coast-to-coast poisoning, strictly due to commercial food production (Deborah Blum, Death In The Pot).

Wiley even had a son about his experiments: The Song of the Poison Squad:

For we are the Pizen Squad

On Prussic acid we break our fast;

We lunch on morphine stew;

We dine with a match-head consommé

drink carbolic acid (Borax) brew

 

This Kinah describes how we continue to drink a Poison Stew, the Golden Calf Consommé, in two different ways:

“He remembers my circling the Golden Calf in the desert heat. He insists that He will never forget even as the shadows of evening grow long, “I will bring a sword against you.”

Rav Oshaia said: Until Jeroboam, Israel imbibed a sinful disposition from one calf; but from him onwards, from two or three calves.

Rav Isaac said: No retribution whatsoever comes upon the world which does not contain a slight fraction of the first calf, as it is written, “Nevertheless in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them (Exodus 32:34.” [Sanhedrin 102a]

We drink from the negative power of the sin: “Israel imbibed a sinful disposition from one calf.”

We sip at its consequences: “No retribution whatsoever comes upon the world which does not contain a slight fraction of the first calf.”

The author even finds a hint to the Golden Calf in the story of Revelation: “I will bring a sword against you.” One of the primary laws of the Altar is, And if you make for Me an altar of stone, you shalt not build it of hewn stones; for if you wave your sword upon it, you will have profaned it (Exodus 20:21).” This, of course, brings us back to the expulsion from Eden, “So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:24).”

“East of the garden of Eden,” takes us back to the penultimate verse in Lamentations, “Bring us back to You, God, and we shall return, renew our days as of old,” “Days of old,” kiKedem, can also mean, “as is East of Eden.”

After Adam was expelled, he had only to battle the sword to regain access to the Garden, eat of the Tree of Knowledge, and become immortal – but he never did. We want an opportunity to have the same access to the boundaries of Eden, “On the East,” so that we can demonstrate our willingness to overcome the first sword, empowering us to overcome the sword that, “I will bring a sword against you.”

The poison we are drinking, predates the Golden Calf, and goes all the way back to Adam; it is the poison of fear that blocks us from achieving our potential.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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11
Jul

Kinah 26- Growing Old

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer, Spiritual Growth

Many people have been speaking of old age, specifically, an essay by Oliver Sacks: “When my time comes, I hope I can die in harness, as Francis Crick did. When he was told that his colon cancer had returned, at first he said nothing; he simply looked into the distance for a minute and then resumed his previous train of thought. When pressed about his diagnosis a few weeks later, he said, “Whatever has a beginning must have an ending.” When he died, at 88, he was still fully engaged in his most creative work.”

Oliver Sacks – The Joy of Old Age. (No Kidding.)

When I think of the Patriarchs, I imagine them living their old age as did Francis Crick, and as is Dr. Sacks. We are introduced to Abraham when he was seventy-five, and he surely seems to live at that point and for many more decades as Hokusai wrote in the preface to his Hundred Views of Fuji:

“All I have produced before the age of seventy is not worth taking into account.

At seventy-three I learned a little about the real structure of nature, of animals, plants, trees, birds, fishes and insects.

In consequence when I am eighty, I shall have made still more progress. At ninety I shall penetrate the mystery of things; at a hundred I shall certainly have reached a marvelous stage; and when I am a hundred and ten, everything I do, be it a dot or a line, will be alive. I beg those who live as long as I to see if I do not keep my word. Written at the age of seventy-five by me, once Hokusai, today Gwakio Rojin, the old man mad about drawing.”

However, when we read of Jeremiah running to the grave of the Patriarchs at the time of the Destruction, begging them to pray for their children, I imagine Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob rising up in the more classical approach to growing old:

What is it to grow old?” asked Matthew Arnold, and gave a depressing answer:

…’Tis not to have our life

Mellowed and softened as with sunset-glow

…’Tis not to see the world

As from a height, with rapt prophetic eyes,

And heart profoundly stirred. . . .

It is to spend long days

And not once feel that we were ever young;

. . . Deep in our hidden heart

Festers the dull remembrance of a change,

But no emotion–none!

Everyone remembers Cephalus, Plato’s dear old man at the beginning of the Republic: ‘Old age has a great sense of peace and freedom. When the passions have lost their hold, you have escaped, as Sophocles says, not only from one mad master, but from many!’ Perhaps we also remember Isaac feeling old long before his death and being (Seemingly) hoodwinked by Rebecca and Jacob, described by the Midrash as “free from the Evil Inclination,” what Sophocles would describe as, “not only from one mad master, but from many!”

When the ancient Patriarchs were awakened by Jeremiah and heard the news of the destruction and exile, they rise up as in the days of old, but quickly age and experience, in the words of TS Eliot:

Let me disclose the gifts reserved for age

To set a crown upon your lifetime’s effort.

First, the cold friction of expiring sense

Without enchantment, offering no promise

But bitter tastelessness of shadow fruit

As body and soul begin to fall asunder.

Second, the conscious impotence of rage

At human folly, and the laceration

Of laughter at what ceases to amuse.

And last, the rending pain of reenactment

Of all that you have done, and been; the shame

Of motives late revealed, and the awareness

Of things ill done and done to others’ harm

Which once you took for exercise of virtue.

We observe this devastating aging process through the eyes of this Kinah, and begin to understand how Tisha b’Av can age us as well, suck away our energy; that the absence of the Temple leaves us, “Without enchantment, offering no promise – But bitter tastelessness of shadow fruit – As body and soul begin to fall asunder.”  Without a Temple we experience, “the rending pain of reenactment – Of all that you have done, and been; the shame – Of motives late revealed, and the awareness – Of things ill done and done to others’ harm – Which once you took for exercise of virtue.” (“The Cosmic Effect”)

When we cease to experience that our actions matter – that we can make a difference, large or small – we age. When we live like that, we suck out the spiritual breath of the world, even that inhaled by the Patriarchs.

Jeremiah goes to the Patriarchs and pleads with them to pray, to reenergize the world with their prayer, even as their descendants experience a loss of meaning.

I believe that this is why we pray our regular prayers even on the day when the Heavens are shut to them; we are attempting to nurture positive spiritual energy even as we mourn. It is our statement that we do not accept mourning as a state of being, certainly not one we will not fight.

Yesterday, someone emailed the following question: “do you think we are mourning the absence of the temple, or the absence of what we need to be in order to merit having the temple?”

My answer was, “Definitely the latter.” We are mourning our inability to connect to the Covenant Between The Pieces-Kinah 12. We age, in the negative way, when we lose that connection, so we turn, as did Jeremiah, to the Patriarchs and join them in prayer. By joining their prayers, we join in God’s. We don’t have to die, as in Sack’s words, “in the harness” before first living in it!

 

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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10
Jul

Kinot-Links to Essays Related to Kinot Part IV

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

The Foundation Stone has a complete commentary on the Kinot on our website and Blog – Click on the Kinot Tab on the bottom right. However, not all essays on Kinot are listed as such. Below are essays pertinent to Kinot:

Kinah 1

The Forgotten

Conclusion of Kinah 5

Inspiring Good

Kinah 14

Banished – “Adam was ejected from the treasure house of Eden.”

Kinah 16

Just Another Party: “Remember what the foe did…”

Kinah 18

Beyond Room – “You assured us, “I will be exceedingly good to you,” which, according to some commentaries, includes empowering us to Collect Sparks of Greatness in the Diaspora.

Kinah 19

Mistakes: “And the shame is on us.”

Kinah 27

A Different Perspective: “ She who is as beautiful as Tirtzah.”

Kinah 31

A Portion In The World To Come: “Happiness and joy; gone are sorrow and sighing, when I return to Jerusalem.

Small Steps-Giant Leaps

Kinah 34

Halfway There– The murder of Zechariah

Kinah 45

The King At The Door

Kinah 49

The Bath That Made Yom Kippur

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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10
Jul

Readings II: Kinot

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer, Reflections & Observations

I share some more random readings of the past year that are thematically related to the Kinot. Please share yours with us.

Kinah 26-While The Fire Was Burning

Based on Eicha Rabbatti, Peticha 24: “Then, Jeremiah went to the grave of the Patriarchs.”

“Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience (Henry David Thoreau).”

Jeremiah is still having powerful visions even as the Temple is burning. How?

 

Kinah 30-The Lost Power of Transformation

“The chambers of the highest heavens are Your abode. They are full of Your glory and cannot contain you. How much less so, this House.”

“Sanctify the House of my abode, and return to my dwelling place, and may my legions gather and behold; the Presence of God entered the House!”

“Everyone should know nowadays the unimportance of the photographic in art – that truth, life, or reality is an organic thing which the poetic imagination can represent or suggest, in essence, only through transformation, through changing into other forms than those which were merely present in appearance (Tennessee Williams).”

Whether we agree with Williams or not about photography, would we be able to imagine being able to pray and make a difference if we did not believe in the power of “transformation, through changing into other forms than those which were merely present in appearance”?

Kinah 31-Aflame

“A fire burns within me…”

As on all its sides a kitchen-match darts white

flickering tongues before it bursts into flame:

with the audience around her, quickened, hot,

her dance begins to flicker in the dark room.

And all at once it is completely fire.

One upward glance and she ignites her hair

and, whirling faster and faster, fans her dress

into passionate flames, till it becomes a furnace

from which, like startled rattlesnakes, the long

naked arms uncoil, aroused and clicking.

And then: as if the fire were too tight

around her body, she takes and flings it out

haughtily, with an imperious gesture,

and watches: it lies raging on the floor,

still blazing up, and the flames refuse to die –

Till, moving with total confidence and a sweet

exultant smile, she looks up finally

and stamps it out with powerful small feet.

“Rainer Maria Rilke; ‘Spanish Dancer.’)

Author Info:

Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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10
Jul

Readings: Kinot

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

I share some thoughts from my readings over the past year that relate to the Kinot:

Kinah 5-Unclothed Words – Kinah 22-Fearing To Speak

Why do we need the constellations to cry for us? We need them to cry because words fail to express all that we feel.

Compare this Kinah to 22: “Be quiet, allow me to speak, come what may,” which addresses the fear of expressing all that is on our minds.

As “they” keep saying throughout, language is the human medium. It doesn’t exist—except perhaps as vast mathematical or chemical formulas—in that realm of, oh, cosmic forces, elemental processes, whom we then personify, or tame if you like, through the imagination. So, in a sense, all these figures are our creation, or mankind’s. The powers they represent are real—as, say, gravity is “real”—but they’d be invisible, inconceivable, if they’d never passed through our heads and clothed themselves out of the costume box they found there. How they appear depends on us, on the imaginer, and would have to vary wildly from culture to culture, or even temperament to temperament. A process that Einstein could entertain as a formula might be described by an African witch doctor as a crocodile. What’s tiresome is when people exclusively insist on the forms they’ve imagined. Those powers don’t need churches in order to be sacred. What they do need are fresh ways of being seen (James Merrill).

Kinah 7-The Rush

“How could you rush your wrath?”

“Hor d’oeuvers have always a pathetic interest for me; they remind me of one’s childhood that one goes through wondering what the next course is going to be like – and during the rest of the menu one wishes one had eaten more of the hors d’oeuvres (Saki).”

I have eaten

the plums

that were in

the icebox

and which

you were probably

saving

for breakfast

Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold

(William Carlos Williams; ‘This Is Just To Say’)

What would have happened if Adam and Eve had waited to eat of the Tree of Knowledge?

The story of the Golden Calf is a story of Rushing – Exodus 32:1.

See the story of the Rushers immediately after the story of the Spies – the original Tisha b’Av – Numbers 14:40-45.

 

Kinah 8-Calling For The Wind To Blow

“Let my laments soar to heaven.”

A man cannot say, “I will compose poetry.” The greatest poet even cannot say it, for the mind in creation is as a fading coal which some invisible influence like an inconsistent wind awakens to transitory brightness.

This power arises from within, like the color of a flower which fades and changes as it is developed, and the conscious portions of our natures are unprophetic either of its approach or its departure.

Could this influence be durable in its original purity and force, it is impossible to predict the greatness of the results – but when composition begins, inspiration is already on the decline, and the most glorious poetry that has ever been communicated to the world is probably a feeble shadow of the original conception of the poet. (Percy Bysshe Shelly; ‘A Defence of Poetry.’)

How can Jeremiah, amidst all the tragedy, already so crushed that he cries, “Would that my head were water (8:23),” still imagine that his laments, and ours, could soar to heaven, piercing the clouds that are already blocking our prayers (Lamentations 3:44)?

Kinah 14-Players Or The Play

“How that which was already decreed at the time of Creation is now demanded of me!”

Labour is blossoming or dancing where

The body is not bruised to pleasure soul.

Nor beauty born out of its own despair,

Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.

O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer,

Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?

O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,

How can we know the dancer from the dance?

(Among School Children, William Butler Yeats)

 

Kinah 31-Egypt & Jerusalem-Contrasts

“Truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more (Herman Melville).”

Kinah 42-Wine Libations

“Your libations of wine are diluted with water (Isaiah 1:22).”

It is heresy to insist that we must not mix wines: a man’s palate can grow numb and react dully to even the best bottle after the third glass from it (Anthelme Brillat-Savarin; “The Physiology of Taste).

Author Info:

Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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9
Jul

Kinah 19-What Could Have Been

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

Beowulf, son of Eegtheow said: “I had a fixed purpose when I put to sea. As I sat in the boat with my band of men, I meant to perform to the uttermost what your people wanted or perish the attempt, in the fiend’s clutches. And I shall fulfill that purpose, prove myself with a proud deed or meet my death here in the mead hall (Beowulf).”

When God took a nation from the midst of another with miracles;

When He read deemed a nation for Himself;

When He designated us witnesses to His divinity;

When He allowed us to taste the honey sweet biscuits;

When He sustained us with manna, and the well, and the pillar of cloud;

When He made sure that we lacked nothing in the desert;

When He granted us victory against Sichon and Og;

When He sent us the fourteen judges;

When He granted us a Mishkan and Beit Hamikdash…

We intended, just as the legendary hero above, to accomplish great things, but we did not live up to the challenges we accepted upon ourselves.

For that, and in that, we say, “With You, God, is the right, and the shame is on us (Daniel 4:34).”

This kinah addresses all that could have been for the Jewish people had they taken advantage of all the gifts God has given them, and had they lived up to the commitments they made to themselves. It also forces us to ask of ourselves if we are living up to the commitments we have made to ourselves.

I wonder What Could Have Been had Cain responded positively to God’s Voice, “If you improve just a little, you will elevate the world!”

I wonder What Could Have Been had Jacob climbed the ladder in his dream.

I wonder What Could Have Been and What Could Be had we heard, and if we would hear, all of God’s invitations to rise to greatness.

Author Info:

Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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