I used to religiously read the weekly D’vrai Torah, containing various rabbis’ and rebbetzins’ interpretations of the weekly portion, from my synagogue.
Now at this point, my no fun, evil twin exclaims, “Oh galloping groaners!! Really!! Religiously read it!! A pun??? In the first paragraph!! Have you no shame??!!”
“And look who’s judging shame!!”, my good twin answers….
and herein…stay tuned….I’ll cover the struggle between them…
I really enjoy the weekly readings because of their excellent/thought provoking/life changing views and messages. I’d forgotten how much I’d been missing.
I’m embarrassed to say that I allowed my evil twin to talk me into thinking that I could use that hour each week, to weave socks from finely spun dryer lint. With dreams of matching pairs, I drifted off into nirvana numbness.
While I was working hard, or hardly working, at wasting precious time, Dvora, my Torah study partner, called to ask if I’d received the most recent issue on preparing for the new year. She has emailed it to me because our next two study sessions were to be centered on the question of, “what’s involved in spiritually preparing for the new year?”
When I accused Dvora of sending it because she really wants me to resubscribe, she was more than willing to plead guilty. I asked her she might want to talk to a lawyer first.
“Absolutely not!” Dvora said.
Sheesh!!! ‘Talk about an example of getting ready for the new year!!!
Although re subscribing means that I’ll have to give up using dryer lint for anything but keeping the trap full. In my feeble attempts to work on a more enlightened life, I’ve decided the sock weaving must go.
After reading the new year issue and discussing it’s principles with Dvora, I sat down to make my “new year’s resolutions” on how I can help to repair the world.
According to Judaism, if we’re to accept that all happenings, even sad and tragic events, are ultimately for the good (perhaps not in numbers of variously assorted lifetimes), then we must also be willing to personalize those teachings. Personalizing that lofty principle means having to swallow the awful tasting “(fill in the blank) pill”, of whatever we’re struggling with because the pill must also be for the good. We know that often horrible medical procedures and/or having to accept horrible tasting medications are also for the good. So why not apply that practical paradigm to faith?
I went on to think that if, for no other reason (please tell me there are more) part of that good might be to realize that, even in the midst of sadness, if we have a faith, we can get through life’s trials more easily.
From there, it seems to follow that, if we can learn to mix philosophical faith with a practical sense to stay as safely as possible away from bad experiences (and the sadness that follows), we might have a winning combination to help repair the world.
In my current dilemma, of a sad experience with a friend, my good twin is trying very hard to cool the heels of my bad twin so that we can put the idea of having the last word aside.
“But last words are so yummy and delicious!!” my evil twin says.
I answer that I’ll need to focus on having faith that good will come from the sad experience and that to have the last word just delays that outcome. And if every time angry, last word, revenge pops up, if I can channel the negative energy, to focus on what the lesson might be, I may be able to become more aware of how to recognize past traps such as the one that snared us and avoid future traps -or at least, avoid getting trapped for as long.
“AWW SHUCKS to that!” My evil twin says. “It felt good to have my say. And now that she did, let’s get onto the next round. I can win this thing!!”
And my good twin, thinking of practical and philosophical reasons, muses about what winning means….
Here is the practical side of my musings: I really don’t want to spend any time in a self imposed prison, in exchange for short term, feel good, spicy bites of revenge.
And here’s the philosophical one: whenever there is discord, although turning to religiously based, philosophical, teachings, often feels one sided, (because the people we’d like to be at the table tell us they don’t have any interest in discourse), if I allow negative psychic energy to control my time, I may as well return to weaving dryer lint.
My evil twin stamps her foot, puts her hands on her hips and yells: “WHAT!! EV!! ER!! THE LAST WORD IS STILL FOOEY TO YOU!!”
My good twin calmly, but emphatically, answers:
“You’re such a naughty child!! And you can’t even count!! Those were three last words, not one!! So there!! NOW!!Will you please go away!! I have work to do!!”