Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Post Shoftim Post


For the third week in a row I am starting to post, post Shabbat in parsha-post. The attempt is to write in an organic way about Shabbat and parsha experiences and memories that relate to the just passed holy day. This post is being started at about 12:30 on Motazai Shabbos, and it might not be done so fast. But as the fisherman's wife said, we shall see.

I spent Shabbos hours from home - deep in Long Island - at a Chabad House. I was the entertainment for the opening Shabbos meal of the semester, which dovetailed with the end of my first week. I want to write about the experience, but I have so many things in my mind and I'm going to weave them in - sometimes randomly.

Very much on my mind all of Shabbos was something that learned of on Thursday. I was in a pharmacy and saw a tube of something that looked like toothpaste. You don't brush with this stuff, rather - you rub it on your tongue and it helps with dry mouth for up to six hours. And how do you get dry mouth? There are many ways, but one of them is by being a mouth breather. I think I may be a mouth breather. Sigh .

It's now post minyan on Sunday morning (who'd have thought that the word post would become a part of my vocabulary/repertoire). This week's lookjed mailing includes an article from The Times about Facebook, etc. It had this link to an article from Times from September 5, 2008
about these sites. The piece is called Brave New World of Digital Intimacy and it's by Clive Thompson. The author wonders why people share details about there days, why people read details about there days. I wonder how do people use facebook effectively and how did blogs grow old so fast?

I had wanted to write about my very Chabad Shabbos. So much to say. Meschiism was in the air, though never overtly mentioned by the Shaliach. He told me that the great thing about Chabad is that there is no boss. The reason why, he said, Chabbad grew to have 4000 centers in roughly the same amount of time that Aish HaTorah grew to have 40 is because it's every shaliach for himself. They get no organizational money, have to do all fundraising for themselves, and don't answer to anyone in terms of supervision or budget, etc. I asked if they have conventions and he said that they have kinusim and thet the topic always turns to fundraising.

There was a lot of Torah and a lot of interesting happenings. Please G-d, I'll write about them soon. Meanwhile time has flown. I need to get out of the library were I've been writing and conversing and and anding. I plan to continue ths is pieces.

3. Monday 7 PM - Aint it funny how Shabbos slips away? It's now Monday evening and even it was a long day. My friend Jeff Korbman once told me when I spoke of a long day - "Neil, it wasn't longer or shorter than any other day." But still.

There's a dvar Torah that I was thinking of saying at lunch on Shabbos. It turns out that it was the idea that the seven year old son read off of his pasha sheet. I heard it in the name of the Opter Rav - the sheet, and the son, and the gracious host didn't know who'd said it. The vort is that we have to guard our orifices and that that's also included in the command to protect the city gates: the imperative to protect the openings to our souls.

My shaliach host felt, when I told him that had been thinking of saying that idea, that I should build on it rather than say something else. And so I did. The review afterwards was that it was too heavy for the crowd.

I spoke about Rav Yitzchak Kirzner and how I heard him say that the way to deal with hard times is to prepare during the good times. If we train our senses to take in the world in a spiritual way regularly then we'll have a shot at continuing on that path if things get rough.

Later, a girl who was visiting a friend was talking with The Rabbi (I had to get used to not turning around every time a kid called out 'Rabbi') and she was not into his suggestion of going to the Chabad House back at her school (Brooklyn College). He told her - "You can still go out and party in the city after the Friday night meal. You can do for your soul and then for your body." She replied that she generally kept the two together. Later I told her that she raised a good point - there's often a split made between body and soul but reality indicates that they are more intertwined than convenient dichotomies allow for. She tied it back to Rabbi Kirzner's (Z"TZL) idea that the attitude of good times and bad have to be one - it's not like there's just a category of dealing with bad times. She wisely expressed her sense that we have to treat ourselves holistically, not address soul times or body times separately, but address our whole selves.

4. I wrote more and it disappeared. Gam Zu LeTovah. Looking ahead this Tuesday night.

No comments: