For anyone who would like to know the Judaism I have come to embrace, listen to the conversation between Rabbi Sharon Brous and Krista Tippet.
The High Holy Days: A Conversation
#beerswithbarry - via IFTTT
2 hours ago
"A father [parent]is obligated to do the following for his son: to circumcise him, to redeem him if he is a first born (the firstborn son belongs to God and must be redeemed by payment to the priest/rabbi), to teach him Torah, to find him a wife, and to teach him a trade. Others say: teaching him how to swim as well." Bab. Talmud, Kiddushin 29a
During the time of the Judges (1244 BCE to 879 BCE) when there was a famine, an Israelite family, Elimelech, his wife Naomi and their sons emigrate to Moab. Elimelech dies, and the sons marry two Moabite women: Mahlon marries Ruth and Chilion marries Orpah.
The two sons of Naomi then die themselves. Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem. She tells her daughters-in-law to return to their own mothers, and remarry. Orpah leaves; however, Ruth says, "Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried.
The two women return to Bethlehem. It is the time of the barley harvest, and in order to support her mother-in-law and herself, Ruth goes to the fields to glean from the corners of a field, as is proscribed for widows. The field she goes to belongs to a man named Boaz, who is kind to her because he has heard of her loyalty to her mother-in-law. Ruth tells her mother-in-law of Boaz's kindness, and she gleans in his field through the remainder of the harvest season. Boaz and Ruth fall in love.
There are legal complications that delay their marriage, but are finally resolved.
Boaz and Ruth get married and have a son named Obed, who because of the previously mentioned legal issues is considered both the son and grandson of Naomi and her husband, as well as the son of Boaz and Ruth. In the genealogy which concludes the story, it is pointed out that Obed is the descendant of Judah, and the grandfather of King David.
Today is 8 days, making one week and one day of the Omer: Chesed of Gevurah
Consider the potter throwing on the wheel. One hand is on the inside of the form being shaped. The other on the outside. The force on either side must be perfectly balanced. On one side is Gevurah, discipline, giving form and structure to the clay body. On the other side is Chesed, supporting and lifting up the form with a compassionate touch that understands the imperfections and limits of the clay body.
When compassion and love is expressed through structure and form, the results are beautiful. So it is with Chesed of Gevurah. This is not form for the sake of form. It is form infused with meaning. And of course, emptiness.
I remember once hearing one of my meditation teachers, S.N.Goenka, tell of how a potter in India beats the outside of a clay body with flat piece of wood to give it form. And that there is a hand inside to help absorb the shock of the blow so that the beating does not destroy the pot. He laughed and said, when you are supporting it with love, of course you can beat it! Not that he was advocating beating anyone, but he was making the point that expressing discipline without love is destructive. Just as expressing love without discipline is destructive. As my friend Marion once wrote: Do I center the clay, or does the clay center me? For today, this clay body hopes we can all make every day of this counting of the Omer, truly count.
And, don't forget, the River Arts District Stroll is only one month away. Please come to the Preview at Odyssey on Friday, June 11, 2010, 5:00 pm to mix and mingle with the Artists, while taking advantage of the first look at our new work.
JCC Craft Fair
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Asheville Jewish Community Center
236 Charlotte Street
Asheville, NC 28801
Hard Lox Jewish Heritage Festival
Sunday, October 21, 2012
11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Pack Square Park
Asheville, NC 28801