? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 | Matrix of Grace

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Dying for Dummies #1

Here is a Jewish Mourning Prayer, “Sink, So As to Rise”
Leon Wieseltier, Kaddish

There are circumstances that must shatter you;
and if you are not shattered, then you have not understood your circumstances.
In such circumstances, it is failure for your heart not to break.
And it is pointless to put up a fight, for a fight will blind you to the opportunity that has been presented by your misfortune.
Do you wish to persevere pridefully in the old life?
Of course you do; the old life was a good life.
But it is no longer available to you.
It has been carried away, irreversibly.
So there is only one thing to be done.
Transformation must be met by transformation.
Where there was the old life, let there be the new life.
Do no persevere.
Dignify the shock.
Sink, so as to rise.

Just when His great masterpiece of heaven and earth was finally up and running, G_d realized there was something missing: The autograph.
Without an autograph, the creatures of this world might take life, beauty, pleasure and all the other amenities of existence for granted. They could fail to take care of the home made for them, even turning reckless and destructive.
So He left the autograph up to us. Our job is to make it recognizable that this is actually the ultimate piece of art, crafted by the ultimate of all artists, the Master Designer/Architect/Engineer of all things.

In Hebrew, we call this a Kiddush Hashem—roughly translated as Sanctification of The Name (English is kind of clumsy with these things). How do we make a Kiddush Hashem? Well, as you may have guessed from the sound of the words, making "kiddush" on wine on Friday night as Shabbat enters is one great way. So is any act that demonstrates a higher purpose and meaning to life, whether that be a public prayer, an act of charity or just everyday acting like a mentsch.

Of the prayer-forms of Kiddush Hashem, the most extreme example is the Kaddish1. No other words we say in all our prayers are attributed the same level of sanctity.2

No comments:

Post a Comment