Thursday, March 28, 2019

Random Musing Before Shabbat-Shabbat Sh’mini-Shabbat Parah–Straw Clutching

So which is it, G”d, that upsets You more? You’re real unhappy with how Your people have behaved and acted in the land You gave them, so you drive them from that land in punishment.The native peoples of the land to which you have driven Your people are gossiping about You, saying what a weak and miserable G”d you must be, if Your own chosen people were so depraved that You had to drive them from the land You gave to them into their lands. You, yes You, G”d, are responsible for creating the first serious period of anti-immigrant fervor in the history of the world. Is it any wonder that Your creations continue to follow in Your footsteps? You set the example.

Vanity does not become a G”d, unless you are the little child god of the Star Trek episode “Squire of Gothos,” or the obnoxious, self-absorbed “Q” of ST:TNG (both of which, truth be told, do bear some resemblance to the way You have behaved.)

So, embarrassed by Your own favored people, you decide to be magnanimous – but not for their sake – but for YOUR sake. You’ll bring them all back to the land You gave them. You’ll purify them,  clean out their screwed up psyches, and give them new hearts and new spirit. The land will be restored, be fertile, and Your people will multiply in abundance. Thus the people of the other nations, who were laughing at You before, will now say how great You are for they will see how You have restored us fully.

This is the story told in the haftarah for Shabbat Parah, Ezekiel 38:16-38.

Who is Your PR firm, G”d? Who is giving You this advice? Who is telling You this isn’t about anybody but You? Fire them. They’re not helping You. This all just makes You seem small and petty. If you are truly Master of the Universe, You don’t need to deal with all this quotidian stuff. Emotions like jealousy and vanity are beneath You. Why stoop to humanity’s level? Why, you really could shoot a man right out on Fifth Avenue and You wouldn’t lose a believer. Is that what You think? Might be time for a reality check. (That is, if You are subject to the laws of the realities You create, which is a whole other discussion.)

Now, the next chapter in Ezekiel is the famous “dry bones” story. So I guess during this chapter, the shrooms hadn’t quite kicked in yet. So You have less of an excuse for this obvious display of Deific vanity.  David had you figured out – might be why he had to author that one book under the pseudonym of Qohelet. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, eh? Maybe the whole book of Qohelet is as much a message to You as it is to us?

We’re not easy to work with, are we, G”d? Did you give up and find an expedient way out? Did you impregnate some poor woman and have her bring forth a diversion? You threw that mess at us and watched us stumble through it for a few centuries. Deciding perhaps the fun had run its course, a few centuries later you have a conversation with that Muhammad guy. That’ll keep humans busy for another while.

But what you didn’t see coming (or maybe you did…) was that a lot of people starting asking if You were real, if humanity had outgrown the need for You, and if, in fact, humanity had actually created You rather than vice versa. through my head. Cat got Your tongue? We’re waiting.

C’mon G’d! Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah. People are laughing at You. Denying You. Making fun of You. Where’s Your response? No snappy comeback? No smiting? No abject lessons?

If even this appeal to Your vanity isn’t working, what are we to do?

And if he tarry, I shall wait.

Perhaps there will always be some who will wait, some who have perfect faith. Perhaps, in the end, they will be rewarded by You for their faithfulness. You make it hard sometimes, Very hard.

Sure. As I write these words, the apologetics run seamlessly – those I have come to terms with, and sometimes, those which I utterly reject yet still find rattling around in my brain. I grasp at these straws, hoping against hope to continue to find the faith to believe in the continually changing G”d of my understanding. Is it wrong to ask for just a little help?


Shabbat Shalom,

©2019 by Adrian A. Durlester

Other Musing on this parasha:

Sh'mini 5778 - Drops That Sparkle (5774 Redux and Revised)
Sh'mini 5777 - GEFTS 20th Anniversary
Sh'mini 5775 - Vayyidom Aharon (Revisiting Calm In A Crisis)
Sh'mini 5774 - Indubitably Delicious
Sh'mini 5772 - Collect Call
Sh'mini/Shabbat Parah 5771-So Say We All
Sh'mini 5770 - Don't Eat That, It's Not Kosher
Sh'mini 5769 srettirC ypsirC
Sh'mini 5767-Don't Be a Stork
Sh'mini 5766-Palmwalkers
Shemini 5765-It All Matters
Shemini 5764-Playing Before Gd
Shemini 5763 - Belly of the Beast
Shemini 5762-Crispy Critters
Shemini 5761-Lessons From Our Students
Shemini 5760-Calm in a Crisis
Shemini 5759-Porking Out

Friday, March 22, 2019

Random Musing Before Shabbat-Tzav 5779-Utterances and Umami

וְהָאֵ֨שׁ עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּ֤חַ תּֽוּקַד־בּוֹ֙ לֹ֣א תִכְבֶּ֔ה וּבִעֵ֨ר עָלֶ֧יהָ הַכֹּהֵ֛ן עֵצִ֖ים בַּבֹּ֣קֶר בַּבֹּ֑קֶר וְעָרַ֤ךְ עָלֶ֙יהָ֙ הָֽעֹלָ֔ה וְהִקְטִ֥יר עָלֶ֖יהָ חֶלְבֵ֥י הַשְּׁלָמִֽים׃

5 The fire on the altar shall be kept burning, not to go out: every morning the priest shall feed wood to it, lay out the burnt offering on it, and turn into smoke the fat parts of the offerings of well-being.

אֵ֗שׁ תָּמִ֛יד תּוּקַ֥ד עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּ֖חַ לֹ֥א תִכְבֶֽה׃

6 A perpetual fire shall be kept burning on the altar, not to go out.

There is no Temple, no altar. Hasn’t been one for 1,949 years. Those ritualistic trappings were  modified, adapted, reconstructed, reshaped, and have slowly morphed into parts of the rabbinic model of Jewish worship as it is practiced today and has been for much of those 1,949 years.

However, before I talk about modern interpretations, let’s examine a basic issue with these commandments in their context. What happened to the fire upon the altar while the Israelites were on the move rather than encamped for a while?

Scholars do like to remark about the redundancy in verse 6. If it is a perpetual (tamid) fire, then of course it would not go out. Why, if the fire goes out, then technically two commandments have been violated – one, to have an eternal fire on the altar, and the second that it (the flame) should not go out. So clearly, keeping the fire on the altar burning AT ALL TIMES seems to a pretty clear requirement.

The majority of scholars suggest that the law only applied when the altar was stationary, and in later times, when it was a fixed location in the Temple. Not all of them, however. Chizkuni (Hezekiah ben Manoah, a 13th century French rabbi) for example, suggests that the fire was kept lit and was covered by a metal dome while being transported. Nice try, Chizkuni, but depriving the fire of oxygen by covering it with a dome probably wouldn’t have worked so well, not to mention the difficulty in carrying a hot fire for long distances. Others commentators have hinted at a Divine solution – that the flame was kept going by G”d. (Many commentators have suggested that the flame itself was initially lit by G”d, so this wasn’t much of a stretch beyond that.)

I felt it was necessary to discuss this aspect of this because it impacts how we might understand these commandments in a modern context, in the absence of an altar.

Prayer has taken the place of sacrifices. Instead of bulls, we give the offering of our lips. What is it that takes the place of the eternal altar fire and consumes our words and makes them akin to a pleasant odor for G”d? At first glance, it would seem that we have obviated the need for this now missing step. Our words rise directly up to G”d as words, which G”d can hear, and understand. That was just as much the case for our ancestors. There were sacrifices, and words to accompany them. It is likely true that, over time, more and more words were added to the rituals around the sacrifices. Some of those words were the precursors of the prayers we still pray today. Nevertheless, some of the words we pray today must be prayers specifically intended to take the place of the physical sacrifices, n’est ce pas? Shouldn’t those prayers, those words “never go out?” Shouldn’t they be t’filot tamid, d’varim tamid – eternal prayers, eternal words-always present twenty-four/seven?

Matter is neither created or destroyed in our scientific understanding of this universe. Thus when sacrifices were consumed on the altar in ancient times, their mass was converted to other things: heat, smoke, liquids, ash, and the molecules and chemical compounds which we perceive as smells or odors. Fire is the agent which effected the change in the forms of matter that were once living animals. What can do the same to our replacement prayers/words? What takes words, breaks them down, and changes them into other things?

Prayers uttered are just that – prayers uttered. If the utterance is merely the keva, the fixed text, then what is there to be broken down and re-arranged? Aha, but there is something there. Baruch she’amar v’hayah ha-olam. Blessed be the One who spoke and brought the universe into existence. Thus, just the mere words we offer up to G”d can be useful to G”d. G”d might use them to create new universes, or G”d might need them to repair those one. We don’t know.

You didn’t expect that, did you? An embrace of the simple keva, the fixed prayer, uttered pro forma? Now, to be honest, there’s little doubt in my mind that prayer uttered with kavanah is preferred. Nevertheless, I have always believed that the mere recitation of the keva is valid prayer, and serves a function. There are times and places when we human might be incapable of summoning up more that a rote utterance of the keva.

Things are never simple in theology. Just the other day, I asked a group of sixth and seventh grade students about prayer, and its value. They all basically agreed that prayer isn’t something that G”d needs, necessarily. Prayer serves the needs of humans – serves the needs of those who utter them, and those who hear them being uttered. G”d has no need of prayers. (Now, that, in and of itself, is a simplistic notion that, when one examines it more closely, it doesn’t hold up as well as it might seem. Our relationship with G”d is, after all, covenantal. There’s that controversial statement by a 20th century scholar “If you are my witnesses, then I am G”d, but if you are not my witnesses, then I am not G”d.” But that’s deeper than the rabbit hole I want to go today, so we’ll save that for another time.

Given that, it is important that we understand that sometimes the keva is enough, and, theoretically, the keva just might be the replacement for the aish tamid, becoming the aforementioned t’filot tamid. Wow, I never expected to write that when I started this musing. I have to let that bounce around in my head for a while – the notion of the keva being the replacement for the perpetual flame on the altar. The words of the prayers are always there for use to use to lift our thoughts, or sacrifices to G”d.

Now I’m conflicted, When I started working through this musing, I wanted to reach the conclusion that it was kavanah, the intent behind the prayer, that is the modern replacement for the aish hakodesh, the eternal fire on the altar. I see now the basic flaw in that argument. Kavanah is not eternal, though perhaps we should always strive for our prayers to have some element of kavanah in addition to the keva. In fact, sometimes the kavanah is all there is, and it can be enough. Think of the classic story of the “Boy With the Flute.” He doesn’t know the words, but G”d hears his prayers. Perhaps, the youth’s prayers were the most meaningful of all.

Kavanah indeed helps lift our prayers, and is perhaps the catalyst that turns our mere words into the pleasing odors and offerings that G”d asks of us. This viewpoint, however, requires us to perceive the kavanah as superior to the keva, and we’ve already seen how this may not be so. So I’m scraping a lot of what I’ve already written and rethinking this musing.

Keeping our inner fires lit is not always the easiest task, and we must learn to forgive ourselves if we let our inner flames go out. Why set ourselves up for sinning by letting the fire on our altars go out? Why not consider that the replacement for the aish tamid starts with the keva itself. It’s is always there. Oh, we may fiddle around with it, re-arrange it, re-interpret it, gender-neutralize it, excise troubling parts and replace them with words that better reflect modern knowledge and reality, and all that jazz. The essence however, remains the same. Kavanah is perhaps an extra catalyst that makes our prayers smell even more pleasing to G”d than they already are, but the keva alone provides the aish hakodesh upon the altar. When we add ourselves saying the words of the keva, we are placing our sacrifices onto the fire and seeing it converted to heat, smoke, liquids, ash, and the molecules and chemical compounds that make odors pleasing to G”d.

I will always endeavor to pray with intent. Kavanah matters: kavanah enhances, kavanah sweetens, kavanah fattens. Kavanah is the MSG, the umami spice that takes the keva and raises it up a notch. Nevertheless, I am comforted in knowing that I truly believe that the keva itself can be enough – it is always the eternal flame burning on the altar upon which I can offer up my prayers.

Shabbat Shalom,

©2019 by Adrian A. Durlester

Other Musings on this Parasha:

Tzav/Shabbat HaGadol 5778 - After You, G"d
Tzav/Shabbat HaGadol 5777 - Payback: An Excerpt From the Diary of Moses (Updated)
Tzav/Shabbat HaGadol 5775 - Two Way Street (Revised)
Tzav/Shabbat Zachor 5774 - Does G"d Need a Shrink?
Tzav/Shabbat HaGadol 5773 - The Doorway to Return
Tzav/Shabbat Hagadol 5772 - Not Passive
Tzav (Purim) 5771 - A Purim Ditty
Tzav 5769 - Payback: An Excerpt From the Diary of Moses
Tzav 5768 - Jeremiah's solution (Updated from 5761)
Tzav/Shabbat HaGadol 5767-Redux 5762-Irrelevant Relavancies
Tzav/Shabbat HaGadol 5766 - Dysfunction Junction
Tzav 5765 (updated 5760)-Of IHOPs, Ordination and Shabbat
Tzav/Shabbat HaGadol 5764-Two Way Street
Tzav 5763 - Zot Torahteinu?
Tzav 5761/5759-Jeremiah's Solution

Friday, March 15, 2019

Random Musing Before Shabbat - Vayikra-Shabbat Zachor 5779-And Virtue Is Triumphant Only in Theatrical Performances

To redeem, the irredeemable text…

Impossible dreams abound. Purim is coming. A lighter spirit is in the air. The spring is coming (at least in this hemisphere.) Purim. A holiday when those who have been threatened with harm, or feel threatened can have their hopes lifted by a tale of topsy-turvy, a reversal as stunning as any in history, as game-changing a turnaround as in any Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. I mean, here’s a pretty how de do - if Esther comes for an audience with the King uninvited, she could well be put to death. Yet, like the discovery of Captain Cocoran’s and Ralph Rackstraw’s true birth statuses, it is when Esther’s hidden status (get it?) as a Jew is revealed that Haman’s evil plot is utterly foiled.

While there is an overall positive outcome that makes Purim a celebrative holiday, it is still a rather dark story. The turning upside-down aspect of the threat of death of Persia’s Jewish population darkly requires the Jews to pre-empt their own deaths by defending themselves, and, as needed, killing those who would have killed them. A simple adjustment to the plot devices used in this narrative would have allowed for a less murderous solution. G”d, who is missing from the narrative, could have perhaps provided a selective plague, earthquake, or other plot device to spare the Jews the necessity of offing their enemies directly. Or this whole nonsense about a King’s order being unable to be rescinded once issued. What utter folderol. What’s the point of being a King if you can’t change your mind?

That particular bit of fiddle-dee-dee is actually easily redeemed. We are mis-interpreting the King’s words. He is not implying that Persian law is immutable, and that there are no provisions of emendation once a edict has been made. (There’s no attestation to such policies in any source from the period, or earlier periods.) The King is being practical.  Based on the timeline we can glean from the Megillah, 70 days had already passed since Haman’s original deaths sentence for the Jews has been promulgated, and another 9 months would pass before its day of execution. That means that the edict had likely been promulgated extensively throughout the Empire’s 120 provinces, stoking the anti-Semitic fires that must have already been present. Even using the fastest horses and messengers to get the news out to rescind Haman’s order would not have sufficed. As it is, the Megillah tells us there was fighting in the provinces and in Shushan. So sending out a new edict, that basically informed everyone that attacks upon the Jews would not be monarchy-sanctioned, and that Jews were free to defend themselves would work just fine. So the King didn’t really mean what he said. Mr. Billy Flynn sings the Press Conference Rag. Notice how his mouth never moves-almost. There was no collusion. I did not have sexual relations with that woman. I am not a crook. When I’m a bad Bart I will tell taradiddles.

If you believe that particular piece of whitewashing apologetics (which is derived from Rashi, to some extent,) I’ve a deed to a bridge that might interest you.  So we’re still left with the question of why the story of Megillat Esther was constructed the way it was, with all the avoidable icky bits left in. Irrevocable decrees indeed. Irrevocable fiddlestick! But enough pandering to you Savoyards.

Strangely, Purim is not what I intended to write about. What got me started on this musing was my reaction to the special hafatarah we read this week for Shabbat Zachor (tied to Purim in its own way, of course.) It’s another difficult to redeem text about the story of Saul’s downfall as Israel’s first King. At least in the Purim story, G”d is absent, so we can’t blame G”d for instigating things (but we can blame G”d for not getting involved, and questioning why G”d was absent. An absent omnipresent G”d seems oxymoronic. Of course, G”d already has a history of that what with those 400 years of Israel in Egypt.)

Here, in this haftarah, G”d is directly responsible for the ugliness. (At least, if we believe Samuel is credible as a prophet.) G”d is strangely specific in that what G”d is tasking Saul with is meant to extract payback for how Amalek engaged in unethical war crimes against the Israelites when they were headed from the wilderness and into the land of Israel after their long wilderness sojourn. That’s a heckuva long time to wait for payback, but given G:”d’s time scale, perhaps not.

עַתָּה֩ לֵ֨ךְ וְהִכִּֽיתָ֜ה אֶת־עֲמָלֵ֗ק וְהַֽחֲרַמְתֶּם֙ אֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־ל֔וֹ וְלֹ֥א תַחְמֹ֖ל עָלָ֑יו וְהֵמַתָּ֞ה מֵאִ֣ישׁ עַד־אִשָּׁ֗ה מֵֽעֹלֵל֙ וְעַד־יוֹנֵ֔ק מִשּׁ֣וֹר וְעַד־שֶׂ֔ה מִגָּמָ֖ל וְעַד־חֲמֽוֹר׃ (ס)

Now go, attack Amalek, and proscribe all that belongs to him. Spare no one, but kill alike men and women, infants and sucklings, oxen and sheep, camels and asses!”

Saul gathered his army and went to attack the Amalekites. He showed some discernment by allowing the Kenites who were among the Amalekites to leave since their quarrel wasn’t with them. Saul then proceeded to slaughter all the Amalekites, men, women, and children, but he spared King Agag and also spared the best of the animals. As the text says, Saul only proscribed the cheap and worthless.

G”d was displeased. Why was G”d displeased? Because Saul didn’t kill all the Amalekites as ordered, and didn’t completely proscribe all their property (animals, booty, etc.) So stop and think about that for a moment. Really, G”d?

וַֽיְהִי֙ דְּבַר־יְהוָ֔ה אֶל־שְׁמוּאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹֽר׃

10: The word of the LORD then came to Samuel:

נִחַ֗מְתִּי כִּֽי־הִמְלַ֤כְתִּי אֶת־שָׁאוּל֙ לְמֶ֔לֶךְ כִּֽי־שָׁב֙ מֵאַֽחֲרַ֔י וְאֶת־דְּבָרַ֖י לֹ֣א הֵקִ֑ים וַיִּ֙חַר֙ לִשְׁמוּאֵ֔ל וַיִּזְעַ֥ק אֶל־יְהוָ֖ה כָּל־הַלָּֽיְלָה׃

11: “I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned away from Me and has not carried out My commands.” Samuel was distressed and he entreated the LORD all night long.

Doesn’t say what G”d and Samuel discussed all night long. Was Samuel trying to talk G”d out of it? That’s sort of the inference. Doesn’t seem to have mattered, for in the morning, Samuel was off to bring Saul the news.But Saul had already moved up, erecting a monument to his victory and Carmel, and then heading to Gilgal. When Samuel finds Saul, Saul’s first act is to boast how he has fulfilled G”d’s command. Samuel sarcastically asks “then why am I hearing all this bleating and lowing?”

Of course, Saul makes it worse, because he dissembles and gets all “I meant to do that.”. He says (i.e. makes up a story) that the spared animals were all intended as a sacrifice to G”d.

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר שְׁמוּאֵ֗ל הַחֵ֤פֶץ לַֽיהוָה֙ בְּעֹל֣וֹת וּזְבָחִ֔ים כִּשְׁמֹ֖עַ בְּק֣וֹל יְהוָ֑ה הִנֵּ֤ה שְׁמֹ֙עַ֙ מִזֶּ֣בַח ט֔וֹב לְהַקְשִׁ֖יב מֵחֵ֥לֶב אֵילִֽים׃

22: But Samuel said: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As much as in obedience to the LORD’s command? Surely, obedience is better than sacrifice, Compliance than the fat of rams.

כִּ֤י חַטַּאת־קֶ֙סֶם֙ מֶ֔רִי וְאָ֥וֶן וּתְרָפִ֖ים הַפְצַ֑ר יַ֗עַן מָאַ֙סְתָּ֙ אֶת־דְּבַ֣ר יְהוָ֔ה וַיִּמְאָסְךָ֖ מִמֶּֽלֶךְ׃ (ס)

23: For rebellion is like the sin of divination, Defiance, like the iniquity of teraphim. Because you rejected the LORD’s command, He has rejected you as king.”

Saul gets all Trumpian and doubles down, saying he was afraid of the troops. He entreats Samuel to go back with him and Saul will seek G”d’s forgiveness. Too late. Samuel starts to leave and Saul grabs at his robe and it tears. Quick on the uptake, like any good prophet, Samuel compares the tearing of his robe to G”d now tearing rule of Israel away from Saul. Then Samuel says another one of this inexplicable bits of text:

וְגַם֙ נֵ֣צַח יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לֹ֥א יְשַׁקֵּ֖ר וְלֹ֣א יִנָּחֵ֑ם כִּ֣י לֹ֥א אָדָ֛ם ה֖וּא לְהִנָּחֵֽם׃

Moreover, the Glory of Israel does not deceive or change His mind, for He is not human that He should change His mind.”

WTEverlivingF? I just can’t handle this. It’s totally irredeemable. (It’s also eerily similar to Megillat Esther’s insistence that Kingly edicts cannot be rescinded.) Those of you who know me, or have been reading my musings over the years have probably heard me say that “a god which cannot or will not change its mind is simply unworthy of being G”d.” G”d makes mistakes, G”d can be impetuous, G”d can act in anger, G”d can regret G”d’s actions and choices. That G”d makes mistakes is shown by this very story. Clearly, for G”d, making Saul King was a mistake! But there’s those pesky two rules. Rule 1: G”d is never wrong. Rule 2: When G”d is wrong, refer to rule #1. Sometimes, I think G”d (or at least G”d’s apologists) dissemble as badly as Saul did, falling back on “I meant to do that.” (Does this mean that G:”d is really a domestic cat?) I hold by the “b’tzelem anashim” reciprocal theory of G”d - if we are all in G”d’s image, then G”d, perforce, is like all of us. G”d can (and does)  have the very best and worst of human attributes.

The inability to be able to change one’s mind (as opposed to purposeful refusing to do so) is a horrible circumstance I wouldn’t wish on anyone, least of all G”d. Now, admittedly, perhaps changing one’s might about something before doing that something might be more meritorious than changing one’s mind afterwards, but it’s still meritorious either way. Not just meritorious. It’s necessary.

Speaking of changing one’s mind, perhaps I can go back and look at these two situations, in Purim and in this haftarah, and find something redeeming after all. In reality, there are things so heinous, so dangerous, so evil that perhaps force and even causing death are the only way to stop them.  It’s the dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki argument. It’s going to war to stop Hitler. Going to war to stop other genocides and atrocities. At Purim, we prevented an atrocity, but we had to fight to make that happen. The expunging of the Amalekites in this haftarah is not as clear-cut a necessity, though sometimes one must completely kill and remove a weed, roots and tendrils and all, to insure it never grows back.

[Ethics Sidebar: By the way, in the next chapter of the Book of Samuel, we start off with G”d telling Samuel to lie, or, to be a bit more generous to G”d, instruct Samuel to be somewhat disingenuous when he heads off to find David to proclaim him the new King. Samuel fears Saul might otherwise seek the means to stop (i.e. kill) him, so G”d proposes a ruse, a little decoy action. This is The Righteous G”d? G”d can’t just protect a prophet without this ruse?]

So just a hint, a whisper, of potential redemption here? Our Jewish history (as well as the entire history of our species) is replete with evils that might only be stopped by force. The Purim story reminds us to be ever vigilant, and also teaches us that sometimes we ourselves are the means of our own salvation. I’m not entirely comfortable with the concept, but I recognize that Judaism strives at times to limit our idealism and encourage some realistic practicality.

This haftarah for Shabbat Zachor? Eh. Not so redeemable. I suppose one can tweak the concept of being obedient to G”d’s commands being more desired by G”d than sacrifices into something sorta kinda useful. That’s really stretching it. There’s no true redemption here. My story is at an end for now.

The grating clatters open from above. I  ascend the staircase to my uncertain future, while about me my fellow prisoners sing about impossible dreams and unreachable stars. Though defeated yet again today as I tilted with the dragon of irredeemable texts, my heart strives ever upward to the far, unattainable sky.

Shabbat Shalom,

© 2019 by Adrian A. Durlester

Other musings on this parasha:

Vayikra 5778 - Kol Cheilev (Revisited)
Vayikra 5777 - As G"d Is My Witness (aka Osymandias II)
Vayikra 5776 - Stuff That's Still Bugging Me
Vayikra 5775 - Meaningful Gifts II
Vayikra 5773 (Redux 5761) - Mambo #613: A Little Bit Of Alef In My Torah
Vayikra 5772 - Confession: Not Just for Catholics
Vayikra 5771 - I'd Like To Bring To Your Attention...
Vayikra 5770 - You Can Fool Most of the People Most of the Time
Vayikra 5768 - Redux 5763 - Kol Kheilev
Vayikra 5767-Stuff That's Bugging Me
Vayikra 5766 - Osymandias
Vayikra-Shabbat Zachor 5765-Chatati
Vayikra 5763 - Kol Cheilev
Vayikra 5759 & 5762-Salvation?
Vayikra 5760-Meaningful Gifts
Vayikra 5764 and 5761-Mambo #613: A Little Bit of Alef in My Torah...