Sunday, April 02, 2006

I'm a Crazy Jew

Flowing through the streets today, I heard someone say, "crazy Jew."

I just heard it. I don't know who said it, who it was towards - I know nothing.

But maybe he was he talking to me.

After all...

I believe in angels.

I believe in flying Rabbis.

I believe that an ancient "book" holds all the secrets to this world.

I believe in a tangible line connecting me to my forefathers.

I doubt that which I can see, and believe in that which I can't.

I believe in many worlds. I believe I can reach them, and exist in them all.

I find certainty in what can't be proven.

I believe I have tens of thousands of siblings, and that all their
actions deeply affect my here, my now, my future.

I believe that you and I have a soul, and that it's powerful and eternal.

I believe in a totally pure and G-dly place within me and you.

I believe in a holy spark within rocks, plants, animals, and people.

I believe that a spider the size of a bread crumb has an enormous purpose.

I believe that my own smallness is great and mighty and can erupt to
flip the world on its side.

I believe that the world as we know it can change and enter a new era
at any moment.

I believe that one small deed is a whole world of beauty and purpose
and completion in G-d's eyes.

I believe the Almighty, the creator of this world, needs me - that he
has a mission that is imperfect without me.

I believe in what I don't yet know.

I believe - despite the seemingly bad, the evil, the concealment.

I will always believe.

Why?

Because I am a crazy Jew.

----------

A chassid is discussing his mission with the Rebbe...

The chassid says, "But Rebbe, they will think I'm crazy!"

The Rebbe smiles warmly and replies, "Nu? Be crazy!"

25 comments:

Ilana said...

Yes, we are certifiably nuts. That is, according to the norms of nowadays, norms which should only be used as a barometer of what we shouldn't be.

Mimi said...

Hear ye, hear ye - yup.

But I don't think it's about what we shouldn't be as much as it is about actively revealing our "craziness" no matter what the world says.

It's about being active, not just passively NOT being something.

It's about us BEING the world.

The Rebbe was so on top of this distinction. What else explains Mitzva tanks?

Ah, love it.

nahama said...

sh'koach!

Ilana said...

I'll drink to that. And then go do something, of course. Actively.

wandering said...

that is an important distinction - we are not DEFYING the outside world, cuz for us there is no outside world. The mere fact that you acknowledge klipah already gives it chayus. If you don't acknowledge it- it doesnt exist. WE are the world -inside and out!

Anonymous said...

"Even G-d needs this earth."
What does this mean?

shlemel said...

I find certainty in what can't be proven.

The Rambam HaKadosh says there are only three things a person should believe in 1) things that are seen
2) things that can be proven to exist
3) that which we learn to be true from the torah.

Are you speaking of other things that dont fit into those three categories?

the sabra said...

dont remember where or when (maybe manis friendman?) but heard a fabulous 'talk' on the topic of 'orthodox jewry'. we are NOT orthodox, was the point. orthodox people don't stand on street corners wrapping leather straps on people's forearms. that is NOT orthodox behavior. neither is waving the lulav and esrog, or not eating milk and meat together.

stam.

Anonymous said...

sabra: huh? what do you mean?

David_on_the_Lake said...

Hi Mimi..
I like this post alot..!
Only crazy people truly accomplish...

wishes said...

So if it's normal to be crazy, then Tzfat must be the most normal city in the world!
How boring...

Just kidding of course. but your post is really inspiring and very reassuring as well. How good it is to know that yes I am crazy!!!

Mimi said...

First, to anonymous:

SO glad you asked.

When I wrote, "even G-d needs this earth", I was referring to the idea that G-d desires a dwelling place in this world, a "Dirah Betachtonim." G-d gave man the task of revealing His true essence in a world in which He hid. Through the 613 mitzvos, we reveal G-d's essence, we make G-d "feel at home." There's a "part" of G-d that is dependant on us and this world. G-d's "mission" needs this physical earth.

There's much to say on this topic, which probes very deeply at all the questions about this world.

Look into it.

This rocks:
http://www.chabad.org/library/article.asp?AID=257034

And this:
http://www.chabad.org/magazine/article.asp?AID=257216

And of course:
http://www.kehotonline.com/magazine/gimeltammuz/The_Rebbes_theology1.htm

THANK YOU!

Mimi said...

Shlemel:

It's interesting that this was the only line I didn't use "I believe." But, actually, as much as there is a wealth of proof for Judaism's realities and beliefs, I think when it comes down to it, there is much I believe in that I can't prove. I can come close, very close. But most of the time, it's too big to fit into my small mind. And it's those things that I happen to be the most certain about. There are many "proofs" for G-d, but I dunno - that's not WHY I believe in G-d.

I'm wondering about that Rambam. I went to a school that had a slogan that went like this: "Where Einstein Meet Maimonides." To put it lightly, a school where intellectual feasting was the end all. I was fed the proofs for everything. EVERYTHING. I was even PROVED that there is no such thing as Divine Providence. And you know what...I still believe in Divine Providence. And now, being in a Chabad school, learning what the Rebbe has to say about life, about G-d, about RAMBAM - my belief in G-d is way more real than when I was in Rambam and Einstien's meeting room. When I look back at my high school days, days of lots of gemara thumb movements and intellectual chatter, I don't see a lot of G-d. I see people. I see minds. But G-d? He was "somewhere else." Now, I'm using my mind like never before, in a Chabad school - and it has nothing to do with proving anything. And G-d? He feels very close. Very real.

You getting me here...?

And side note - this sounds insane perhaps, but...my experience tells me that the world has totally butchered the Rambam's works. You've given me something good to look into, as straightforward as it seems.

Long conversation, really. One that gets me rather worked up, in the positive sense.

Thanks for adding to all the exciting discussion. Looooooooovin' it.

Stay in tune.

Mimi said...

Sabra: Sounds like Manis to me. Totally true. The only thing I hate more than being called religious is being called orthodox...

David: Thanks for the compliment. I think my father quotes that a lot...so it must be true! :) Speaking of Manis, he once said that the people of Israel are too stuck on having a "nice guy" for a prime minister - what we need is someone CRAZY.

Wishes: I am still trying to figure out if Tzfas is normal or crazy. I think it depends what street you're on.
Thanks for the encouragement. I see you're new to this blogging world. Stick around!

shlemel said...

Mimi,
Are you saying that you believe in Hashem for no reason? Doesn't our belief have to be either from the Torah, which we know to be true, or from some sort of reasoning? Blind faith is a goyish idea, lehavdil.

Mimi said...

Shlemel: Shall I list all the "reasons" I believe in G-d? It's not blind faith, you can rest :).

Mimi said...

Chochma - Bina - Daas. From head to heart. Of course. I trust you can decipher my main message. Contact me, perhaps - if you want to get into a more in depth discussion.

Mimi said...

And thank you. These back and forths are so enjoyable and potentially illuminating when discussing with a sincerely interested (and un-bloated) person.

Anonymous said...

You have an awful lot of chutzpah to speak abt one of the greatest talmidei chachamim in history in the way that you do. Although, you seem like a bright girl, your young mind wouldnt be able to grasp some of the rambam's deepest philosophical works. Before you call his wors "butchered", you should actually read them and honestly say you understand them. Some ppl might have tainted your view oh him, but then again, a lot of ppl taint others' view of the rebbe. Do you think it is your place to speak lashon hara of a brilliant tzadik?

Mimi said...

Anonymous:

Um...

I never said the Rambam's works were butchered.

Rambam was greater than you and I can even say in words.

Like, duh.


You misinterpreted something, and were quick to respond. My blog is not the place for your aggressiveness.

Thaaaaaaaaank you anyhow...

Nemo said...

There's a famous Chakira at the begging of the Maamor Ha'amonas Elokus in Derech Mitzvosecha....

How is it that we have a command to believe in G-d, if having a Mitzva already necessitates that we believe in G-d beforehand to know that he is commanding us? In other words, what is the Torah's command without the prerequisite of knowing of Hashem, and why is there a Mitzva to know what you already believe {if you've accepted the Mitzvos.?

B'Kitzur, there are two levels here, there is faith in G-d and there is the command to "Know G-d"{Leidah Sheysesh Matzui Rishon...}.

It takes a bit of faith to believe in Hashem- At the end of day there is no physical proof of his existence, only logic, which, people could chose to accept or not to. Therefore, it is necessary for a person on their own to find faith, and often times this is "blind faith" {deduced logic is also blind as it lacks veracity by human means, and it is very doubtful at the end of all that to se SURE of G-d's existence}. This Faith legitimizes to a person the Torah's commands and with this he'll accept not just belief, but all the other 613 Mitzvos too.

Than there is the Mitzva of knowing Hashem. That means that one has the obligation to express his faith by following a command to become cognizant of Hashem. That means study and coming to understand- knowledge. Essentially this is Chochmah Binah and Daas.

Mimi said...

Thanks Reb Nemo!

Shlemel, hopefully you found Nemo's comment helpful.

wishes said...

Good ol' Nemo, knew you'd come up with something...
I'd put in my own two sense, but enough's been said.

When our tour guide took us to Tsfat, he told us "the best description of Tsfat I can give you is the way my Tsfati friend tells it; an angel was flying around with a sack of very special souls when suddenly the sack tore and half the souls fell out. There the city of Tsfat took form."

Nemo said...

Geez, I heard the same story but a different Nusach. Instead of souls in the bag there were lunatics.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mimi! It's Chanah. I finally get to check out your blog -
this is beautiful!!!!
Are you still in Tzfat?
Let's work real hard to reunite there, with the Rebbe, en route to Yerushalayim forever.