Friday, June 06, 2008

Let's get real, Mimi (Shavuos 5758)

(See me?)

To say that my soul was present at the giving of the Torah is a preposterous claim. It’s a really nice-sounding idea, certainly poetic.

But let’s get real. Doesn’t it just sound like something said to soothe a nation that feels distant from the most pivotal and defining moment of our nation?

It’s like saying, “Oh, don’t worry, you were there, too.”

I guess I just don’t see the relevance. Why is this remotely important? Surely I can believe in and relate to something that occurred without having to think that my soul was there. I mean, that’s what every other story is like, no?

Apparently, understanding that my soul experienced the giving of the Torah is supposed to have an affect on my daily life. I never allow myself to be antagonistic or skeptical for too long. So, I'm trying to look deeper. To see what this all means. To me.

--- --- ---

There really is no denying that every now and then, my body is home to a soul that experienced something grand.

Even just acknowledging that is somewhat painful. It’s like there’s something…


[ Sigh ]

It’s like there’s something truer than the air I breathe but I just can’t grasp it.

Yes, it’s like a …like a distant memory.

My soul is constantly telling me that it has experienced something huge and momentous and defining and true. And my whole life, and more and more recently, I am trying to hear it out. There’s no denying that my soul has been through something that I need to catch up with. I am lucky to hear its whispers every now and then. It’s my soul’s voice that tells me, “Mimi, you’ve seen more. You know more. You can be more.”

If I were to accept that my soul was at Har Sinai, it would explain a lot.

It would explain all those moments that no one knows about, those moments where I cry because I want to get back to where things were, to the way things should be. Those moments when someone says something so true, and my body becomes a cave, hiding a tornado of yearnings ready to take flight…but often never do. It would explain all those times that I feel a giant flutter and I am put in a tight space – forced to respond. It’s like something inside of me is set afire and I’m like, “Oh, gosh, what am I going to do with this soul of mine? Whatever will I do?”

Even just thinking about it now, it’s becoming clear. My whole life, my soul has been telling me, “Mimi, you were there. Truuuuuuust me.”

And for the most part, I have. Various decisions on a winding path have led me to pursue truths that I, deep down, consider to be most aligned with what my soul might have experienced thousand of years ago, at the foot of a humble mountain.

So, I can’t keep denying the facts. My inability to wholeheartedly believe that my soul was at Har Sinai is really just proof that my soul and I need serious relationship counseling.

If my soul saw the giving of the Torah, I really give it credit. Living in my body, it’s confronted 22 years of what must be terrible toil, persecution and unbearable numbness. And through it all, it still always comes up for air, kicking and pounding and screaming and saying, “Mimi, please look at me. Let me tell you what I saw.”

And as hard as it may be to catch up, I take solace in knowing that my soul lives to have unity with me. And I want to try harder. I really do. I can’t keep victimizing my soul. She deserves better.

So, yes, let’s get real, Mimi.

This Shavuos, I thank my soul for showing up 3,320 years ago. I’m really happy it was there. Because if it wasn’t, who knows where I’d be. This Shavuos, I ask Hashem to help me respond to the voice inside. To help all my senses understand and become one with the voice within that, thousands of years ago, said “I will do, and I will listen”

Past Shavuos Posts

The Times and the Siddur

Bringing it in


Itzhak Schier said...

I will do, and I will listen...

writing fast here...yes you have done and you are doing and you will do and it is this doing that is creating the messages you are listening to as well as creating the vessel to hear them.

yasher koiach - gut Shabbos - will write more I am sure after Shabbos!

Chana said...

Really really good post. Wow, you definitely gave me something to think about this Shavuos - thank you!

ashirah said...

i always enjoy the way you capture the way my soul feels in your words, mimi. i'll be reading a post, and just go "ahh! that's exactly how it is!"

nahama said...

"...those moments where I cry because I want to get back to where things were, to the way things should be."

like a listening-to-karduner-moment.
(was that too personal?)

22 years of soul torture...
mimi, you are perfectly morbid.
that's like a heaven horror film.

oh boy oh boy oh boy

beautifully expressed (as usual)

happy kabalas hatorah (again)

ChayAiz said...

i gree with ashira and nehama