The Passion of the Torah and Sukkot


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first of all .... happy new year may it be filled with the passion for living and new insights and knowledge of the beautiful Torah ....

A small gift to open the new year .... reference to Sukkot Recipes - with a Pacific Rim twist check out Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Chinese Five-Spice Chicken, Garlic Spinach, and French Apple Tart (this ones looks great but doesn't seem to o'pacific rim') .... enjoy ....

the passion of the Torah .... I've been thinking about this for some time and it all started with an introduction to the Song of Songs which I first read about in an article by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz who said "The Song of Songs has always been understood in Jewish literature as a mystical song. It tells a story up to a point, but it has always been understood that the Song serves mostly as metaphors on two, three, or even four levels. The Song is multidimensional, like a chain with many rings connected with each other."

I now have several books on The Song of Songs .... all exquisite and beautiful and powerful and passionate in the description of the Torah .... and it seems to me that this is the way to approach learning the Torah with great passion .... (and p.s. great passion does cause the brain to process more dopamine .... so gang, I'm still hooked on the brain but only as a way to open new doors into understanding this powerful work on how to live one's life) ....

As I was thinking about this I saw another reference to a new book (haven't read it, so I can't say for sure what it includes .... but the title is exciting) "The Wholeness of Sukkot" by Rabbi David Aaron - "Sukkot teaches us how to experience the world to come through physical pleasure in this world" ....

I'm going to end this post not with a question, but with two portions of poems from different sources that speak to passion as a way to understand the spiritual ....

The Song of Songs

"I sleep but my heart is awake
I hear my beloved knocking.
Open to me my sister, my love,
My above, my perfect one ...."

and she responds

"I have taken off my tunic,
am I to put it on again?
I have washed my feet,
am I to dirty them again?

"At last trembling to the core of her
being, she opens the door ....

"I open to my beloved,
but he had turned his back and was gone!
My soul failed at his flight.
I sought him but I did not find him,
I called to him but he did not answer."

(now remember as you read the above words that the Torah can only be seen beneath the outer garments of the words and stories .... this is the essence of the passion of the Torah in my view)

A poem by Rumi #11

"This is love: to fly toward a secret sky,
to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.
First, to let go of life.
In the end, to take a step without feet;
to regard this world as invisible,
and to disregard what appears to be the self.
Heart, I said, what a gift it has been
to enter this circle of lovers,
to see beyond seeing itself,
to reach and feel within the breast."

(This is also a poem about passion and the circle of lovers and how to understand the spirit and to reach God)

So I start a New Year and a new reading of the Torah with a new passion for learning and living .... he hawai'i au, poh
mahalo nui dear dauer .... I have checked out her site and have sent her a note via e-mail .... I remember reading before that Rabbi Akiva said that "Had the Torah not been given, we could live our lives by the Song of Songs" and I really like her thought that "When Love flows freely between us and that Great Mystery, the whole world is watered and nourished" and I love her thoughts on the commandments of Shir HaShirim expecially number 4 "Thou shalt truly experienc pleasure and surrender to the intoxication of Love, occasionally losing 'control'." Thank you for showing me this reference.

There was some research on what happens in the brains of Tibetian Monks when they meditate .... I would bet that you would see similar results in the brain in the rocking motion of deep prayer, it would put one in a sort of trance state ...maybe even the rocking of babies to calm them .... aloha nui, poh