Thursday, June 6, 2019

Shavuot and Public Safety

All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.
1) Let's do a #BibleStudyCoffeeTime about Shavuos.
This is based on what me and Andy learned at Chabad last night.
2) The speaker was Rabbi Chaim Slavaticki of Las Olas Chabad Jewish Center. The event was "Pizza and Kabbalah." I would have Periscoped it or Facebook Live-d it but it wasn't appropriate, we were sitting around a large open dinner table and I can't be that weird.
3) Shavuos begins after Sabbath this year, on the nighttime of June 8. We celebrate the giving of the Torah. 
4) I wanted to tie in the rabbi's talk with a plea to everyone to please respect and promote a safety culture in America including the safety of those we vehemently disagree with. It was distressing to see this article about @RepRashida crying in fear. 
7) Recall previously I deleted my content on the subject of Isaac Kappy for a similar reason of public safety. I believe strongly that we the living have to help ourselves to stay alive and healthy and not drag each other down into the pit of death.
8) These calls for public safety relate to the rabbi's talk about Shavuos, which was essentially about how God tells us not to live, act or legislate in anger. 
9) The opposite of anger is kindness. 

We are supposed to be principally kind. Even when we have to do tough things, we shouldn't be angry. 

Kindness ("chesed") is represented by dairy food, the kind of food we eat on Shavuot, -- classically, cheesecake. 
10) Let's walk anger back a bit. From the point of view of being a balanced person, you can be strong (and say no, and act in ways that seem harsh at times) -- without being angry. Meat represents this characteristic, Gevurah (strength). 
11) According to halacha (Jewish law) we can eat cheese, and then meat, right away (not together). But if we eat meat first, we are supposed to wait 6 hours before eating dairy.

I never understood this, and so I stopped observing the time interval.
12) The principle at work is that "the bottom controls the top," meaning that if you have meat present in your digestive system, it dominates your psyche and character. It takes meat 6 hours to clear out.

Symbolically when you're angry, you need to take a break before acting. 
13) For those of you saying that @RepRashida is faking the tears, I'm willing to guarantee you that she isn't faking the death threats. The point is that the public needs to stop making death threats, not that we need to believe her tears.
13) If you have milk present in your system, it dominates whatever other meat-based food you might eat afterward, by the same principle. It's ok to have kindness dominate strength. That's what we want.
14) We don't eat meat and milk together for a different reason, because we don't cook a kid in it's mother's milk, and that's about sheer cruelty.
15) In any case, how does this relate to the giving of the Torah?

Well, the Torah is law. According to Jewish law we don't legislate in anger. 

For example, a parent is not allowed to discipline a child when angry.

You can ground them later. 
16) “Somehow” I got kicked off the WiFi before I could tell you the rest!
17) Kabbalistically the meat-milk-digestion discussion is far deeper.
18) What is below dominates the above.
19) The lower world dominates the upper world.
20) When you are cruel, this stirs a reaction from above of cruelty and the world becomes more cruel.
21) When you are giving, this too stirs a reaction from above and the world experiences prosperity.
22) Kabbalah tells us that the angels argued with God to keep the Torah upstairs. Because people would abuse it.
23) The angels are one trick ponies, they are all about holiness.
24) They genuinely didn’t understand why God would debase the Torah by commanding it to people.
25) God had to explain to them that giving the Torah to people, who are so totally messed up so much of the time, is the entire point.
26) When we elevate the lower - the physical world - it creates healing here, which reverberates above and gets us closer to the final redemption.
27) Now I am amplifying a bit.
28) The Sabbatean movement of the 1600s was about doing the opposite. Turning people so evil that God would be “forced” to send Messiah to stop the destruction.
29) I don’t want to go into all sorts of tangents but we could think about how the Sabbatean movement and its offshoots tries to stop the lower world from creating perfection above. 

One example would be endless war. The military industrial complex.
30) To bring this to a close I wanted to reiterate that Torah is not about legislating in anger. And this is why anytime you see someone yelling and screaming, a fundamentalist lunatic, they aren’t authentic.
31) And this is also why political parties although convenient and perhaps strategic for now, are no longer really useful for moving us forward as a nation.
32) Neither are false notions about economics.
33) The prosperity we create has to be the prosperity we share to bring the redemption for all of us, without war.

Big thoughts that require a lot more elaboration than is possible now.

Have an amazing day.

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