Our mailing address: P.O. Box 5086, West Hills, CA 91307 Telephone: (818) 658-1800 Email: makomohrshalominfo@gmail.com
BLOG WITH RABBI JUDIAHAVAH

Look!

March 12, 2021 The Source of Life gives directions to us to build a place for that Source to dwell and commune with us. Moses tells the people a certain artist is chosen to oversee the task: "Look, God has chosen Bezalel"… Re’u, Look… (35:30) Why say "Look?" Why not simply say "God chose Bezalel"? The Ishbitzer Rebbe, R. Mordechai Leiner taught that the word re’u, see, when used in the Torah, is a keyword that means to look beyond the superficial appearance of things. It tells us to discern some deeper meaning. In Gematria, the system of numerical value for each Hebrew letter, the word re’u has the same value as the word “raz”, secret. So, what is the secret Torah is pointing us towards? Let’s go to the very next line of our Torah reading. It says God filled this man Bezalel with the spirit of God- in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge. What could the word "see" in that first line, have to do with wisdom, understanding and knowledge? The Ishbitzer Rebbe lived during the 19th century. It was an amazing time of rapid growth in science. Two centuries earlier, the 17th century brought Galileo’s and Newton’s ideas to the scene, the 18th century continued to build on these ideas during enlightenment. And with the influence of the Enlightenment, many different schools of philosophic thought emerged. In the early 20th century, Franz Rosenzweig entered onto the scene. He was a Jew, although he did not always want to be a Jew (Perhaps you might relate? Clearly that was before you had the powerful Makom Ohr Shalom spiritual experience!) Rosenzweig was a philosopher, yet he warned against too much philosophy. He warned against the temptation to substitute the study of things and the labeling of things for the actual essence of them. In one of his books, he spent pages addressing how we could decide what butter is in a philosophical sense. Eventually, he warned, we would end up losing touch with the very essence of the butter! He argued that philosophizing too much can "stagnate” the stream of life. We can do the same with religious ideas. Very often, ironically, in trying to name God, we can lose the very essence of God. Rosenzweig believed the desire to name God through philosophical reasoning stemmed from fear. Fear of what? Think about what you're most afraid of…….. besides taxes, moving, public speaking... Ultimately, thought Rosenzweig, philosophy is an attempt to elude the fear of death. The end of life is the ultimate thing many of us fear because it is something we have no control over. What is most ironic is that Rosenzweig himself seemed to live life fearlessly: He developed ALS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Lou Gehrig’s disease. Even with the disease, he continued to write with the help and patience of his wife who developed a system with him. Brilliant and brave ideas came from this man, who did not lose his sense of wonder. Think of Steven Hawking, also affected by ALS, one of the most brilliant physicists, who also had a grand sense of wonder. Both believed God is a given. According to Rosenzweig, life is about a real relationship between God and people; life is not only theorizing about God so we can appease our fears. It is so much more than that. Indeed, it is of great value to study and theorize the Why and How of the universe. Yet, at some point we have to take a leap of faith, according to Rosenzweig, otherwise we miss seeing what truly is. Many of you are familiar with Lake Balboa. A beautiful place. One day, years ago while studying in rabbinical school, I took my books to Lake Balboa. Focused on learning, wanting to see what these books had to tell me, I became very absorbed. A friend called, and I welcomed the break. As we talked, my friend remarked at how amazing the birds sounded. I was so caught up in my studies I hadn't even noticed! I looked up to see all the birds around me- many in a beautiful blossoming tree which I had parked myself under. I had not noticed the tree either! There studying Torah, the spiritual compass from The Blessed Holy One, I was first oblivious to the birds and blossoms, yet then I was finally able to "look" as Torah compels us to. Re’u! I could have looked around and instead I focused on the reclaimed water that is used to fill the lake. I could have used the intellect of the mind to remember that we live in an extremely dry climate. Those are important pieces of information, are they not? No one would want to drink the water at the lake. It might remind us to conserve water. Yet if I got caught only in the why and how of the experience, I would have lost something. As I sat facing the blossoming tree and the manmade lake, with the red winged black birds, geese, ducks, starlings and a variety of others, I realized the importance of not getting stuck in the analysis of why and how. Sometimes it’s important to look and simply experience the wonder around us. Re’u! Look! Look for the hidden and the miraculous. That is how we build a dwelling place for the Blessing Holy One. Remember not to get too caught in the analysis - Just enjoy the wonder! B'shalom, JudiAhavah
Blogging Posts May 13, 2022 - Facing What Challenges Our Serenity March 12, 2021 - Look March 5, 2022 - Prayer for Ukraine September 6, 2021- Your Holy of Holies Erev Rosh HaShanah
Our mailing address: P.O. Box 5086, West Hills, CA 91307 Telephone: (818) 658-1800 Email: makomohrshalominfo@gmail.com
BLOG WITH RABBI JUDIAHAVAH
Rabbi JudiAhavah DelBourgo
Blogging Posts May 13, 2022 - Facing What Challenges Our Serenity March 12, 2021 - Look March 5, 2022 - Prayer for Ukraine September 6, 2021- Your Holy of Holies Erev Rosh HaShanah

Look!

March 12, 2021 The Source of Life gives directions to us to build a place for that Source to dwell and commune with us. Moses tells the people a certain artist is chosen to oversee the task: "Look, God has chosen Bezalel"… Re’u, Look… (35:30) Why say "Look?" Why not simply say "God chose Bezalel"? The Ishbitzer Rebbe, R. Mordechai Leiner taught that the word re’u, see, when used in the Torah, is a keyword that means to look beyond the superficial appearance of things. It tells us to discern some deeper meaning. In Gematria, the system of numerical value for each Hebrew letter, the word re’u has the same value as the word “raz”, secret. So, what is the secret Torah is pointing us towards? Let’s go to the very next line of our Torah reading. It says God filled this man Bezalel with the spirit of God- in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge. What could the word "see" in that first line, have to do with wisdom, understanding and knowledge? The Ishbitzer Rebbe lived during the 19th century. It was an amazing time of rapid growth in science. Two centuries earlier, the 17th century brought Galileo’s and Newton’s ideas to the scene, the 18th century continued to build on these ideas during enlightenment. And with the influence of the Enlightenment, many different schools of philosophic thought emerged. In the early 20th century, Franz Rosenzweig entered onto the scene. He was a Jew, although he did not always want to be a Jew (Perhaps you might relate? Clearly that was before you had the powerful Makom Ohr Shalom spiritual experience!) Rosenzweig was a philosopher, yet he warned against too much philosophy. He warned against the temptation to substitute the study of things and the labeling of things for the actual essence of them. In one of his books, he spent pages addressing how we could decide what butter is in a philosophical sense. Eventually, he warned, we would end up losing touch with the very essence of the butter! He argued that philosophizing too much can "stagnate” the stream of life. We can do the same with religious ideas. Very often, ironically, in trying to name God, we can lose the very essence of God. Rosenzweig believed the desire to name God through philosophical reasoning stemmed from fear. Fear of what? Think about what you're most afraid of…….. besides taxes, moving, public speaking... Ultimately, thought Rosenzweig, philosophy is an attempt to elude the fear of death. The end of life is the ultimate thing many of us fear because it is something we have no control over. What is most ironic is that Rosenzweig himself seemed to live life fearlessly: He developed ALS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Lou Gehrig’s disease. Even with the disease, he continued to write with the help and patience of his wife who developed a system with him. Brilliant and brave ideas came from this man, who did not lose his sense of wonder. Think of Steven Hawking, also affected by ALS, one of the most brilliant physicists, who also had a grand sense of wonder. Both believed God is a given. According to Rosenzweig, life is about a real relationship between God and people; life is not only theorizing about God so we can appease our fears. It is so much more than that. Indeed, it is of great value to study and theorize the Why and How of the universe. Yet, at some point we have to take a leap of faith, according to Rosenzweig, otherwise we miss seeing what truly is. Many of you are familiar with Lake Balboa. A beautiful place. One day, years ago while studying in rabbinical school, I took my books to Lake Balboa. Focused on learning, wanting to see what these books had to tell me, I became very absorbed. A friend called, and I welcomed the break. As we talked, my friend remarked at how amazing the birds sounded. I was so caught up in my studies I hadn't even noticed! I looked up to see all the birds around me- many in a beautiful blossoming tree which I had parked myself under. I had not noticed the tree either! There studying Torah, the spiritual compass from The Blessed Holy One, I was first oblivious to the birds and blossoms, yet then I was finally able to "look" as Torah compels us to. Re’u! I could have looked around and instead I focused on the reclaimed water that is used to fill the lake. I could have used the intellect of the mind to remember that we live in an extremely dry climate. Those are important pieces of information, are they not? No one would want to drink the water at the lake. It might remind us to conserve water. Yet if I got caught only in the why and how of the experience, I would have lost something. As I sat facing the blossoming tree and the manmade lake, with the red winged black birds, geese, ducks, starlings and a variety of others, I realized the importance of not getting stuck in the analysis of why and how. Sometimes it’s important to look and simply experience the wonder around us. Re’u! Look! Look for the hidden and the miraculous. That is how we build a dwelling place for the Blessing Holy One. Remember not to get too caught in the analysis - Just enjoy the wonder! B'shalom, JudiAhavah