© 2019 Drew T. Noll

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Plugged In


Did you ever wonder whether or not there was an intrinsic interconnection between everything in the perceived universe, like ripples in a pond rolling out across the surface of existence that cause everything and everyone to bob and roll in time with them? We keep hearing about how we need to ‘go green’ for instance. ‘Our environment can’t take much more of this abuse,’ the scientists tell us. The politicians also seem to be getting on board with this agenda, if only to collect votes in the upcoming election, but this is a good thing, right? I guess that when I really think about how much impact I have on the world, I can’t get away from the idea that, no matter how much I try, I will always be leaving my boot prints strafed across the landscape in my wake. It all seems to be a matter of how fast I run, while attempting to put distance between my footsteps and me. The problem is that the faster I go, the more dirt flies, so I start to invent ways to preventively cover them up. I pass regulations and legal acts to circumvent the damage that my existence, an apparent cancerous growth, is afflicting upon this pristine universe — the place that I call home.

I think that this might be a little bit bass-ackwards… I mean, what if the Universe was created for a reason? What if it was up to me to learn how to ride those ripples, instead of damming them up or ignoring them completely? What if it was up to me to take responsibility for creating those ripples in the first place, even mastering how those ripples intersect with the ripples of others and understanding, ultimately, where those ripples came from in the first place, understanding the real me? If I could operate on that level, I think that I would really ‘be,’ I would be, in essence, plugged in...

Think about a seed, for instance. In English, the word ‘seed’ has the meaning ‘potential of life.’ In Hebrew, Zarrah (זרע), the meaning is similar, but incorporates much more. It is not only the potential for life, but encapsulates death as well. Think about it. Before a seed can sprout into life, it needs to become essentially nothing. It needs to disintegrate completely and after that process of decomposition occurs, at the exact moment of annihilation, life begins. I was referring to the seed of a tree, but this can also be understood in reference to a seed before it fertilizes an egg, an egg that destroys itself while dividing into cells, and again and again. A fertilized egg is considered a potential life, not a life, until the life that emanates from it crowns and a section can be seen with the naked eye about the size of an olive. That is the moment that the actual ‘life’ enters the finite world, our world, and becomes part of the human race, with all its laws and moral obligations. Before that, there are a different set of moral obligations that govern our behavior towards this potential life. This is a big debate (you know Pro-life and Pro-choice) in the States, (when does a life begin?) but getting off subject... The idea is that understanding this process, the process of life and death, is all about learning to ride those ripples across the pond.

Something I read in a lesson on this week’s parsha, Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10), started me thinking about this idea. Essentially, Moses was referred to as ‘You’ in this parsha, unlike any other time Moses is mentioned. His name was simply erased. Ultimately, there is a lot of knowledge and deep understanding about how all of our actions in this world have an absolute effect on us and the world around us, but it is way to complex for me to give over here.

I will say, though, that the Zohar brings down that when the Torah states in Exodus 32:32, (Moses says) “Now, if you would, please forgive their sin (the golden calf deal). If not, ‘You’ (Hashem) can blot me out from the book that ‘You’ (Hashem again) have written.” Why is the name ‘Moses’ used every other time and why was he erased from this chapter? That is what I am going to leave you hanging on, so that you can look it up for yourselves...

Here is a link to get you started: The Missing Moses

Now get busy plugging in and Shabbat Shalom!

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