Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Shavuot Potpourri

Not a real post, but I have school tomorrow (at last!) so scattered thoughts from over my Shavuot:

  • When speakers introduce a paradox into their philosophical lectures, how often do you think it's really a question of having a source that doesn't agree with their theses that they have to do something with?
  • My favorite Megillat Rut thought is still the one I read on during seminary: Rut and Job are actually pretty similar stories- a person who lost everything, who feels that G-d has turned against them. The difference? In Job, the victim spends some 40 very long-winded chapters pondering the reason for his tragedy, trying to dissect and analyze the workings of G-d. In Rut, humans take the tragedy and deal with it and get on with life- painfully, but resolutely, and most importantly with kindness. It's an oddly areligious book- there is nothing divine nor superanatural; instead, humans deal with tragedy by making the world a better place for other humans. Job ends with G-d coming down and basically saying that the whole discussion is pointless- humans cannot understand Him and there's really no point in trying. Rut ends with birth and hope for the former victims, leading to royalty and, of course, Mashiach.
  • So the above dvar torah has a really funny story attached to it. I was called upon to deliver it at 8 am Shavuot morning, without notice, after having stayed up all night, when we all really wanted to stumble back the 40 minute walk to seminary and sleep until havdala, but the seminary instead forced us all to come to a kiddush that a very sweet donor was throwing for the school, which was really very nice except that nobody could eat because of the aforementioned exhaustion. So anyway, I gave this dvar torah because it was the only one I knew and besides I really did like it, and after I finish one of the madrichot comes over and says, "Oh my gosh, that was so perfect. This family- their son died and they got really involved in tzdaka organizations." To which I said, "Oh" in a tone that I hope conveyed all of the my-freaking-goodness- are-you-kidding-me- why-didn't-somebody-blinking-tell-me- do-you-think-I-would-have-had-the-I-don't-know-what- to-actually-say-that- holy-mackeral-I-can't-look-at-them-blast-blast-blast feeling that it was intended to convey.
  • So I went to a wedding on Monday night and it was so very nice and my favorite bit was watching the chosson watch the kallah coming down the aisle with this wubbly little look on his face, and of course I had the girly moment of wanting there to be somebody who looked at me wubbly and then last night it occured to me- G-d looks at me wubbly. That's right, G-d- the one with the lightning and fire and rainbowness and inscrutibility and all manners of infinitude- He looks at me wubbly. And frankly, He thinks I'm adorable. (I know it's cliche, but addiction to nonconformity is itself a cliche)
  • Talmud is so funny when it's being ironic. It supports the general thesis that all really intelligent people have finely honed senses of ironic humor.
  • Did you know that there is a street called Rut in Katamon and the explanation line on it reads "Wife of Boaz, grandmother of David?"
  • Do you know who's a cool character? Yoav ben Tzruriah. Someday, I want to give a shiur on him. He keeps popping up here and there doing insane things and getting away with them.
  • I sometimes think that if I were not so painfully self-aware I could easily become a performer. You know the type- the one whose quirkiness dominates every conversation; who will do shtick at every wedding, regardless of talents or closeness to the principles; of whom it is constantly said "I love him, he's such a character"; who really doesn't mind when everyone is looking at them or wonder what's being thought behind the faces or worry that he looks like an idiot. It sounds like it would be wonderously refreshing, but perhaps from the inside it's completely different.


Miri said...

Yoav is insane. you should do a shiur on him.

anonym00kie said...

i love that rut/job distinction.. its so much harder to be a ruth than a job, and yet.. it seems so much more romantic/exciting/daring/dark/enviable/real to be a job than a ruth.. its all so topsy turvy