Thursday, April 23, 2009

A simple question

Eich lishaeyr ben adam bechol habalagan hazeh?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bereishit bara Elokim...the G?d of creation

Its amazing how relatively early on in their lives people produce work that echoes the themes they will keep on prescient these works are, how the non-time bound essence already works through the adolescent body. Here are three works by three friends of mine, all pure and beautiful souls who have all gone on to achieve and be greatness in their own way, and who have all fulfilled their original promise. All of them were created at around age 15 or 16, at the time of the great flowering.

The image above is by Porat Jacobson, a talented artist who has long walked his own path with courage, dignity, and sensitivity. As teenagers he rode to me on his bike and expose me for the first time to the study of mishna. He had a seminal influence on my life. On the surface we haven't spoken to each other for years but in my heart I love him.

The next piece is by Adrian Perkel, now one of the most respected therapists in South Africa. This early sample of his writing taken from the King David School Magazine of 1979 again seems to echo in so many ways the twists and turns of his subsequent journey. To make the image large enough to read, simply click on it.

The third item is a delicate sketch by, I believe Sharmaine Krengel, who is now called Shimona Tzukernik. You can visit her webpage on

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Returning to the path

In the post war western diaspora, some people have lost the way; as they have become more affluent they have spent their money on displaying that affluence, with unecessarily elaborate houses and cars, with ostentatious bar-mitzvah clebrations; with a linking of self-esteem to the "right" things instead of a much more fundamental empowering of self as valuable with or without; worse still we have all been complicit in admiring and venerating community members who are capable of mounting the biggest displays of ostentation or who have accumulated the greates financial worth; and as such we have departed from a fundamental precept as outlined by one of the Hebrew prophets:

Micah 6:8 "....and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love loving mercy, and to walk modestly with your God? The Hebrew is "lehatzniah lechet, which means to hide, to be discreet, to not flaunt what you have. Although the phrase does not directly imply how much one may have - the two earlier phrases - to do justice and to love mercy - imply that the accumulation of resources that is not for the aim of being of service to life may not see ultimate blessing; but certainly when we see the supposed symbols of success - the unecessarily large 4 X 4's, the ocean cruises etc etc.....we should recall that these successes may be built upon multiple small acts of selfishness and self interest (where the self is understood very narrowly) and not be overly impressed by them...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Anxiety 3:30am

At 3:30 am in the morning I wake up
sweating and regretting
a 45 year old who'se supposed to be a man
and have it all handled
a week of zoloft has made me dizzy and light headed
what will become of us
what will become of me?
I make myself a snack of olives and feta and salsa on matzah
(its Pesach), and read a book to calm myself and take my
thoughts away from the anxiety
until my eyes grow heavy and I can crawl back into my womb bed
how many others are there out there like me
suffering in private and plodding on in public
how can we imagine a different life for ourself?

(and yet I've done well....)

sometimes people seem so self sufficient
so wrapped up in their lives
their familes
I rarely felt complete unto myself
always searching for other molecules to connect to
in commune like structures
and this instability
is not allayed by "having"my own family
where is strength and how do I get into relationship with it?
how can I stop gazing at lit windows
as if only those who move behind them have warmth and life

how to resist commodification
when even resistance is commodified
and commodifies?