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...

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