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February 07, 2017


What a great reaction, all the way around.

I, too, like Servetus's point, though I don't know anything about the theology of it. It seems like a reasonable approach.

I especially like that you told your students!

Happy for you! That's the way to go, not to give up, demonstrating how to be a great learner and a great teacher!

Wow, I'm glad the comment was helpful (and that your rabbi agreed, lol). And I'm glad you'll be fulfilling the mitzvah again in the future -- it's a hard one, and just think of all of the people who never do it. You really are improving the world, even if it seems like a struggle, and sharing it with your students makes it even better. Yasher koach!

To expand a little on my statement: the point in Judaism is always that you fulfill the commandment; fulfilling the commandment repairs the universe (tikkun olam). [To oversimplify drastically, this debate -- what is more important? intent to fulfill or fulfillment? how you feel about the law or simply that you follow it? -- is a lot of what Jesus is commenting on in the Gospels when he and the disciples demonstratively break the commandments and he talks about it -- his position as represented in the Gospels as opposing the rabbinic Judaism of his time is that simply following the letter of the law is insufficient or even counterproductive / silly if you don't perceive and execute the spirit behind the commandment as well. In the Gospels this debate is presented as a dichotomy, although it wasn't that way within Judaism, even at that time. The commentaries on Talmud all make clear that intent to fulfill / feeling / "kavannah" are important, too. And this debate continued: if you look at what Maimonides' hierarchy of charity: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/45907/jewish/Eight-Levels-of-Charity.htm you see two things -- that certain kinds of intended charity are more praiseworthy, but also that even the kinds of charity that are lowest on his ladder, like giving unwillingly, still count as charity.)

There's also that wonderful statement in Pirkei Avot about how you don't have to finish the work, you just have to keep doing it.

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Who is this What Now?

  • I'm an English teacher at Fabulous Girls' School (FGS). I'm a convert to Judaism. I am partner to D. We live in an adorable, messy little house in Adventure City. Two cats -- the Muse and the Contemplative -- live with us and keep life at home plenty adventurous.

    Email me at whatnowblogger at yahoo dot com.

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