I almost didn’t make it to service on Shabbat because of the crazy rain and excessive flooding around this area, but due to a tiny miracle… it kind of stopped raining so hard and I made it, even though I was late. I’m glad I went because part of their summer services is giving a little lesson in between. They talked about Broadway musicals that have the Jewish undertone to the music due to the Jewish musicians/writers themselves. They played a little bit of the musical tune then what the tune was based off of in Yiddish. I was sitting there–practically in awe–because my favorites of favorites are actually songs based up on Jewish/Yiddish tunes. I haven’t studied that far in about music yet. But I have known for a while….that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to my love and recognition for the Jewish world. Wow. All I can say is wow.
With having said that, Friday’s service lesson actually inspired what book I was going to read next (instead of what I originally picked out). So, over the next few weeks, I’m going to be dropping some writing here from: The Mystery of Being Jewish. After the first chapter today, it lists 19 famous influential Jewish people. After I read a few of the chapters about the book, then I’ll talk about whatever comes to mind, so I’m going to treat and share it like one of my studies/personal lessons.
To get started… Tonight I read the first chapter which is titled “The Mystery of Being Jewish.” What a chapter to start with because I nearly want to type/comment on everything.
Sigmund Freud once said “Only to my Jewish nature did I owe the two qualities which had become indispensable to me on my hard road.” (1) Free to question all things & (2) Standing his ground in the face of all opposition.
“It is something inside the individual that makes him a Jew. Something infinitesimally small yet immeasurably large.” – said Franz Rosenzweig.
“We Jews are a community based on memory.” – Martin Buber. Memory meaning giving you shoulders to stand on that helps you see beyond your own personal view.
“They know that the key to life is learning and that the word lechayim ‘to life’ sometimes make their voices thicken with a strange unfathomable emotions. Jews look upon each newborn as a human filled with promise. In the Jewish way of thinking, no one comes into this world filled with sin. It seems only right to be more concerned with what happens in this world than the next. … they should help make this world a better place.”
Obviously, these are some of the things I have learned earlier on in my journey, but it’s always nice to be reminded. It’s always nice to be reminded of how things were before becoming Jewish… like my heart’s thoughts aligning with Judaism and the feelings I had after finding it out. And how I still want to burst into flames (good flames, if there’s…such a thing) and allow my soul to cry all at the same time.
The last paragraph…. ‘key to life is learning’… I have never wanted to stop learning. I remember freaking out when I stopped going to school, because it was like, how am I going to learn next? I was a very, very, very serious nerd. Still am, actually. When I fell in love with something I was learning, I would go beyond the normal, and go on that endless find of researching about the subject… that kept me busy for a while. Still happens often, actually. Learning is one of my inspirations….and probably the reason why I am interested in nearly almost everything. But back to the point.
I literally just said a Jew’s work is never done (on my other blog). We have to be the ones to learn, do the research, work, and teach. We should always question everything, and end on why, just so we can do more. For every question answered comes another. Learning about everything: how to do the things you do better, learning about the world around you, the future, the past, learning about what’s in your soul. It all enriches your soul…. so you can be better and being better (and happy) you can help others to do the same… then the world gets better because, well, patterns. But… not everyone has learned this secret concept.
“To life” — as I’ve been looking back in some of my old writings, I have found that “life” and “love” has often come up. In a lot of my paintings (especially the ones at my 3rd home) I have “life/love” on them. That was even before I became Jewish. It was already there, embedded deep within my soul. It has always been about living life to its fullest potential and loving as much as possible.
I may get flack for this one…but thank goodness in the Jewish way of thinking… because I have never believed in sin the way it is portrayed. How in the world can someone born from literal stardust carry so much negativity on their shoulders when they don’t even know a thing because–all that point–they just purely exist. They are a clean slate… until memory comes along, until G-d sets out their destiny when they are learning who they are… I also don’t believe in the whole concept of hell, even. I believe that once someone is done here, their souls go to one of the planets (why do you think they’re discovering life up there now?), and which planet? It depends on how much work the soul needs. Once the work is done, they are born into another body, and placed back on this earth to live out their karmic duties. Hence, my thoughts per the reasoning of reincarnation. If your soul gets recycled enough, you will begin to remember other times of being here. I have actually always believed I was one of the souls lost in the Holocaust. I don’t know who or where or what age or anything, but it is the way I see how my soul was Jewish but I was born into a gentile family. Apparently, due to finding out what I’m finding out and experiencing what I’ve experienced, it was a part of my own karmic journey to learn what I did to become who I am now: Ahava.
Being Jewish, talking about being Jewish, reading about it, and my moments of how I keep finding out about how I’ve always loved the Jewish world…. it really truly does set my soul on fire. In a good way. Like, so much. So very much.
Enough writing for today. My hands are going to fall off. Until the next chapter.
Karen Maeby (Ahava)