Embracing Limitation


5 comments posted
You nailed me.
With "embracing limitation," you sum up what I have been experiencing most in life lately.  At age 53, it is becoming more about my children than me.  It was really brought home this week as my wife and I went through the Joseph "novella" (as Everett Fox calls it) for the first time in years.  For the first time ever, I didn't relate strongly to Joseph. Instead, I related to Judah, a guy who botched things a lot, learned what it meant to lose children, and later stood up for his old man and his desire to keep Benjamin in the face of Pharaoh's henchman's demands.  Any grandeur for him would not come through saving the world but would come through his lineage long after he left the earth.  (And, of course, I'm not thinking strictly of my lineage. That sounds kind of grandiose, too.)

But it's a major reorientation for me.  I was surprised -- even frightened a bit -- by how I took to Judah this time instead of Joseph as the novella's "hero."  (And even Judah had a scary role model -- Tamar, a woman, who cared more about the lineage than about her reputation.)

A lovely and searching post.

Posted by Peter S. on April 28, 2011 10:02 PM
Hooray, Peter is Here

Peter, blogging again is worth it alone to evoke your comments!

We are definitely in mid-life. Last year I saw Romeo and Juliet and was not moved. A few weeks ago, on the other hand, I saw The Merchant of Venice and was deeply affected.

The deepest irony of this post is that by writing it at all, I'm defying its teaching. Blogging is ultimately an expansive, thoroughly creative, act which strives to push the boundaries back.

Posted by Shai Gluskin on April 28, 2011 11:02 PM
So happy.
Shai, I was thinking the same thing today: returning to blogging is worth it just to read your posts and comments. Dayenu!  I know it can't be forever and that we're both called away for months or maybe years at a time, but . . . 

And blogging is expansive!  It has caused me to grow intellectually, and that may lead to spiritual growth, but it essentially fights against the acknowledgements and ascetic impulses that also cause growth.  Our lungs expand and contract, and they're no worse for it, I guess. (I tend to fixate on one thing.  Thank God for my wife, who helps me keep it real, or at least keep it more real.)

I'll keep my eyes open for a Merchant of Venice production this summer!

Posted by Peter S. on April 29, 2011 6:03 AM
And, yeah, you may not have meant this the same way, but . . .
You know you have healed what is broken in Gevurah in Gevurah when you begin this day having efficiently returned your Passover items to their proper storage, labeling each box and taking notes for next year's provisioning --with joy.

And, yeah, any thoughtful putting away, any routine matter, is often a surrender for me, and in that sense a kind of worship.  God knows I usually hate to be orderly.  It's all about the inherent limitation in it.

Posted by Peter S. on April 28, 2011 10:07 PM
Maybe That Explains the Meaning of Rote Prayer

I like the idea of something so simple being an act of worship. And maybe the rote prayer that I can so easily criticize is truly a deep form of prayer.

Posted by Shai Gluskin on April 28, 2011 11:08 PM