This was fun.
Last Tuesday we finished a three week study on the question:
"Is Torah the Revealed Word of God?"
I enjoy discussions like these. It's much easier here than it was in Brooklyn. There are interested, interesting people in the class and we've come to discover (AND everyone is willing to share.)
We had the opportunity to look into diverse opinions - so, everyone was ultimately encouraged to think and have their own opinion.
In the past i have been in situations where the discussion was so passionate it became frightening. Once i was actually afraid someone might be thrown out a window - although it was more the emotional climate of the room and not the actuality of the situation - it just FELT super intense. Under those circumstances - thought exploration and free thinking are NOT encouraged. I guess that's why i enjoy these classes so much. We learn about a wide variety of opinion - and think for ourselves.
Back to our class.
The very end of the third day we got to consider differing ideas by discussing the question:
"Is it alright to drive our car to services on the Sabbath?"
We were asked to work in teams, every team was given readings covering one perspective. My team got "Orthodox." After we read the assignment we huddled together and what was rapidly decided was . . (yikes!) . . I was to be our spokesperson.
I know, i know - I present for a living so what's the big deal, right? Except, the school i attended a few years ago considered me the outsider . . . (does every group have one? What's up with that, do you think?) I've become a little anxious - since i have such a right brain and inclusive attitude . . . . hmmmm
STILL - this time it was fun.
We learned (in this case) it is NOT okay to drive our car on the Sabbath (Shabbat to us.)
It is also not okay to ride a donkey - BUT - driving a car is even more not okay.
So - there's spark and combustion - the thing about fire" - See, there is a list of actions we should not participate in - because we are supposed to rest. (It's supposed to be a good thing, a gift to humanity, actually) - These are things we did when building the Tabernacle so the Holy One had a tent among us. We lit and put out fires . . SO, on a day of rest, we should not light or extinguish fires (because we get to rest . . . ) We light candles right before the Sabbath - and we light candles right after . . but, during - we rest (like the Holy One rested.)
Then, when someone says - "I moved and it's too far to walk."
The response would be "You are the one who moved so far away. Walk, or stay home, OR move to a place where you will find new community."
Then someone might ask, "what if I've gone on vacation?" Then, the response would be, stay where you are and remember the Holy One Rested.
BUT - it is NOT okay to drive the car.
Other teams (with their different assignments) had other answers - and, my community?
Our parking lot is ALWAYS FULL.
Okay, okay - no matter what you believe about the primary question - and/or what you do about driving - let me give a personal insight, so you won't worry or think you have to change you current behavior -
the Holy One did not mention Motor Vehicles from Sinai. (I bet you knew that,)
It was a fun learning time.
Love & Love to You,