By way of preface:
The "Jewish Spirituality" mailing list is an outgrowth of several conversations in which people told me that they felt "alone" in their quest to develop their relationship with Gd. I knew they weren't alone, just from my own interactions with other people, and so I extended an invitation to the Jewish community of Rhode Island to join in a weekly mailing list exploring issues within their relationship with HaShem.
Many of the messages posted on the list reflect people's personal struggles and sensitivities. As a result, some of the people who post remarks on this list opt to do so anonymously; they send me the e-mail, and I drop their names. The list is "blind cc'd," as well, so that no one knows who else is on the list. Our goal is that the members of this list should draw strength and inspiration from the words of their peers, and thereby continue to develop as Jews.
If you would like to join the list, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jewish Spirituality - Volume 12
The well of posts for our list seems to have dried up a bit, and I suppose there are a few reasons for this:
a. Certain frequent posters are out of town,
As such, I think I'll go back to an approach I had planned to use at the start - I'll post a source on the topic of drawing closer to HaShem and developing oneself on a spiritual level. If people wish (and I hope they will), they may send comments in, anonymously or nonymously; I will print them in the following week's edition, together with a new passage for thought.
b. The questions which have been asked on this list are good questions, and people do not feel confident responding,
c. People are busy.
Here is this week's passage:
Source: "Tzidkas haTzaddik," originally published in 1902
Author: Rav Tzaddok haKohen of Lublin
[These are the first 5 of his 13 guidelines for life. All of them draw on Talmudic texts, sometimes via a non-literal reading. There is more to these statements than meets the eye.]
1. Do not depend on thought alone; it is good to produce one's thoughts verbally. As far as thought, one may eventually change one's mind, but one cannot retract speech.
2. A person's root may be recognized when one sees where he flees in a time of danger. If a person flees to Torah, it is known that his root is in Torah, even if his life does not appear thus.
3. Changing one's location alters one's Mazal. Adding space to one's venue by removing surrounding walls is considered "changing one's location," but reducing space by adding walls is not considered "changing one's location."
4. All diseases and forms of death are within a person's control, for any disease results from lack of care regarding choice of food, or similar probloems. This does not apply to being consumed by a lion, bitten by a snake, having a house collapse, or being beset by thieves and armed bandits. Those take a person by force.
5. One should not fear a holy entity; one should fear the One who warned him to be careful with it. The same is true in dealing with a holy person or a Torah scholar.
Have a good Shabbos,
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