Thursday, January 30, 2014

Parshat Terumah, (Exodus 26:31-26:37)-1/30/2014

I read today's parshah and though I would have nothing more to say about the details of the Tabernacle. So I started reading more about the parshah and came upon something that really peaked my interest: the fact you can create makes your freedom concrete.

Wow! Earlier today I was reading about Hitler's Degenerative Art Exhibit. He thought that by showing the work with paid actors denouncing it, people would realize how degenerative it was. Instead, the show was a big hit, attracting twice the number of people as the "proper art" exhibit.

The degenerative artists, losing their freedom, scattered from Germany and spread their art throughout the free world.

I've been very fortunate to have so much freedom in my life and work. In the classroom I was never told what to teach. Someone would look into my classes every few years, and that was it. I was always free to make the art I wanted to make, though sometimes I was criticized for it. But never was I told I couldn't do it ... just that some places wouldn't show it.

How great that the Hebrews could make "concrete" their relationship to G_d and their freedom. And I love that one place in the Tabernacle was "the holiest of holy." I had mentioned in an earlier post that I had stuck some chairs under an Buddhist alter and was scolded. I like to think of a continuum of holies, from the sacred Earth to a place that only a priest can go to ... and then only once a year on the day of Atonement.

A friend asked, "how it is possible to merge or explain the Torah thru the Buddhist teaching." I'm finding many more similaries rather than differences between these two paths. They both are ethical systems, and they seem to vary in very minor ways. Jews say don't murder and Buddhists say don't kill. My friend asked if God created everything did he create Buddha? Logically this would seem that it is so. I think the real difference between my friend and me is that he believes in a God as a separate being able to build and destroy, while I think of G_d as the whole kit and caboodle. Buddha is not a G-d, but a smart man. And then again, maybe the Buddhas, the Einsteins, the Picassos are my gods. I certainly put them all on pedestals. They certainly taught us who we are and the nature of our world.

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