#BlogElul 22: Dare

Our theories will go awry, will all throw dust into our eyes, unless we dare to confront not only the world but the soul as well, and begin to be amazed at our lack of amazement in being alive, at our taking life for granted.  Heschel, Abraham Joshua (1976-06-01). Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion (Kindle Locations 2307-2309). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition.

Do we dare to put the same amount of time, effort, and passion into cultivating our sense of wonder that we do into seeking a solid handle by which we can manipulate our physical surroundings? It’s so easy to get caught up in the relentless business — sheer busy-ness — of day-to-day life that we begin to see everything only in terms of its utilitarian value. We start to think we can’t afford the time to engage with the spirit. It doesn’t seem practical, we complain. Aren’t we rational, scientific people? What do we need this woo-woo “soul” talk for, anyway?

If we only look at the world through a scientific or utilitarian filter, I bet that we are missing something important. The rational “gatekeeper” (to borrow a term from Rabbi Zalman Shachter-Shalomi) in my head may tell me I’m being silly to go looking beyond and within for that Something, but I dare to defy her in search of what Heschel called “radical amazement.”

#BlogElul 2013


#BlogElul, the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, invites participants to chronicle the month leading up to the Jewish High Holy Days through blog posts, photos, and other social media expressions.

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