Monday, September 3, 2012

Men Naked in the Woods: Reading Proverbs

I had my Bar Mitzvah in the backyard of my house on 421 Bowen Street.  The biggest question I asked: "What makes me an adult?"  "What equips me to be able to read Torah now?"  "What good are the proverbs?" "What good is Truth in my young mind?"  So this was my Breshit, my beginning.

Proverbs served as an instructional manual for a young man beginning his quest.  The elders of a tradition gave a young man a road map of the world, these are Proverbs.  The best way to read Proverbs is to let the overall message wash over you.  You will drown, if you attempt to live each point as a rule for living.  However, if you listen to them and let them wash over you, like a wave, then you will learn how to joyfully live.    

Elie Wiesel describes the Torah's Truth with a cut to the spleen:

It was with the twenty two letters of the aleph-beth that God created the world, Take care of them and they will take care of you.  They will go with you everywhere.  They will make you laugh and cry.  Or rahter, they will cry when you cry and laugh when you laugh, and if you are worthy of it, they will allow you into hidden sanctuaries where all becomes..."
Wiesel, Elie All Rivers Run to the Sea (New York: Alfred A Knopf 1995), 10.

Benjamin Franklin wrote,
What you bring away from the Bible depends to some exten on what you carry to it. 

 I have found that the best way to listen to proverbs is from an audio C.D..  Find a C.D. that the message will not be lost due to annoyance in the readers rendering.  

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