Endless Growth

“הַמְחַדֵּשׁ בְּטוּבוֹ בְּכָל יוֹם תָּמִיד, Hamchadeish b’tuvo b’chol yom tamid, Who renews with His Goodness every day, continuously/eternally”, is repeated daily in our morning prayer.

קְדשִׁים תִּהְיוּ כִּי קָדוֹשׁ אֲנִי, Kedoshim ti’hyu ki kadosh ani, Be holy because I am holy, (Vayikra 19:2).

We’re mandated to imitate God because, in our efforts to approach and attach ourselves to The Creator we operate in the spiritual realm where closeness is not geometric but, rather, in degree of similarity.  Just as God creates for the benefit of others, we’re instructed to create for the benefit of others.  Just as God infuses every moment of time in this material world with the pure, evolving energy of evolution and growth, we’re mandated to change and grow and renew ourselves continuously though our lives.

Re-experiencing the holidays in the yearly cycle, just like re-experiencing similar situations in our daily lives, challenge us to leave behind our complacency and habitual behavior and to engage with each moment with a totally renewed and open mind, heart and spirit.

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4 Responses to Endless Growth

  1. Ed Pearlman says:

    A post about the difference between “instructed” and “commanded” might be informative …

    • Good question,Ed!
      It really points to the difference between Hebrew and English, in terms of language structure and, from there, to world views (remember I was a linguistics major for at least some of our time at Yale). English is “rich” in that it has an extraordinarily large vocabulary with each word assigned a definite shade of meaning. Hebrew is “rich” in that while there are many fewer words, each word is rich in itself with a wealth of connotations and colors, but bound together via a (usually) three-letter root (שורש, shoresh, in Hebrew).
      When translating from Hebrew to English, especially in a formal, written context (rather than a discussion where I more-or-less free-associate and discuss various English words in the “array” of meaning for a Hebrew word), the challenge is to both choose the English word that most closely approaches the idea as well as to keep the English at a literate and, hopefully, interesting level. Often this results in using several different English words which are all related to a single Hebrew word.
      That said, my use of “instructed” and “commanded” are both attempts to use the Hebrew word, צו, tzav, which is the root of מצוה, mitzvah, which is usually (but inadequately) translated as “commandment”. The “root of the root”, as it were, צו, tzav, while it does imply “order”, “command”, “instruct”, “require”, “mandate” and related ideas, really means to bind together. Thus, a mitzvah is not (or at least is not intended to be–things often fall apart in all human endeavor) an aritrary “commandment”, but a directed istruction along the lines of “if you want to approach the state-of-being called יחוד, yichud, unity and דבקות, devekut, attachment, along this-or-that parameter, this is what you should do:……).
      Thus, in this article both “instructed” and “commanded” are interchangeable, trying to capture the sense of צו, tzav, מצוה, mitzvah, but with a little variation to avoid repetitious language in English. So, we’re “instructed”, “commanded”, perhaps also “suggested” that if we want to advance our relationship with God along this vector we should make our actions similar to His as much as possible, in other words, imitate experiencing each moment as new.

  2. Ana Daniel says:

    so appreciate explication of what’s “lost in translation” – a way for me to hear w/new ears

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