source text leipzig

SHIUR 1700 Leipzig Rosh Hashanah: Radical Renewal
Source Sheet
Pittlerwerke, Leipzig. July 12, 2021
Micki Weinberg

TEXT: “‘Today, the world was conceived and not ‘the world was created ’[because on Tishrey was the conception.]
(R. Isaac Luria (1534-1572) Pri Etz Chayim- Gate of the Shofar 5)

“I” (אני)
“No-Thingness” (אין)

TEXT: “The essence of Zen Buddhism consists in acquiring a new viewpoint of looking at life and things generally…we must forgo all our ordinary habits of thinking which control our everyday life, we must try to see if there is any other way of judging things, or rather if our ordinary way is always sufficient to give us the ultimate satisfaction of our spiritual needs…This acquirement, however, is really and naturally the greatest mental cataclysm one can go through with in life. It is no easy task…one has to go through the storm, the earthquake, the overthrowing of mountains, and the breaking in pieces of the rocks.” (D.T. Suzuki, Zen Buddhism)

TEXT: “On Tishrey the world was/is created (נברא)” and not “On Tishrey God created (ברא) the world.” Why? “Because in truth, on each Rosh Hashanah the world is created!” (R. Menachem Nachum Twerski of Chernobyl (1730-1787), Meor Einayim LikkutimYermiya 31:3)

TEXT:“…adopted metaphors can literally create worlds and determine their nature…On this view, religious truths that were first justified instrumentally will eventually be confirmed by their ability to lead us to a level of experience which is recognizably beyond that which we have previously known not only on the existential and subjective level, but even in terms of the infinite possibilities capable of being realized in our external reality.” (Tamar Ross, The Cognitive Value of Religious Truth Statements, 524-525)

TEXT: “To be entangled is not simply to be intertwined with another, as in the joining of separate entities, but to lack an independent, self-contained existence. Existence is not an individual affair. Individuals do not preexist their interactions; rather, individuals emerge through and as part of their entangled intra-relating. Which is not to say that emergence happens once and for all, as an event or as a process that takes place according to some external measure of space and of time, but rather that time and space, like matter and meaning, come into existence, are iteratively reconfigured through each intra-action, thereby making it impossible to differentiate in any absolute sense between creation and renewal, beginning and returning, continuity and discontinuity, here and there, past and future.” (Karen Barad, Preface, Meeting the Universe Halfway, 2007, p. ix)

TEXT: “Simondon posits that the individual who creates something new – whether a work of art, a piece of writing, a machine or an invention, however humble – undertakes a process of disindividuation, a process of disinvesting their individuality, their personality or personhood, in order to summon up a part of the preindividual necessary to create. This creation is not simply self-expression because there is something profoundly impersonal, perhaps even immaterial, about the process of summoning up, creating or inventing the new. It is something within an individual, something impersonal, that an individual may sometimes call upon to extend themselves into the organization of this new creation. It is not ‘I’ who creates but something of the preindividual within the ‘I’.” (Elizabeth Grosz, Interview with Vikki Bell, March 2017, Theory, Culture & Society)

TEXT: “Look at…“Know what is above from you.” ( R. Yehuda HaNasi (c. 135-c. 217 C.E.), Avot 2.1)

TEXT: “Don’t think, but look!” (Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Aphorism 66, 1953)

TEXT: “no place is void of” [the divine ] (Tikkunei Zohar, 122b).

TEXT: “Content is to be dissolved so completely into form that the work of art or literature cannot be reduced in whole or in part to anything not itself…The very values in the name of which he invokes the absolute are relative values, the values of aesthetics. And so he turns out to be imitating, not God — and here I use “imitate” in its Aristotelian sense — but the disciplines and processes of art and literature themselves. This is the genesis of the “abstract.”

In turning his attention away from subject matter of common experience, the poet or artist turns it in upon the medium of his own craft…” (Clement Greenberg (1909-1994), Avant Garde and Kitsch, 1939)

TEXT: “Music did not ‘represent’ anything outside of itself; it was on the order of prayer and play, not painting and writing.”
Theodor Adorno. Currents of Music: Elements of a Radio Theory (in Martin Jay’s The Dialectical Imagination, n.48, p.334)

TEXT: “The language of music is quite different than the language of intentionality. It contains a theological dimension. What it has to say is simultaneously revealed
and concealed. It’s Idea is the divine Name which has been given shape. It is
demythologized prayer, rid of efficacious magic. It is the human attempt, doomed
as ever, to name the Name, not to communicate meanings…it is by distancing
itself from language that its resemblance to language finds its fulfillment.” (Theodor Adorno, “Music and Language” in Quasi uno Fantasia, p2-6)

TEXT: “‘Above’, all of it, is “‘from you!’” (R. Chayim Volozhiner (1749-1821) Nefesh HaChayim 1:4 and Ruach HaChayim on Avot 2:1)

TEXT: “Reality itself, in accordance with its objective nature, is historical; the historical determinants of content and form appearing in the various reflections are corresponding only more or less correct approximations to this aspect of objective reality. A definite historicity can, however, never consist in a mere change of content of unchanging forms, with unalterable categories. This change of content must have a modifying influence on the forms, must lead first to certain functional shifts within the categorical system, and at a certain stage, even to explicit transformations: the creation of new and the disappearance of old categories…” (Georg Lukacs (1885-1971) Introduction to a Monograph on Aesthetics, 1964)

TEXT: “Only when consciousness stands in such a relation to reality can theory and
practice be united. But for this to happen the emergence of consciousness must
become the decisive step which the historical process must take towards its
proper end…” (Georg Lukacs. History and Class Consciousness. p2 (1923))

TEXT: “R’ Tanchuma said in the name of R’ Elazar [Ben Azariah]: In the hour when God created the first human, He created him as a golem, and he was stretched out from one end of the world to the other…R’ Judah bar Simon said: While the human still lay as a golem…he was shown all the generations and their interpreters, all the generations and their sages, all the generations and their judges, all the generations and their leaders.” (Bereshit Rabbah 24.2)

TEXT: “R’ Berachya said, “When God wished to create the world, He began his creation with nothing other than the human, and made the human as a golem. When He prepared to cast a soul into him, He said, “If I set him down now, it will be said that he was my partner in the work of Creation; so I will leave him as a golem, until I have created everything else. When He had created everything, the angels said to Him, “Aren’t you going to make the human you spoke of? He replied, I made him long ago, only the soul is missing. Then He cast the soul into him. With him He began and with him He concluded, as it is written, ‘Though hast formed me before and behind.’ (Tehillim 139.5) God said, ‘Behold, the human is become like one of us.’ (Ber 3.22)” (Midrash Avkir, Yalkut Shimoni 34)

TEXT: “…the whole work of Creation lies between man in his amorphous state and man as an animated being. And whereas in the previous version man was gathered from the whole world, here the whole world is concentrated in him.” (Gershom Scholem (1897-1982) The Idea of the Golem (1953) in On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism p163, 1965)

TEXT: “Discourse is not a synonym for language. Discourse does not refer to linguistic or signifying systems, grammars, speech acts, or conversations. To think of discourse as mere spoken or written words forming descriptive statements is to enact the mistake of representationalist thinking. Discourse is not what is said; it is that which constrains and enables what can be said. Discursive practices define what counts as meaningful statements. Statements are not the mere utterances of the originating consciousness of a unified subject; rather, statements and subjects emerge from a field of possibilities. This field of possibilities is not static or singular but rather is a dynamic and contingent multiplicity.” (Karen Barad, Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of
How Matter Comes to Matter in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 2003, vol. 28, no. 3, p819)

TEXT: “ ‘all the opposites are in the golem (Avot 5:7)’ There is a world that is called golem. It is the world of Wisdom [(in Hebrew, every letter has a numerical value, and the numerical value of “golem” – גלם, 73, is the same as “wisdom/hokhmah” חכמה)]… if you want to transform something…you must raise the thing to the aspect of golem. There you can change it.” (The Maggid of Mezeritch, 1704-1772)

TEXT: “…everything appearing in one form cannot receive another one unless its initial form is disarranged and it is made into the aspect of a golem, without any attribute or form. And then one can make from this thing whatever attributes one wants.” (The Apter Rav /Avraham Yehoshua Heshel, (1748-1825)Ohev Yisrael on Zachor, Purim, 1863)