SHIUR 1700: Munich Havdalah Degeneration/Regeneration
Source Sheet prepared by Micki Weinberg

Ben Bag Bag said, “Turn it, turn it, for all is in it…” (Pirkei Avot 5:6)

There is a realm of time where the goal is not to have but to be, not to own but to give, not to control but to share, not to subdue but to be in accord. Life goes wrong when the control of space, the acquisition of things of space, becomes our sole concern…The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world. (Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath, 1951, p3-10)

Once a disciple of Reb Moshe Kobriner, was asked what had been most important to his teacher, he replied: “Whatever he happened to be doing at the moment.” (in Martin Buber’s Tales of the Hasidim, “Most Important”)

“Unless one learns how to relish the taste of Sabbath while still in this world…one will be unable to enjoy the taste of eternity in the world to come.” (Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath, 1951, p74)

“What is important now is to recover our senses. We must learn to see more, to hear more, to feel more…The aim of all commentary on art now should be to make works of art and, by analogy, our own experience more, rather than less, real to us. The function of criticism should be to show how it is what it is, even that it is what it is, rather than to show what it means… In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art.” (Susan Sontag, Against Interpretation (1966) )

“…the senses of social man are different from those of non-social man. Only through the objectively unfolded wealth of human nature can the wealth of subjective human sensitivity – a musical ear, an eye for the beauty of form, in short, senses capable of human gratification – be either cultivated or created. For not only the five senses, but also the so-called spiritual senses, the practical senses (will, love, etc.), in a word, the human sense…– all these come into being only through…humanized nature. The cultivation of the five senses is the work of all previous history.” (Karl Marx. Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts)

“There is a desire to break with the world in order to embrace life in all its fullness and discover in artistic creativity that which is refused by reality. This is the revelation, or rather the inauguration, of hitherto unsuspected potentialities…this liberation is…can be felt most intensely by those in whom ethical values are most deeply rooted.’” (Jacques Blondel, Emily Brontë. Expérience spirituelle et création poétique, PUF, 1955)

“For darkness is the vessel of light, and darkness is also a spiritual light, only in contrast to the illuminating light is it darkness.” (Rav Yitzhak Moshe Erlanger, Sheva Eynaim btoch Avney Esh, p3)

“According to the strength of darkness and concealment so too is the strength of the light concealed within–that is obtainable through the darkness….” (Reb Zadok of Lublin, Resisei Layla, 17)

“A lamp for one, is a lamp for a hundred.” (Talmud Bavli Shabbat 122a)

“A little bit of foolishness shows and reveals the treasure of wisdom and the supernal glory more than any other way in the world.” (Zohar 3: 47b)

“What happens when we surrender and accept ourselves as we are?…a dual relinquishment— of absoluteness and, at the same time, of the need for it. The second surrender, which minimizes the significance of the first, marks the release from angst and the onset of ecstasy. It is not the ecstasy of truth but that of life itself, which opens a window onto the vital, infinite joy of all of life. What enables it, is the renunciation of the need to grasp, justify, and invoke infinitude. Thus truth ceases to be a condition for life and becomes a product of life, a feature of its vitality.” (Rav Shagar, Faith Shattered and Restored, p95)

“Praiseworthy is the one who goes in and out.” (Zohar 2:213b)