Sunday, May 11, 2008

3D Judaism

3D movies seem to be making a comeback. People seem to enjoy donning those paper glasses and ducking projectiles that appear to fly out at them.

No doubt, 3D makes an experience all the more real.

Jewish movie production seems to lag somewhat. We don’t have too many Torah-education blockbusters; certainly none in 3D.

What we do have, though, is a formula for 3D Judaism without the silver screen. It was introduced 2000 years ago, by Rabbi Yehudah Hanassi (and we’ve just read it this week in the 2nd chapter of Pirkei Avos, Ethics of the Fathers).

He explains: “Consider three things and you’ll never sin.” He does list three factors to consider, but there’s a cryptic message in this sentence- before you get to the list.

Judaism is clearly a spiritual discipline, designed to bring us closer to G-d.

There are those who feel that the best way to progress spiritually is to see the world in 1 Dimension.
There is G-d & spirituality and nothing else counts. They argue that, if you want to grow spiritually, you’ll have to lose touch with the world and focus all your energies on study, prayer and meditation.

Others see the process in 2D. On the one hand, there’s spirituality, Torah and mitzvos. On the other, there’s “real life”. They’ll tell you that you need to find the balance between developing your soul, and making a success of your life. You can’t do both at once, so you’ll need to allocate time and energy for each.

Torah teaches us to see a third dimension. Yes, there’s a spiritual paradigm (we go there when we’re at Shul or engaged in a Mitzvah). There is also a physical reality, mutually exclusive to that spiritual realm.

Then there is G-d. He is neither physical, nor spiritual. That means that He can be accessed through physical action, just as through spiritual meditation.

Torah says that you don’t have to wait until you’re at Shul to engage G-d or develop your soul. You can, and must, find that connection at work, during leisure time, in your personal relationships.

3D Judaism is when you unveil the essential bond between everything in your life and it’s Source. It is when you recognize G-d as being up close and personal at all times, under all circumstances.

And, if He is that close, His blessings are too.

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