Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Continuum of Practice

היום תשעה ושלשים יום, שהם חמשה שבועות וארבעה ימים, בעמר
Today is thirty-nine days, which is five weeks and four days, of the omer
נצח שביסוד
A day of perseverance in a week of foundation

While my Jewish practice is always evolving, koshrut continues to be the one that is most challenging. I guess it would be easier to just accept the traditional constraints, but that works for neither my practical nor spiritual life. When asked about my practice, I say, "I eat kosher." Sometimes that is just accepted; sometimes I'm asked what that means. I explain that it means I have my own way to follow the constraints of the practice as set out by the Torah and the rabbis who interpreted the laws as given there.

Once, when talking to someone about my kosher boundaries, I was asked, "So, do you get to pick and choose which 'rules' you follow?" I'd never thought about it that way, so it took me a moment to reply, "Well................yes."

The whole idea of a practice is that it is constantly moving as your perspective changes with knowledge and time and place and circumstance. It is the continual mindfulness and awareness and critical thinking is makes the practice. I learned that from my teacher, Rabbi Alan Lew.

There is no goal in my practice, there is just a continuum of thinking and action. It is a form of perseverance that serves as a foundation for my life.

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