Friday, December 07, 2012

// // 2 comments

I Hereby...

at the Western Wall with Reb Gutman Locks on Mystical Paths

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     He is an American traveler. He remembered me from the last time he was here a few years ago. He is almost 7 feet tall, and hasn’t combed his hair in more than 12 years. Quite a sight!

     He told me that if he didn’t like drinking wine so much, he would become a nazir. A nazir takes a vow thinking to become more aware of Hashem’s presence. He has to abstain from certain things, including cutting his hair, and drinking wine. Then, after the period of his vow is over, he had to come to Jerusalem and offer certain sacrifices.

     I told him not to do it. Nowadays, since we do not have the Temple, a Jew who would take such a vow would not be able to offer up his sacrifices so he would have to remain a nazir for his entire life, or until the Temple comes again. (May it be today.)

     He said that he had never heard that before. He wanted to know if it was good to take on such things. I told him, “The only thing I ever took on, was to have a good time.” Don’t make life harder than it is. G-d gave us His Torah to take away our burdens, not to increase them.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi R. Gutman,

I'm a bit confused about this article: http://www.chabad.org/kabbalah/article_cdo/aid/380387/jewish/Active-vsPassive-Meditation.htm

Are their definitions of active-passive meditation the same as yours ??

Shabbat Shalom!

Gutman said...

The article's general description of passive and active meditation are close, but the article's conclusion and mine are not the same. From my book on meditation, Taming The Raging Mind; "Active and passive are generic terms that can be applied to either Jewish or non-Jewish meditation techniques. Each method has its inherent advantages and its weaknesses. Ultimately, we will see that these two apparently opposite and seemingly exclusive systems can be incorporated as stages in the same process."

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