Some months ago I was speaking with Lucy in Totnes High Street. I was sharing the ‘four legs’ of my table; e.g those themes that I have found in my life (in this instance through Judaism) that offer me the most comfort and help me navigate my way through life. Lucy kindly asked me to put them up for her on facebook, so here they are via the circuitous route of my blog:
1 and 2 : Each of these were taught to me by Thena and concern the balance of being able to both live joyfully and engage in the repair of the world: In Thena’s words: “One of the main ideas in Judaism is that one serves God in joy, not in sadness; and one should be joyful in God’s world and enjoy all of life’s opportunities, as well as repair (tikkun olam) and correct what is wrong in the world. The Chasidic principle of joy and happiness and celebration is not a frozen page in a book, but rather inside one’s brain . This brings us to the Chasidic principle of “simcha” – joyfulness and happiness. How can one not be joyful, when one is given the privilege to be God’s helper and be God-like and close to God? ”
3 I like this one very much as it seems to me to relate to the idea that it is not possible to love properly unless one has self love. Every child with a Jewish education knows Hillel’s version of the ‘golden rule’ common to most religions. Asked by a non-Jew to summarise the Torah “while standing on one leg”, Hillel responded, “Do not do to others what would be hateful if done to you. That is the whole of the Torah. All the rest is commentary. Now go and study.”
4 I don’t have a source for this and hope that I haven’t made it up! It concerns asking for forgiveness. That one should ask a person who is upset with you three times and if the forgiveness is then not received it is ok to then move on.
I hope that these insights are useful to you, even if they only assist in working out what the four legs of your own table are. xx
My message from CB for today relates to the fact that I had (at long last) a definitive contract for my book yesterday. This has left me feeling very odd: exhausted and ecstatic at the same time as well as grateful: “Do not doubt, it will happen. Rest and consolidate the change. You travelled far”.
Here below is a picture of Lily looking a bit as I feel, ecstatic and a bit knocked out!
Wishing you reader a happy and joyful day.