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Friday, October 24, 2008

The Nanach Bridge

Rabbainu said כל העולם כולו גשר צר מאד והכלל והעיקר לא לפחד כלל – the whole world is a narrow bridge and the rule and tenant is not to fear whatsoever. This narrow bridge can be explained as the fine line that borders between genius and insanity. On one hand Hashem's expects us to be somewhat crazy – as Shlomo Hamelech says in Mishley (Proverbs) – באהבתה ישגה תמיד – that with love (that we are commanded to have) he is forever crazed. This craziness is זה לעומת זה – appropriated accordingly pitted against the craziness of the evil inclination, which our sages call רוח שטות – a spirit of foolishness. On the other hand we are commanded to amass knowledge and gain intellect of G-d, which also carries with it the great dangers the Tree of Knowledge produces.
Rabbainu said that the World to Come we know exists, but this world is hard to conceive, it seems that it is hell. The whole world is either insane with the foolishness of desires and lust, or trapped in wisdoms and philosophy, neither of which can be attributed to this world. Thus the reality of this world is that it is a very narrow bridge, hard to discern, somehow playing on the themes of craziness and wisdom without falling prey.
Nanach is the golden path and bridge, it is the rule and tenant which gives resolve and confidence to forge ahead, not to rush in like a fool, yet to delight in the challenge of projecting past the dangerous confines of knowledge and intellect.

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