Thursday, October 16, 2003

judaism permeates everything in the high holiday season--more and more every year. this has been true throughout JDS--the holidays took over everything from class schedules to tests to curriculum activities. but this feeling is suprisingly far more striking at Brown, which does not stop to tip its hat to the high holidays. to actively chose to participate requires a new level of intent, a kind of concentration that was unnecessary in JDSBubble. it requires sacrifices, and solicits reflection--puts the "nishma" back into the "naaseh venishma." the beauty of these days have struck me particularly this year. what have i devoted myself too? personal reflection and self-improvement, resolving personal and relationship conflicts, celebrating the mobility of home-ness, and, this weekend, celebrating living text.

in our conversations, morgan often proposes that there are no nobler callings in life than to heal--to her, saving a life and restoring physical health is the penultimate good deed, one that supercedes all others. This idea resonates pretty widely, far beyond the immediacy of our materially obsessed culture. Both the Quran(spelling?) and the Talmud affirm, in strikingly identical terms: to save a single life is to save the entire world.
whenever morgan raises these points, i contest: there are so many ways help people, to do good in this world--acts of loving kindness come in so many forms. If the world were filled only with doctors, what would anyone do with their health? What do people have to live for--aren't there ultimately other, perhaps even more powerful forces that drive people to want to live, to want to be healthy? Doctors must have complements in forces that make health worthwhile. What are these?