Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Inside Out...

Note: For a September 11th post, click here. I posted it last year, and I think it still sums up my thoughts on the matter.

There's a verse in last week's Parsha that seems to speak to me.
(Devarim 29:28) The hidden things are for Hashem, our God, and the revealed things our for us and our children, forever; to do all the things of this Torah.
A few years ago, I was struck with an observation: the Hebrew word for hidden - Nistar - shares the same root as the Hebrew word for contradiction - Stirah. We know that there are no coincidences, so what is the connection?
Literally, the word Stirah, or Soter(the verb of the noun Stirah), means to clash. Two things that seems to be diametrically opposed, and therefore, seemingly can not be reconciled - they are soter each other. This concept comes about numerous times throughout the entire Talmud.

What then, is the connection between these two words? What similarities are there between "Hidden" and "Contradiction"?

I'd like to offer a thought. Many times, we conduct ourselves a certain way, dependant on our surroundings. We say certain things, we carry ourselves with a different posture, we act in ways that seem unfamiliar to even us. To everyone else, we seem to be normal. That's just the "way we are".
But we know that's not so; not all the time.
Many times we want to say how we feel, but can't because of certain expectations. Sometimes that's a good thing, but it can also be bad. How many times have we really wanted to change, but couldn't because of what others would say? How many times have we done things we know are harmful, or wrong, or mean because that's just the "way we are"?
And all along, the real you is hidden inside. A contradiction of your "outer self". Maybe that's another explanation for the verse. The hidden things - our souls, the real us deep inside? Hashem knows about that; He's aware of the struggle, despite the revealed person that everyone else sees.

Maybe that's our Tikkun. Maybe what each of us needs to do is to reach inside. Pull out the hidden person we have inside each of us, and make the contradiction be no more.

4 comments:

Shoshana said...

From what i've read here, i think you do an excellent job of really being you - keep it up!

Shana Tova!

jewmaican20 said...

Shoshana - Thank you very much. However, much as I try to apply my own thoughts and philosophy in the real world, many a time it's much easier said than done...

~ Sarah ~ said...

Great post, it's something to think about and work on.

Shana Tova :)

karma dude said...

Like I was telling you today, if it were up to me I would expose the hidden. I’ll leave the contradictions for next year.

Wishing one and all a better year than this one.

P.S. Jewmaican, I know I say this every year but by next Rosh Hashanah for sure…