- Hassidic Wisdom.
- A Cordial Reading of God’s Word.
- Is it still “a free country”?
- Writer’s Block?
- Christianity for the Unbeliever FAQ.
- Pussy Riot subdued – and good riddance!
- New Mexico gets another chance to do the right thing.
Once, as many wise men were gathered around his table, Rabbi Israel of Rishkin asked: “Why do people so rage against our master, Moses ben Maimon [that is, Maimonides]?” One rabbi answered: “Because in one passage he says that Aristotle knew more about the spheres of heaven than Ezekiel. How could one not rage against him?” Rabbi Israel then said: “It is just as our master Moses ben Maimon says. Two men came into the palace of a king. One of them concentrated on each room, admired with a connoisseur’s eye the precious materials and the jewls and could not have enough of examining. The other whisked the the rooms, continually saying to himself: ‘This is the house of the king, this is the king’s garment, only a few more steps and I shall behold my lord the king.’”
[Martin Buber, Die Ersählungen der Chassidim (Zurich: Manesse Verlag, 1949) p. 498. English translation Tales of the Hassidim, trans. Olga Marx (New York, Schocken Books, 1975). Quoted by Erasmo Leiva-Merikakas, A Cordial Reading of God's Word, Volume I Number 1 of Synaxis.]
Some other excerpts from the same article:
Jesus is “the fountain that thirsts to be drunk.” (Irenaeus of Lyons) …
[T]he language of Scripture and of the Christian liturgy, born as a response to Scripture, is much closer to the language of poetry with all its daring leaps than to the linear language of philosophy …
Why did the eternal wisdom of God, who presumably had every possible form of human and divine self-expression at its disposal, providentially select the literary genres of the story, the parable, the lyric poen, the epithalamion, the letter, the visionary narrative, the collection of wise sayings – all of these already existing in the ancient world – and even create one unparalleled genre, the kerygmatic Gospel narrative, rather than choosing the philosophical dialogue (Plato), the systematic treatise (Aristotle), or even the philosophical story (Bhagavad Gita)? I myself think it has something to do with Judaeo-Christian revelation being more a matter of the lived experience of God’s dramatic intervention in my existence than of intellectual reflection about the Divine Essence …
God is continually uttering the ineffable in Scripture. The weight of this ineffable utterance threatens to crack open the vessel that contains it …
Once, when the whimsical French dramatis Jean Cocteau was asked what he would take with him out of a burning house, he responded without hesitation: “The fire!”
Erasmo Leiva-Merikakas, A Cordial Reading of God’s Word, Volume I Number 1 of Synaxis.]
“It’s a free country.” You used to hear that a lot. Mind if I have the last piece of pie?“It’s a free country.” Mind if I smoke? “It’s a free country.”
Too bad it has receded from everyday lingo, replaced by the ubiquitous, meaningless, “Whatever.” Something has been lost. “It’s a free country” was more than justwhatever, it was, “Yeah, I mind. But I ain’t gonna stop you.” Isn’t that where the rubber hits the road in a truly free society?
“You have to show the muse you’re serious.” Roseanne Cash, on overcoming writer’s block, on APR’s On Being.
PJ Media has helpfully published An FAQ on Christianity for the Unbeliever: A helpful guide for those who find it impossible to understand the religion thing. Some of it’s even true. (H/T Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick on Google+)
Having now seen a video clip of what they did and where they did it, I feel no sympathy for Russian punk band Pussy Riot. Do Paul McCartney and Madonna really believe that they had a free speech right to put on a raucous protest dance on the Ambon of an Orthodox Church? This is not a public forum, folks.
A notorious case from New Mexico will be heard by its Supreme Court. I haven’t stopped to make a detailed analysis or to outline the brief even in my mind, but my gut reaction favors the photographer, and as you can see from the links, Eugene Volokh agrees.
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