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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Are We or aren't We created in the image of G?

I''m contemplating utilizing capitals whenever using pronouns such as You, Me, He, etc.

If people are created B'tzelem E-ohim, in the Divine image, then perhaps we should start recognizing one another's divinity in everyday writing....

Perhaps, in order to keep a check on hubris, i will also start making the word "i" in lower case.

It reminds me of the famous, and most influential perhaps of Chasidic stories, the papers in the two pockets: Simcha Bunim of Pshischa taught that every day, one should carry pieces of paper in his or her pockets. In one pocket, written on it is "For me the world was created." In the other pocket, "i am but ashes and dust." On days of low self-esteem, we pull out the paper that says "For me the world was created." On the days of hubris, "i am but ashes and dust."

How do we get people to think about the crucial balance between self-esteem and hubris? And, how do we make life less about ourselves and more about others' welfare? This is my personal core question, and why i left the inner sanctum of Jewish communal life to be the director of an interfaith organization which is, by definition, devoted to the Other.

I am just not blogging enough; time to start saying things with a little more regularity....thank You, my dear friend Nukhet, for urging me to write more!



Blogger Nukhet A. Sandal said...

It is a good question. How do you recognize one's individuality, yet keep a healthy sense of community?
See, now you left me (and I am sure many others) with a question to think about for the rest of the day...As I always say, this is one of your duties Rabbi Klein - to provide us with material for thinking, so we will not get stuck in our individualities...

8/27/2009 12:32 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Interesting thoughts.
I just picked up a book of stories about Reb Bunim and his Pshisha legacy from the library, and am reading bits as my Elul preparation...
And when you mentioned the 'Ish Hanisraf' (on FB, yes - I'm following you around!) I thought of the 'Saraf', the Rebbe of Kotzk whose eyes allegedly burned with the fire of Torah (and who hid from his hassidim for many years). So are you going to Burning Man? If not, perhaps we can do a limmud on the Rebbe Mi-Kotzk? (and perhaps somehow combine that with the interesting topic of pronoun reversal in autism - the way they call 'you' 'I' and vice versa - which i need to report on for my upcoming deadline...)
Rak tov,

8/27/2009 6:47 PM  
Anonymous previous fan said...

Rabbi Klein,

Are you totally nuts!! Where's your thinking cap?? Someone said that your planning on joining ACORN's rally in LA trying to vilify the two hero's who finally revealed to the world the type of people ACORN hires and assists? Did you see all the latest videos? I'm now wondering if you yourself are hiding a prostitute in the closet.. Hey, you never know these days.. Even a guy like you can lose his tzelem E-ohim.. And btw, why are you the ONLY Rabbi listed????

10/21/2009 7:57 PM  
Blogger Rabbi Klein said...

To "Previous Fan,"
The whole thing was a set-up; the two people who tried to entrap ACORN also went to about twenty or thirty offices, none of which were willing to let their alleged evil go unchecked. It's all bogus...too bad the world only gets a fraction of the story.

10/26/2009 10:03 PM  

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