Sunday, 2 October 2011

A Lion Had Roared: Match 4

This is a post that has been pre-scheduled as I’m busy at the moment with the Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashanah and the upcoming Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur.

Today’s game is between my new all-time favourite team (since a few weeks ago) the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys. The last match that the Lions played was against the Vikings and it was a close call. This time I decided to get prepared earlier in the week and do some more research on the opposing side.

Breaking Down a Name
So… what meaning can be read in to the name of the Dallas Cowboys?

Well the word Dallas in Hebrew can be broken in to two parts:

Da – meaning “know” and
Las – being the root of the word ‘lu-ee-yu-sah’ (Lamed-ayin-yud-heh)

According to the Klein etymological dictionary the word ‘lu-ee-yu-sah’ (Lamed-ayin-yud-heh) is post-Biblical Hebrew for chewing and mastication.

Taken in combination with the word Cowboy, this deconstruction of the word Dallas makes sense. I understand it to mean: to know (the land), to chew (tobacco?) and to herd cattle from on top of a horse.

Herding Bringing Out the Best and the Worst
Herding and tending cattle, especially sheep, is a common theme in the Torah (scriptures). In particular there are examples such as the Patriarch Joseph, the Prophet Moses and King David.

However, there are is also one example of a shepherd who is cast in a very negative light – namely Lavan (Laban). Not only did he initially cheat Jacob of his bride Rachel by tricking him in to marrying Leah. When it came to leaving Lavan’s household and returning to his home, Jacob and his family was pursued by Lavan and armed me. The commentators state that Lavan’s intention was to wipe out Jacob and his entire family, something worse than the Egyptians tried who only drowned the male children.

So we can see from the above that on the one hand a person who tends sheep can grow to be great leaders of their generation, they can also degenerate to the worst of humanity. Another thing to consider it that riding a horse can be viewed in a negative light, in particular Psalm 147:

"Not in the strength of the horse does He desire, and not in the legs of man does He favor. HASHEM favors those who fear Him, those who hope for His kindness"

These are the meditations that I intend to do:
- Tuning and Toning, from Book of Self Creation by Jacobus Swart
- Two simple Hebrew letter meditation techniques based on Abulafia and Sefer Yetzira
- Use the first letters of the verse from Psalm 147 mentioned above as a mantra meditation
- Study the text about Lavan’s pursuit of Jacob
- Bibliomancy to see what other texts make themselves available for study and interpretation

Edit: The score for the game has come in finally at Lions 34 - Cowboys 30. The Cowboys led for the first part of the game and when I logged on to see that the score was Cowboys 20- Lions 3 my heart sank. Today was a fast day and with it being 29 centigrade (the vast majority of UK homes do not have air conditioning), I had to have a drink part way through the day. Anyway despite the score I prayed, studied and worked at mending the harmony in my household. Whilst I was ready to write off the match as a loss, the lesson that I take from this is that G-d always leaves the gates of teshuva (repetence/at-one-ment) open.