Passover was early this year. I had numerous ideas about what to post on April 1st, but none of them materialized in time, this too is for the best.
The past few weeks and months I've been slowly progressing my study of Sefer Yetzirah ((Book of Creation). It's a slow process because it's about experience based learning from what I understand. The other question that has been on my mind is: am I doing enough in service to help others, the land, my tribe?
The thing is.. what motivates me is a sense of wonder and awe at learning the metaphysics of creation (for want of a better term). Learning to date has involved reading, walking, plenty of meditating, a little experimentation and mostly reflection. I do some work in service for others, but also (what I call) tinkering... trying to figure out how things work. I admit that it's not as a mature attitude towards magic as I perhaps should have and thank Heaven the fallout of my misadventures has been relatively light.
Recently I had a conversation with Rabbi Bar-zel Arieh Tzion and he brought together some ideas which prompted this post and the question of: do I have the right balance between learning (aka tinkering) and service?
Rabbi Tzion pointed out that one name for prayer in Hebrew is Avodah, which literally means service. The service of the lips has replaced the service in the Temple. He reminded me of the section in Yehudah Ha-Levi's Kuzari which highlights the importance of praying with the community, it's not just about your own prayers but praying for the benefit of everyone. Rabbi Tzion then expanded that idea by pointing out that Halacha, the Hebrew word for Jewish Law comes from the verb to walk. Halacha is way of of life, a natural way to interact with the worlds both physical and spiritual. And finally he tied those two ideas in with the idea of Tikkun Olam, which means rectification of the world. We're co-creators Rabbi Tzion reminded me, formed from a Divine spark that enables us to heal a fractured world.
When I asked Rabbi Tzion if I had enough knowledge and skill to help others he replied: "Even a shmuck like you gets it right once in a awhile." It's the first compliment he's given me in the past 3, which is not that hard considering he's been ignoring my attempts to contact him for the past 3 months - with one exception. That one exception being my recent power overload, he stopped me from digging myself in to even more trouble. SO perhaps there is hope for my journey to becoming a responsible member of the magical community after all.