Sunday, 13 March 2016

Choice of trees and books

Just over a year ago I wrote about a plan being like a 'path of dots'. Specifically I wrote:
A plan is particularly useful for mapping out a 'path of dots'. It helps me figure out how to get from a known starting point to a theoretical next level. Although the plan is a nice fiction, it's a very useful tool for putting ideas in to a coherent order and testing whether it is achievable or not. Benjamin Franklin supposedly once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Also in that post was a mention of my daily study regime. Here are some details of my current study regime.

  1. On commute to work read 10 Paslms and study Torah with Aramaic translation.
  2.  On the way back from work, study Mishnah (now up to Sefer Moed, Ta'anis)
I also used to study Rabbi Moshe Cordovero's commentary on  Sefer Yetzirah, but in recent weeks I have started trying to translate and study the writings of Rabbi Abraham Abulafia starting with Ve'Zot Le'Yehuda ("And this to Judah", the response to being put under ban by the Rashba). I'm using the books published by Amnon Gross.

But now I have a choice to make... to continue studying all the writings of Rabbi Abraham Abulafia and become a full-time student of Abulafia's teachings. Or to follow his example and study a dozen commentaries on Sefer Yetzirah. So the choice is become a student of Ecstatic kabbalah or a student of Ma'aseh Bereishit (work of creation).

Which ever path I choose, I know which path of books will lead me in each direction.

The other seeming junction that I was pondering recently about which tree to explore first - the Tree of Life or Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil - was confirmed by my teacher. Before delving in to the depths of the Tree of Knowledge, it is important to first delve deeper in to the Tree of Life in other words the written law (Torah) and oral law (Talmud) .