Thursday, August 24, 2006


The human mind/soul/brain/whatever likes puns. Craves them. Orients our lives around puns and goofy metaphors and symbols. G-d is in there, of course. Speaks to us through these things. The most basic review of your life and circumstances would probably reveal a lot. For me, the one currently in play is focus. Previous cameras (except for an SLR I owned in the late 80s and hardly ever used because film/developing was too expensive for me) were either fixed-lens or automatic. I had no control. The camera did it. And my life was the same way. Outside forces seemed to dictate to what I paid attention and how. Now I get a digital SLR camera with the ability to manually focus again. And at the same time, I become aware that I have what Lynn Weiss PhD calls an ADD "brainstyle." And every day is a constant struggle to establish and maintain focus on work and personal stuff. Coincidence? Yeah, right. I gotta focus on work.

But first, Reb Yonassan Gershom is doing Holocaust reincarnation counseling sessions again... he's a Satmar rabbi who has written books about reincarnation and other stuff, very colorful guy, and this is serious stuff. Many Jews don't know that the idea of reincarnation is pretty normative Jewish belief, although the Jewish version doesn't involve starting out as a slug and going up or down species as you get holier/more profane. The idea is that each soul has an objective on earth, something that it is on earth to do and to perfect. If that soul cannot complete its objective, it has to come back again until it does. So something like the Holocaust would stop people from being able to acheive their goals in one lifetime. There are many people who have apparently dreams or other 'residues' that would indicate being in the Holocaust -- little kids not ever exposed to Holocaust stuff who have very specific dreams that are hard to dismiss as anything other than Holocaust images, etc...

Tangential to this but something I have to mention each time I think of it: there's a famous story of the Chazon Ish, a great, great rabbi. who would stand up in respect whenever a child with a mental disability would come into his presence. His students were baffled. He explained that the way that souls acheive their tasks in life, perfect whatever needs perfecting, is through observing G-d's commandments. But these children could not observe all G-d's commandments. Since G-d woulnd't ever send a soul into this world to do a job it couldn't do, these 'retarded' children were thus clearly not here to perfect themselves by observing commandments -- their souls were already perfect, or so close to perfected that they only needed to do one or two things, thus they didn't need all the abilities that most people would need. These perfect holy souls were here in order to help others. Thus the rabbi stood up in deep respect.

Ok. NOW I gotta focus.

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