1/12/2005

Works in Progress

"The work is not yours to complete; and you are not free to neglect it" (Mishna Avot)
"Tis' more important that Heaven exist than that I ever get there" (CS Lewis)

I wonder if the point is that no one person or group of people can ever arrive at any type of completion or correction. Perfection is in two places - the far distant past and the far distant future. Both are necessary in order to make the present state of affairs palatable.

Over Shabbos, I noticed that the structure of Parashat Ha'azinu may reflect this; at first the psukim all begin at the beginning of a line and end at the end. Same at the end of the Shirah. In between, specifically starting with the first passuk of 'breakdown' - va-yishman yeshurun va-yivat - until the end, when God makes it whole again (Re'u atah ki Ani Ani Hu), the psukim start and end in the middle of the line (obviously there are 2 psukim that form the transition. for our purposes they seem to be in the category of 'whole' psukim). Same structure - whole past, whole future, broken present.

I saw (perhaps R' Zadok) that this is the symbolism of Tekia-Tru'ah-Tekia, and I'd add Malchiyot-Zichronot-Shofarot, or the PoMo cycle of identification, differentiation, and integration, or Franz Rosenzweig's Creation-Revelation-Redemption.

Maybe this is AD/HD talking, but I like being in the middle of projects. It's OK that it's not perfect. That way, it can just keep getting better.
I'm just not sure if perfection is fundamentally impossible or functionally impossible. I'm inclined toward the former, except that I believe in the Coming of the Messiah.
Ella mai, must be that Yemos Hamoshiach won't be characterized by static perfection, rather a way of life in which all will work together to acheive greater wholeness, overcome obstacles, solve problems. Isn't that the essence of the Torah? Of Halacha (lit. walking, path, Tao)?

"Talmidei chakhamim have no rest: not in this world and not in the next"
"But they that wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint."
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