5/15/2006

A Triumphant Return: R' Shimon bar Yochai Part XV

This series began on Lag B'Omer one year ago. This is the concluding installment.

[Continued from
Intro, I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX , X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV]
Then he went out into the market and saw Judah, the son of proselytes: 'That man is still in the world!' he exclaimed. He cast his eyes upon him and he became a heap of bones.

Finally, R’ Shimon enters the marketplace. His voice has become one of the many which have currency in the public sphere. In doing so, R’ Shimon has come full circle, finding a way to thrive amongst the cacophony of messages, products, and ideas that the Roman marketplace contains. This is his ultimate victory over Yehuda ben Gerim, the rootless but proud contemporary Jew whose perception had initially doomed R’ Shimon to irrelevance. R’ Shimon’s re-entry into the world exposes the truth behind the religious world of Yehuda ben Gerim: absent rootedness, Jewish in form but devoid of the inner culture and meaning , is the skeleton of Jewish life that remains inanimate. Rootless, Judaism becomes desiccated and eventually collapses. Rooted in its own past, Judaism remains relevant and vigorous, its voice still reverberating in the marketplaces of the world.

תם ונשלם. תודה לא-ל דסעיין.
ל"ג בעומר, יום שמ(ח)ת רשב"י, התשס"ו
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