The Official TikkunGer Backup Blog

Just like the tittle says, this is my emergancy backup site

Archive for September, 2006

Reflections on the High Holidays Part Four Raising Holy Sparks

Posted by Avi M on September 29, 2006

Good Shabbos everyone

Yom Kippur is quickly approaching and I’ve been doing my best to connect to a few reflective practices this week which I feel are appropriate for this time of year. One thing I’ve been dedicating a fair amount of mindfulness to is the idea of atoning for my transgressions. I’ve come up with a handful of people who certainly deserve apologies from me and so I’m going to fly off some letters this weekend. I suppose this ties in somewhat to my last post in terms of tying up loose ends and creating healthy conditions for moving into the New Year.

I think my favorite thing about this week has been my ability to actually make use of the opportunity to reconnect to meditation and contemplative practice. I have a long history of practicing meditation however this is something I have not been engaging in any consistent or regular fashion for the better part of a year now. More importantly is that this week I’ve been able to work with meditation from within a Jewish context which is something I’ve never really managed to pull off (this well) before, so I’m quite happy about it.

About a year or it could even be a year and a half ago I picked up a book by Rabbi David Cooper entitled “The Handbook of Jewish Meditation Practices” but I really hadn’t spent much time with it until this September. Anyhow now I’m using it as a primary source of guidance and inspiration in terms of working with Jewish contemplative practices. I think one of the reasons why I’m finding the book easier to use now is that I’ve recently purchased to audio books also by Rabbi Cooper on the subject of Kabbalah, and they seem to draw on some of the material in my book. However I’m not going to get into those here because I think they deserve a post of their own, but hopefully at some point in the near future.

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Reflections on the High Holidays Part Three a Catholic Cheshbon Hanefesh

Posted by Avi M on September 27, 2006

Yesterday I impulsively posted a question on Yahoo Answers regarding the status of Catholics who had received the sacraments of Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation. I basically did this because a week or two ago the subject came up in conversation with my mother. You see I was wondering about my status (in the technical legalistic sense) as a Catholic, because at the age of 11 or 12 I declined participating in the ritual of Confirmation and that pretty much put an end to my life as a Catholic, well at least in my mind. I of course continued to attend Catholic schools and religion classes as well as masses that were compulsory and I am pretty sure that I’ve taken communion on more than one occasion sense my refusal to complete the sacrament of Confirmation.

Anyhow the conversation with my mother sparked my sense of curiosity and after thinking about it for a few days I decided to post the question on Yahoo answers.

Last night I was telling Tamara about what I had done and one of her first questions was something along the lines of ” Why do you want to know?” and to be honest I didn’t really have anything solid to give her as an answer. I’m of course a quick thinker on my feet and so I searched my data banks for possibilities and reasons and threw together a compelling argument but I’m not sure how honest or accurate that was.
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Reflections on the High Holidays Part Two Tashlich

Posted by Avi M on September 26, 2006

It’s Tuesday morning and I thought it would be nice to follow up with the second post on the High Holidays. I’m feeling a little under the weather this morning and not sure I have the energy this type of post deserves, but nonetheless I’ll do my best.

As mentioned in my previous post I really fell ass backwards into the High Holidays and found myself to be unprepared but once I got into it things clicked. I think this is in part due to my participation in the Tashlich Ceremony held by my Shul this past weekend. I certainly wasn’t planning on attending and I was very surprised that my Ima actually wanted to go and I am glad we did attend.

 
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Reflections on the High Holidays Part One Rosh Hashanah

Posted by Avi M on September 24, 2006

Because this is my very first ever time experiencing the High Holidays as a Jew, I think I’m going to take advantage of this time of spiritual reflection and renewal and do a fair bit of posting on the subject.

I think there is a lot of fertile ground to be tilled here, both spiritually and psychologically but before I go into all of that, I want to begin by reflecting a little bit on how the Holy Days began for me.

I was very ill prepared going into the High Holidays and I think I may even have tried to somewhat sabotage things myself. I have a bad habit of minimizing milestone events or ceremonies around my accomplishments. Hard to tell for sure but my intuition has me thinking something along the lines, that I have difficulty giving myself credit for accomplishments or believing in their value. This is certainly not to suggest that the High holidays are not of value only that maybe on some level I feel undeserving of participating in something so holy. Also holidays which seem to revolve around family gatherings and celebrations tend to bring out a sense of isolation in me.
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L’Shanah Tovah

Posted by Avi M on September 22, 2006

I just wanted to wish everyone both near and far all the best during the High Holy Days. May this coming year be both challenging (so you don’t get bored) and rewarding for you all.

TG

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Towards a More Worldcentric Monotheism

Posted by Avi M on September 21, 2006

Hi there I haven’t done a proper update in a while, I have just been really busy with school, not to mention prepping for my trip to L.A. so I thought I would repost something I wrote the day after 911. It was writen to for discussion board on Integral Theory so so of it might seem odd but I think most of it will sense.

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Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and for many a day of reflection, regardless of there take and attitude towards the events. I’m sure some were celebrating, some were mourning and some were refining their conspiracy theories on the who’s how’s and why’s of the event. I myself avoided the media coverage instead opting to ask myself a few questions and reflecting on what I felt were the underlying issues.

Now I’m far from an expert on this subject and as with most things in my life, I tend to lead with my gut, but I also try to incorporate a little open-minded reflection and observation into the mix. I personally don’t buy into conspiracy theories and I don’t believe that at the heart of the matter, this is truly a geopolitical natural resources problem, nor is it about American imperialism. It doesn’t matter how I try to cut into this thing I always wind up at the same conclusion in that this is a theological issue, a monotheistic issue, one stuck at a very ethnocentric level.

Ultimately I believe this is about misguided perceptions of self and other, us and them and deeply held feelings of choosiness by all involved. Manifest destiny is running rampant on both sides of the battle. Muslims engaging in a holy war against the great Satan on the behalf of Allah and the West, led by GW equally seems to believe it is on a God-given mission to spread democracy and freedom at least as it seems to be understood by some in the West.

Okay so what does this have to do with this board or why am I even posting about this!

Well, I’m new to the study of integral theory and its application to Judaism, but I already can see some very interesting applications of the model and more importantly others seem to as well (but I’ll come back to this a little later on). If my albeit very superficial reading of the situation as stated above is correct, then this is a question of theological ethnocentricity and this great Jihad/War on Terror is just a symptom and probably cannot be addressed at the level of conflict and war. It at least in part needs to be addressed at the theological level and as a “monotheist” myself I feel this is where my own personal responsibility lies, not to mention where my own religious biases allow me to see an emerging window of opportunity.

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Recycling is Tikkun Faux-lam???

Posted by Avi M on September 13, 2006

Sorry looks like it was taken down.

I just don’t Know ,I really don’t know!

Why don’t you tell me what you think?

If for some reason the embedded video above wont load you can also watch it here.

 

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Wow, Five Years in the Blink of an Eye

Posted by Avi M on September 11, 2006

Okay first I realize that I haven’t posted in a relatively long time considering my normal posting routine, but rest assured, I am in fact alive. I want to thank the handful of individuals who have e-mailed me asking what was up and if everything was OK. What can I say it’s been a crazy busy time Especially with school not to mention a few other areas of my life but anyhow, I figured I would write a post today just to briefly catch up and share my thoughts and reflections on this sad and powerful milestone, September, 11th.

I’ve been trying to stay out of current affairs and news type information for the past few weeks, because I just kind of feel like some of it is overwhelming and unnecessarily so. I realized this summer that the media coverage of the Israel/Lebanon situation, seemed to become very morbid, voyeuristic and in my opinion unnecessary.

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Photo Post: I See the Light

Posted by Avi M on September 7, 2006

Full Moon Assimilated

Doesn’t zoom make all the difference?

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