Thursday, December 06, 2007

Trapped Inside This Wood

I realize the subject of this posting might just be another cockamamie idea. It has been lodged in my brain for months and this posting is an attempt to dislodge it.

Ok, so here it is:

I would like to obtain some wooden boards cut from trees in Sudilkov so that I can have a carpenter make a small table-top shtender, wooden esrog box, and challah board for me. I am not trying to say that the trees and soil of Sudilkov have a kedusha that surpasses that of Eretz Yisroel. Chas v'shalom! A wooden shtender, esrog box, or challah board from Eretz Yisroel has an intrinsic kedusha a trillion times greater than that of the blood-soaked soil of Ukraine. Nevertheless, there is still something that appeals to me about using such an item, which would uplift the sparks that are trapped inside this wood.

Perhaps I am a just a hopeless dreamer who perpetually romanticizes this shtetl whose golden era has long since past. The Mishnah in Keilim 1:6 tells me that the pinnacle of kedusha is found in Eretz Yisroel, and yet I still cannot drag my mind out of Eastern Europe…

Space Cadet comments:

Rebbe Nachman says that we are kovesh the ground of chutz la'aretz when we make a rikkud upon it. Maybe your desire to have a shtender made from the wood of Sudilkov, the town of your heiliger zeides, is a bechinah of this. After all, you're going to put your Siddur on this wood and daven with it -- in a spirit of "gilah bir'adah," as the Gemora says. Besides, a place of Jewish martyrdom also possesses a special kedushah. I would say: Go for it!

A Simple Jew replies:

Perhaps you are right, Space Cadet. After all, Rabbi Nachman Horodenker once said, "A random thought is not without meaning."


At December 6, 2007 at 1:51:00 PM EST, Anonymous HaSefaradi said...


I like your idea and have had similar ones of my own, which is why a have a four foot long petrified log weighing a couple of hundred pounds that came from a certain area on my patio. Someone I know would respond thusly, so I put the same question to you: Consider why your soul needs this.
As for me, for some reason I find peace outdoors and am attracted to certain landscapes. On occasion when I see a piece of wood of the right proportions--those that will make a good walking stick I will collect it. My wife thinks I am the gilgul of a shepherd trapped in the body of a lawyer. Maybe, but this fails to explain the log.

If anyone has an answer, please let me know.

Chanukah sameach,

At December 6, 2007 at 2:10:00 PM EST, Anonymous Space Cadet said...

What is the white stuff they paint the bottoms of trees with in Ukraine and Russia?

Do we need it here in the Catskills?

At December 6, 2007 at 2:43:00 PM EST, Anonymous shoshana (bershad) said...

I seem to recall that you brought back some small stones from Sudilkov. For some reason, I, too, have kept mementoes like that; I even saved the stones my mother brought back from her trip to Israel--I feel a connection to HER keepsakes, even though I don't share the memories they evoke, because she touched and valued them. Collecting such items is a tangible way of staying in touch with your ancestry ... they serve the same purpose as your family photos, your growing collection of seforim, and your genealogical documents. And making useful/ritual objects from the wood of the trees of Sudilkov is a way to carry out the work that your ancestors and their community were unable to complete there. It's a way of proving that "life goes on" and fulfilling the purpose of those trees (and, yes, releasing the sparks trapped inside them).

At December 6, 2007 at 8:01:00 PM EST, Blogger Alice said...

I like your old idea and your new one.

At December 9, 2007 at 4:21:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it says you should go to the torah that you are drawn to


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