Monday, November 20, 2006

Right Above My Head

(Picture courtesy of a friend of Chabakuk Elisha)

They have always been there my entire life. I have looked up the sky at them. I have looked out the window of a plane at them. In school, I even learned about the different types and the details of how they make rain. I learned how they could be classified as Cumulus, Cumulonimbus, Stratus, Stratocumulus, Altocumulus, Altostratus, Nimbostratus, Cirrus, Cirrocumulus, or Cirrostratus.

But despite this knowledge, it has taken me almost 34 years to fully appreciate clouds. In retrospect, I realize that the cold and analytical outlook taught to me in science class robbed me of the ability to appreciate their simple beauty. I agree with Henry David Thoreau, who wrote, "What sort of science is that which enriches the understanding, but robs the imagination?"

Perhaps I can credit my friend Mottel for reawakening me to the beauty of clouds by taking stunning pictures of the sky. Along with Space Cadet, I now stare upwards each day in awe; entranced by their form and beauty.


At November 20, 2006 at 12:32:00 PM EST, Blogger Mottel said...

Wow, on your first day back you're already saying nice things about me.
Thanks, and welcome back!

At November 20, 2006 at 12:37:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simple pleasures for simple Jews like us!

Glad to see that I'm not the only Space Cadet in cyberspace!

At November 20, 2006 at 12:45:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Mottel and Space Cadet: It is good to be back. The training was mind-numbing. 80% of it was information that I did not need and the other 20% was information I have heard 5 billion times before.

At November 20, 2006 at 2:20:00 PM EST, Blogger yitz said...

Beautiful posts, ASJ, and how nicely they fit with one another. Chazal say we can enhance our Yiras Shamayim by looking up at the sky. Rebbe Michel of Zlatchov emphasized this, too.
Howeever, about your training - as someone who appreciates Breslov, surely you can find at least 2 good points about it!

At November 20, 2006 at 2:27:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Yitz: Would you be able to find the quote from Rebbe Michel of Zlatchov? I would really be interested to see his thoughts.

As for the training, here were the good points:

1) Got to sleep in.

2) Didn't have to go to work.

3) Got more time to learn during breaks.

4) Got time to sit out on a bench and stare up at the clouds.

At November 20, 2006 at 7:19:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back !
Were the kiddies happy to see ya?

I know what you mean about "training sessions". In a nice way, I want to make a point about the Jewish brain. The Jewish brain is very creative, and we are known for this in the medical, scientific, literary and perhaps a few more disciplines. Developing countries vie for our brains. Jealousy rages at us as a nation for our stiffneckedness (with all its ramifications), obstinance, and CREATIVITY (which is the imagination). Rabbi Avigdor Miller zt"l used to say that the Creator of the world used His IMAGINATION to create our world.

So, you are so right about being deprived of the creativity of imagination in a "Training Session" which is formulated to "conform minds" to the manual (which is static)! I always avoid manuals, because I get excited about figuring out with my own mind "how to do this".

Now, about those clouds. So beautiful are those puffy puffs in their many forms. My living room has a big window in front of which I put my sofa, just so I can examine, exclaim and cvell over the wonders of the natural creations that Hashem has blessed our lives. Watching the changing seasons in all their intracacies dancing across my view increases my love for the majestic kindness of Hashem. He has provided so much goodness for us. And the lightning breaking thru the darkness of night (and its meaning for our hearts) is exciting to me.

Looking forward to more of your posts. How are the kiddies?

At November 20, 2006 at 7:31:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Neshama: The training was actually in town but just at another building so I didn't have to really travel anywhere.

The kiddies are doing well, thank G-d.

I always appreciate your deep comments and wondered if you would consider writing a guest posting in the future? I will try to think of a topic.


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