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PASSION

October 8, 2015

“From a person standing back from afar, I’ve felt for the Essendon players that they probably haven’t had that love of the game as much as what they should have,” – New Essendon Manager John Worsfold

This week’s Torah Parsha (Portion) Bereishit summary from www.chabad.org – G‑d creates the world in six days. On the first day He makes darkness and light. On the second day He forms the heavens, dividing the “upper waters” from the “lower waters.” On the third day He sets the boundaries of land and sea, and calls forth trees and greenery from the earth. On the fourth day He fixes the position of the sun, moon and stars as timekeepers and illuminators of the earth. Fish, birds and reptiles are created on the fifth day; land animals, and then the human being, on the sixth. G‑d ceases work on the seventh day, and sanctifies it as a day of rest.

G‑d forms the human body from the dust of the earth, and blows into his nostrils a “living soul.” Originally Man is a single person, but deciding that “it is not good that man be alone,” G‑d takes a “side” from the man, forms it into a woman, and marries them to each other.

Adam and Eve are placed in the Garden of Eden, and commanded not to eat from the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.” The serpent persuades Eve to violate the command, and she shares the forbidden fruit with her husband. Because of their sin, it is decreed that man will experience death, returning to the soil from which he was formed, and that all gain will come only through struggle and hardship. Man is banished from the Garden.

Eve gives birth to two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain quarrels with Abel and murders him, and becomes a rootless wanderer. A third son, Seth, is born to Adam; Seth’s eighth-generation descendant, Noah, is the only righteous man in a corrupt world.

I thought I better do a PART 2 of my Blog “The Joy in Insecurity https://pamensky68.wordpress.com/2015/10/04/joy-in-insecurity/ ” as Shemini Atzeret / Simcha Torah are separate festivals and my Blog only chronicled the journey of the Jewish Festivals to Sukkot.

So let me continue…..Reading John Worsford’s quotes I got quite upset. How can these players who earn so much money lose their passion and if they have lost their passion should they be representing their clubs?

Passion can be both positive and negative. This is learnt from this week’s Parsha – there is the negative passion of the “snake” who desires Eve, the negative passion of Cain who wants to be accepted by Hashem but takes short cuts and then murders his brother after his sacrifices are not “accepted”. The only reason to have committed this murder is that he was chasing his passion. There is the positive passion of Adam who after separating from Eve, returns to her and she conceives Seth and ensured the continuation of “man”. Both the snake and Cain suffered consequences of their passions.

As I mentioned Shemini Atzeret and Simcha Torah are separate festivals to Sukkot as we say the “Shechiyanu” blessing and we have a different insertion in our prayers. There are lessons we can learn from these festivals.

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch teaches that Shemini Atzeret is a day to hold onto what we have already achieved.

@jodieswallow: “I feel incredibly privileged to do this. It’s an optional pain. Many people don’t have an optional pain, it’s forced on them.”

STRAVA

STRAVA

I think that Jodie’s quote sums this all up, we all need to appreciate what we have and what we have achieved. Today I managed to run with my mates and more importantly I kept up. I did not set any PR’s on Strava, but that is expected without any speed work and Fartleks. (I won’t mention my bike ride yesterday when I was dropped…). But I was back and that felt so good!

Before Simcha Torah Rabbi Sendor spoke of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama nearly 50 years ago as part of the Civil Rights movement in the USA. When Rabbi Heschel returned from Selma, he was asked by someone, ‘Did you find much time to pray, when you were in Selma?’ Rabbi Heschel responded, “I prayed with my feet.” What was his point?

Simcha Torah is about bringing all that we have learnt and experienced into our lives. We celebrate the “spiritual preservation” of the Jewish People and the fact that we are alive and well. It is a time to passionately celebrate who we are and what we stand for.

In the same way that Rabbi Sendor and Rabbi Goodhart so passionately led the Blake Street Minyan and inspired us all to participate on Simcha Torah in the dancing and singing that took place with the Torah in hand, so to we all need to “pray with our feet” like Rabbi Heschel and stand tall for all that we stand for and for what we have in our lives. I think Rabbi Heschel was telling us is that whatever we have in our life, we should pray with and whatever we have in our life, we should use to make this world a better world. We have to put all we have into what we do. This requires PASSION and commitment.

“A religious man is a person who holds G-d and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair.” – Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Just as we complete reading the Torah on Simcha Torah and restart the cycle at the same time without interruption. Hopefully we have a greater understanding and can move to the next level. We have this renewed and improved opportunity to learn more about ourselves, healthy lifestyle, exercise, our values and our beliefs.

Just as I have detailed by “journey” from injury to running again with my mates, Rabbi Hirsch summaries the yearly pattern of the festivals festivals:

  • Passover – celebrate the Physical Creation of the Jewish people
  • Shavuot – celebrates the giving of the Torah and spiritual creation of the Jewish People
  • Sukkot – celebrates the physical preservation of the Jewish people through divine providence
  • Shemini Atzeret/ Simcha Torah – celebrates the spiritual preservation of the Jewish people through their attachment and passion for the Torah.I think John Worsfold thinks the players should be playing for Essendon and he has detailed his plan for Essendon. He said he was motivated to help the Essendon players reignite their passion for playing the sport.

Worsfold said: “….. So that’s certainly an aim — to make sure that they love turning up to training, they love playing the game and they love representing the Essendon Football Club.”

This is passion…Only with “Passion and a Joy in Insecurity” can you move to the next level, make changes to your lifestyle, improve your performance, truly support causes that you love, help others to improve and grow intellectually & spiritually.

To end a quote.

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” –   Albert Einstein

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