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Writer for Religion.dk

BS”D

Good news for my Danish-languaged readers.

Recently I got a mail from the board on the Danish interfaith portal, Religion.dk, asking me if I want to be part of their “expert panel” on Judaism. I – of course – said yes, so from now on you’ll have the opportunity also to read me on Danish, though it still won’t be as often as here, nor do I choose the subjects.

My first post actually came in December, where I wrote an article on the meaning of life, “Vær Tyranner!”, though it wasn’t my first official article. That “honor” will go to an article I will write about one or more rituals, which mean/s something special for me.

 

I’ll probably also take the questions I will get and write about them here, if the time is for it.

 

So, good news I suppose, hope you’ll enjoy it.

 

All the best.


10 Comments

  1. Olive Twist says:

    I very much wanted to read your article on the meaning of life, but I can only read English. Do you have an English translation of it?

    • qolyehudi says:

      Dear Olive

      You didn’t miss much, to be honest, not one of my best articles. Unfortunately I don’t have an English translation, but I will consider translating the article or write one on the same theme. But you have to be a little patient with me.

      And thank you.

      All the best

      Shmuel

  2. Olive Twist says:

    Thank you kindly. I will keep up with your writings.

  3. qolyehudi says:

    Hope I can live up to the expectations:o)

    Take care.

    Shmuel

  4. Olive Twist says:

    You are too modest. I enjoy learning all that I can from others. If I ever act like I know it all, please slap me a couple of times, so I can come to my senses (only kidding). You are doing great!

    I have been studying the Tanakh with Rashi’s commentary for the last couple of months, and it is SO illuminating, better than any Christian Biblical commentary that I can recall. Is it all right if I ask you some questions from time to time, to gain all that I can from your knowledge?

    • qolyehudi says:

      Thanks for the words:o)

      And don’t worry, you come out pretty down to earth.

      Rashi is a good and interesting commentator to the TaNaCh, without a doubt, and certainly one I would encourage everybody to read. I like Ibn ‘Ezra as well, since he has a very rational approach (I am kind of rational, at least for a religious being;o), though also RaMBaN is someone I study.

      And please ask if there’s something you’re curious about.. I can’t promise that I can answer everything, but I’ll give it a try. If you ask me something I don’t know about, then we’ll be two who learns:o).

      • qolyehudi says:

        Just checked your blog, and saw that your have an MA in creative writing. Sounds good, please give me some info, if you have any thoughts on improvements in my writing:o)

        All the best

      • Olive Twist says:

        I love good steady logic, and I will be keeping in touch about your messages, because I want to learn from you. I will ask you one question for starters: If you could state one primary goal of Jewish spirituality, what would it be? Joy? Discipline? Holiness? Faithfulness? Transcendence? Or all of the above?

        I was reading Jewish Tales of Holy Women by Yitzhak Buxbaum recently, and was quite impressed by the stories. Joy seems to be a central theme in a lot of Jewish writings, but what would you say is your highest goal as a Jewish man?

  5. qolyehudi says:

    Hi Olive

    Good question. I thought about it yesterday, but I had to accept that I cannot give one goal. I think it is dependent on the person. One of the things I love about Judaism, or at least Jewish thought, is the understanding of being one among many, or – to be an individual who has to accept his/her place in a fellowship. As Jews we have both common as well as individual goals and responsibilities, something I have a feeling often is being forgotten by many. What I do is not only for myself, but for the whole community, but not only for the whole community, but also for myself.

    And yes, joy is an important part. We have been through a lot, most of it not so funny, but yet we have kept our humor, and I do think that keeping humor and being able to focus on the bright side of life (love Monty Python;o) is certainly something that has helped us. But more important, I think, is to remember to rejoice in bad times, but also remember the bad times in good times. One example on that can be the breaking of the glass at the end of the wedding ceremony, done in order to remember the destruction of the Temple (and by that making it totally unfitting that people always yell “Mazal Tov!” and begin to party at exactly that point;o).

    Regarding my highest goal as a Jewish man? Doing the Mitzvot;o), especially the study of Torah, which is the whole purpose of our existence. But then again, should it be done without heart, as a machine? I think we do need the joy as part of the fulfilling our obligations.

    Hope that gave some light.

  6. Olive Twist says:

    Wow! Your answers are so well thought out. I love what you said about how we must do everything for ourselves and for the community. My experiences, my joy and even my mistakes and my pain are beneficial to the larger body of the world. I have always felt that way, and that is the reason that even though I have felt drawn at times to a monastic lifestyle, I could never isolate myself and forget about the rest of humanity. Dietrich Bonhoeffer felt strongly about this as well, that one must life a holy life without seclusion, because this is harder than doing so alone. He said we have direct conflict with evil when we stay in the world and live a holy life.

    The Torah is lovely, and everyone should study scriptures diligently to have deeper understanding of God. David wrote a lot about seeking God, and Moses said to meditate upon the law in the morning, throughout the day, and as you lay down to sleep, and teach it to your children. I too try to seek Him in everything I do, in everyone I meet. I lose focus at times, but I try to laugh at myself.

    I have been writing what I consider to be sort of my Torah scroll for the benefit of my sons.

    I never knew the reason for the breaking of the glass, but how wonderful to do it, then to rejoice afterwards and have humor! This is something I must learn to do in life. Thanks for this wisdom that I will hold in my heart. Shalom.

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