Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Night crawler, beware the beast in black

I love being awake while the world sleeps. It makes you feel that you are alone, one, unique. The long night of the soul. Solitude. Quiet. Serenity. For all you know, the rest of the world has been destroyed in some mega chernobyl-like nuclear holocaust. Yet you sit there blogging away.

One year in Yeshiva over Shavuot I decided that staying up all night pretending to learn was really losing the battle against my body and its incessant need for sleep, so I went to sleep instead, woke up for davening, and learned by myself in the Beis for a few hours till lunch, while the entire world around me slept. Possibly one of my most profound learning experiences (I think I learnt some of Maamarey Hareyiah, Rav Kook's articles). I also loved being awake alone in the dark of the night, the witching hour, while babes suckle from their mothers and women chat to their husbands (Berachot 3a). Though once I had to lock up the big dark shul late at night, after watching an episode of the X-files. That was scary.

I believe that we truly discover ourselves when we are alone, with no one else to distract us or for us to relate our personalities to. Hisbodedus. Don't be afraid to try it. Sitting in the garden on a balmy summer night. Going for a long walk on Shabbat afternoon on your own. Discover your thoughts, your dreams, get to know the real you, as if you were dating yourself. But don't make it the Ikar, the crux. While you are finding the real you, make sure you are still engaged with society, living amongst people, helping them, studying them, learning from others. That is what G-d wants from us.

Veahavta Lereyachah Kamocha - Love your neighbour as you love yourself, but make sure you love yourself.


p.s. brownie point for anyone who can name the band who wrote the song in the title - without cheating


At 6/28/2005 8:36 AM, Blogger Moiy-rah said...

i also love staying up late. I usually think during the day, but i like staying up late at night because that is when i get most accomplished. No one to bother me, and no distractions.
From 12-2 my mind is usually the the clearest. Also, by that time, i have usually de-stressed from my long and usually very crazy/hectic days.

people ask me, so moiy-rah, when are you going to sleep? I'll sleep when i'm 65 and retired.

At 6/28/2005 10:04 AM, Blogger ClooJew said...


At 6/28/2005 1:21 PM, Blogger Karl said...

I think most people are too afraid of discovering the real them as they are so used to putting up a front to people. Afraid of the dark. Afraid of what they may find.

At 6/28/2005 7:05 PM, Blogger ClooJew said...

Not to, lulei demistafina, interrupt your train of thought, but wanted to make SURE you saw shopoholic's post on lakewood (and my poignant comment)


At 6/28/2005 8:41 PM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

moiy-rah, I prefer Bon Jovi's formulation, "I'll sleep when I'm dead".

cloojew, I wrote "solitude".

karl, I think you are right. why is that so?


At 6/28/2005 11:57 PM, Blogger Shopaholic said...

"I think most people are too afraid of discovering the real them as they are so used to putting up a front to people. Afraid of the dark. Afraid of what they may find."

"why is that so?"

Its the fear of rejection-of knowing that you know who you are and that others may not accept you like that- so you mold you self into what everyone else is so that you fit in the box.
The only time you have to think about the 'real you' is at night when you have your thoughts to yourself and and you wonder who you are, what your doing and most of all where you're going...

At 6/29/2005 1:54 PM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

shopo - too true girl. well put


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