This is a series of monthly talks by Rabbi Creditor following Sunday morning Minyans, Feb-Jul, 2008.
While time is perceived to flow forward according to conventional wisdom, Jewish mythic time conflates the past and the present. What does it mean to truly relive the Exodus? Is it possible? Might we come to believe that we are not only alive now, but will be alive in generations to come?
The World Trade Center, tragic landmark of beginnings and endings and of sudden disappearance, has risen to mythic proportion since 9/11. It now stands together with a pantheon of places that orient us physically and spiritually, about which powerful myths of origins and life crises like birth, death, marriage, and transcendent intersections with the Divine collect and swirl. What also of Jerusalem, a place whose very name is taught to singe the lips? How might we come to understand the spiritual symbolism of a place, both real and legendary, as a psychic center, a source of dynamic energy and a place of modern life?
Our spiritual texts and history include mythic people; mystics who created Golems, prophets who could resurrect, rain-makers, and more. What do these stories demonstrate? Is it possible to be a rationalist and yet tell these stories with conviction? Do mythic people roam our world today? Did they ever? Does the Jewish people need mythic people? Join Rabbi Creditor in a conversation regarding Mythic People as we continue the exploration of Living a Mythic Life.
Our spiritual texts and history include mythic people; mystics who created Golems, prophets who could resurrect, rainmakers, and more. What do these stories demonstrate? Is it possible to be a rationalist and yet tell these stories with conviction? Do mythic people roam our world today? Did they ever? Do the Jewish people need mythic people?
A literal reading of Torah does not have the capacity to describe the Infinite. For that the imagination is required. What then might we expect to feel for biblical text? Do we dare suggest that the Torah, our sacred center, is a work of imagination? What of Divine Inspiration? Divine Authorship? Is a Myth a lie? What then of spiritual authority?
Myth and ritual are two central components of religious practice, in which one important function of myth is to provide an explanation for ritual. In traditional Jewish theology, rituals are considered important precisely because they were established by God and those who spoke in God's Name. What happens to a system of ritual when the origin of its authority is re-understood? Is "Jewish Law/Halacha" still a relevant term? Should it be?