Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Lighten Up for Chrissakes!

On another list someone wrote: "The Islamics of the world like the Christians and the Jews need to be subjected to humor and critique."

That prompted me to respond:

If they could only learn to laugh at themselves, they would not need to be critiqued.

They take their religion so damn seriously is what their problem is. There is no levity in their worship at all, no fun.

One of the teachings that Judaism instills is worshipping God in joy, because only in a state of joy does one's consciousness expand to the point of being able to understand the teaching correctly. We are taught that the presence of God does not rest on someone who is not in a state of joy.

As one of my Rabbis once taught me: You've got to take it all with a great sense of humor. The Ramba"m goes so far as to say that one returning from a business trip should not engage in the study of Torah until he relaxes from it. Why? Because he is in too serious a business frame of mind to learn Torah.

There are those who say that organized religion is the problem and they call for individual "spirituality".

I say that religion without humor, particularly the ability to know that God is playing with us and to play with God in return, is the problem.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

DoreenDotan@gmail.com

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