It’s now been three whole days in a row that I have been laying my tefillin in the morning. Ordinarily, that’s not a big deal, but for me it’s a new record, an event that hasn’t happened in years. Back in the day, when I had the strength of my commitments, I used to rise every morning at 6 am and head to my minyan. Come hell or high water, I was there. But, time slips away, and leaves you with nothing Mister, but boring stories of…, well you know. Now I’m quoting Bruce Springsteen. God help me.
So what’s with this tefillin thing anyway? The commandment to wear tefillin is biblical in origin. Deuteronomy 6:5-8 states:
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day. Impress them upon your children. Recite them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a frontlet between your eyes
There’s obviously tons of basic and advanced information about tefillin on the Web. Google it if you care. One thing you can’t Google though, is my personal take on this whole Torah-sanctioned, black leather binding thing. That could be interpreted perversely – but I’m not going there.
Where am I going? The commandment relating to the laying of tefillin is presented in the context of other laws dealing with one’s relationship to God. Maybe that’s why this activity, however long it will last, resonates with me. God and I are having some relationship issues and this is perhaps a way for me to deal with them. I know God has much better things to do than waste time with the likes of me. But for the last three days I’ve been able to contemplate what the hell it is I am going to be doing with the likes of him. Or her. Or however it is you prefer to picture your diety. I don’t have any answers. This is probably going to be the start of a meandering, self-indulgent series of posts that are going to bore the hell out of you. But, uh… I’ve gotten some messages from folks worried about my state of being. Please, no need to worry. My ribs are healing. I actually ate something today and I am certain that all will be well.
Now to get ready for Jewlicious at the Beach! Yay.