We read in today’s daf (5a-5b) that “a captive cannot release himself”. In order to be released one needs “help from the outside”.
I am a captive of today’s daf where I read about the “afflictions of love”. I am a captive of my ignorance and my resistance to imagine that Suffering is meted out by a benevolent Other especially when the Other is The One. I really need “help from the outside” for this one.
Does the text itself provide it? We read that suffering can teach one so much but there must be “consent” by which the text means acknowledgment of guilt. But what guilt is to be acknowledged? How does one ever understand the calculus of this system of cause and effect? The text suggests the ignorance is due to the lack of Torah study. The Buddha might say (simply) “not a useful question”. Hmmmm.
Earlier we read that the Torah scholar is exempt from repeating the Sh’ma before going to sleep. I’m thinking it best to repeat it lest I appear to lack humility by omitting it and have others think that I think I am a Torah scholar! But how would they know? After all I am in or near my bed and only I would know. (And anyway I am a Torah scholar – ha!) I may be a Torah scholar but being who I am I’d err on the side of saying it lest I be guilty of being wrong thereby failing to fulfill the obligation to recite the bedtime Sh’ma. And with such guilt I would earn the “sufferings of love” – yes?
Are you still with me? After all, I wrote earlier I’d need help from the outside and the text alone will not suffice!