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Monday, September 25, 2006

Rabbi Simcha Bunam, the Two Realities, and Self-Referentialism 

Now I don't know if they were stones or papers - you be the judge. In the Ontario Logoblog I quoted from Wes Morriston's paper that quoted from the Rabbi Simcha Bunam. Out in the Quad Cities, here's how Rabbi Karp presented the issue back in 1998:

We come to Yom Kippur, searching out our souls. Asking the questions, "Who
are we? What are we?" We stand between two infinities; the infinity that
is beyond us and the infinity that is within us. We stand at the center of
the universe. So who are we? What are we? Are we the center of the
universe? Or are we a nearly invisible dot, lost within the cosmic
grandeur? Or are we the culmination of creation, the very home of infinity
itself? Perhaps we are one. Perhaps we are another. Perhaps we are all
three. Each one of us must seek out our own answers on this day of Yom
Kippur; on every day of our lives. Perhaps we will find that our answers
reside somewhere in between them all. As Rabbi Simcha Bunam was fond of
telling his disciples, "Everyone must have two pockets, so that he can
reach into the one or the other, according to his needs. In his right
pocket are to be the words, 'For my sake was the world created,' and in his
left pocket: 'I am dust and ashes.'" May the search that each of us
enters into prove fruitful. May we grow from it. May we grow into it.
And may we grow in love and strength toward God and all creation.

Here's some more about Rabbi Simcha Bunam:

Rabbi Simcha Bunam of Pshis'cha
Born: Voidislav, 1767
Died: Pshis'cha, 1827

In his early life Rabbi Simcha Bunam studied in the yeshivot of Mattersdorf and Nikolsburg where his mentor was the gaon Rabbi Mordechai Banet. Having been introduced to Chassidism by his father-in-law, he became the follower of the Maggid of Koznitz. After working as a manager of a timber producer and later as a pharmacist he was influenced and by the Chozeh (Seer) of Lublin, becoming his closest disciple. When Rabbi Yaacov Yitzchak, also called "the Holly Jew", left the Chozeh's circle to establish his own chassidic court in Pshis'cha, Rabbi Bunam followed him there, and upon the Holly Jew's death he succeeded him.

Thousands of chassidim were attracted to the Pshis'cha approach to Chassidism that Rabbi Bunam advocated, accentuating Torah study, introspection, and self searching....

Collections of his thoughts on the Torah were published by his followers under the titles Kol Simcha, Ramatayim Tzofim, Chedvat Simcha, and others.

And here's a story:

Rabbi Simcha Bunam once said, "I have learned the meaning of love by overhearing a conversation between two Polish peasants in a tavern. They were somewhat inebriated and one said to the other "Do you love me? And the other answered ‘of course I do’ and he continued ‘Then tell me where I hurt. And the other said ‘I do not know.’ Then the first man responded ‘Then how can you say you really love me.’ Rabbi Bunam continued, "to be a friend is to know where the other hurts."

But if you want to know more about the Rabbi, check Zoominfo, which generated information on him based upon 23 Internet sources. They were even able to ascertain his employment history. (He was a rabbi.)

However, Zoominfo does not list me. (I checked under my real name, and I'm not listed there either. But neither is Kiira Korpi.)

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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