Thursday, September 6, 2012

Approaching Life With PARDES

Okay, now I know most of you never attended rabbinical school, and neither did I! I would have loved to actually, but I was lead down a different path.

Sometimes I hear people say that they have no direction; they cannot find their path. To such people, I can recommend 2 things. 1) Constantly focus both on yourself and simultaneously on others. 2) Use PARDES in your life.

When you focus on yourself, you try to objectively look at the good and the bad, the strong and the weak points about yourself. Use your strengths a lot, but also work on your weaknesses. When you focus on others, do not focus on them to judge them, but focus on what they need, say, and want and then try to be a positive light in their lives.

PARDES, or PaRDeS is an acronym of Jewish exegesis... This means that this is a method of understanding Torah. What is Torah??? It is the instruction of God. Jews are taught that they must first learn, and then do these things that God instructs. (There is a book called "The Two, The Ten, and The Many" which refers to these instructions). There are 2 instructions, there are 10 instructions, and there are 613 instructions PLUS others! MANY paths here!

Regardless of your belief or unbelief in Torah, you still have instructions that you live by, even if these instructions are not written in Hebrew from God. Assuming everyone journals (everyone writes journals, right?!) assuming everyone journals, you likely have written down your beliefs somewhere. Someone has likely asked you. You likely have a moral code involving how you treat yourself and others.

The study of the instructions of how you live your life can be observed using
PaRDeS (P.R.D.S. since Hebrew technically contains no vowels).
Peshat: plain, simple, and direct meaning and interpretation. Literal.
Remez: hidden or symbolic meaning using hints or deep meaning related to the literal meaning.
Derash: study, interpretation, or story.
Sod: inspired, mystical, hidden meaning.

And I can leave things at just that. I would not want to tell people how they should live their lives. I only know what works for me, and my life is far from perfect. Just some ideas for some people who were asking.

No comments:

Post a Comment