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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Special feature: Midrash Mosaic

In response to Rabbi Rieser's posting of April 15, 2010, Rabbi Ruskin mentioned a mosaic she created. Here it is above. In Rabbi Ruskin's words, the mosaic illustrates the midrash, "'Shall we make a human?' Rabbi Simon teaches that when the Holy One came to create the first Human Being the Ministering angels formed groups. Hesed (lovingkindness) and tzedek (justice) voted in favor of our creation while peace and truth voted against. God broke the tie and human beings came into being. The version I illustrated in my mosaic ends with God breaking the tie by casting Truth to the ground. Thus is Truth scattered over the face of the earth and over the face of our lives. Our task then becomes the seeking and elevating of Truth. 'Attention must be paid' to this ultimate Truth: that each human life is of value, that each of us has the potential for chesed, tzedek, and shalom. And "attention must be paid" to the other truth: that we must be constantly struggling with the yetzer ha-ra luring each of us away from chesed, tzedek, and shalom. Not exactly the point of this piece of Gemara, but on my mind as I observe human behavior around me and the challenges within me."

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