Reb Zalman once taught that Hebrew is a doing language, as it reflects its people… an orthopraxic people. In other words, a doing language arouse out of a doing culture. In this light, it’ll make sense when you hear another of his teachings: one doesn’t become a Jew, even the converts. To be a Jew, he’d say, one must be engaged in the act of Jew-ing. Jews are just people who are Jew-ing.
He’d throw “ing” after lots of stuff, thereby making whatever he was talking about an active practice as opposed to a static one (Faith-ing was one of my personal favorites).
May his memory always be a blessing.
Anyhow, why this teaching? Why now?
Yesterday we talked about consistency and diligence in practice. We believe it’s the practice that will make us into something that we’re not already… when in fact, by doing the thing, we become the thing-doer. By martial art-ing, we become the martial artist. By stoic-ing, we become the stoic. By not-martial art-ing, we are not martial artists, and by not stoic-ing, we are not stoics.
Sure, we’ll fail. We’ll get knocked down. Just get up, keep going, and take it one step at a time. We’re supposed to fail, AND we’re supposed to keep going.
We don’t practice then become the thing. POOF! You’re enlightened!
Shoot, wouldn’t that be easy?
No, what we do instead is practice… and it’s through the doing that we become.
Do something. Flavor your tofu.
(See y’all tomorrow)