librarygeek: cute cartoon fox with nose in book (Default)
[personal profile] librarygeek
I have been fascinated by the concept of a holy fool for a while. In the Pesach Seder, we have a part with four children: the wise one, the wicked or rebellious one, the simple child, and "the one who doesn't even know how to ask". Each child is supposedly given an answer to suit them, but the answers to the wise and simple are the ones that grabbed my attention.

There are different words used to talk about fools. Some are translated as simple, some as fool, and some as imbecile, who have a legal status like women, deaf mutes, and children.

I found a Chassidic reading of a Talmudic passage, "Three Holy Fools", https://www.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/2866257/jewish/Three-Holy-Fools.htm that has a video and a PDF available, and another article, "In Praise of Chassidic Folly", https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/2837252/jewish/In-Praise-of-Chassidic-Folly.htm

Let me copy a few parts I'm finding directly relevant from the last article there:

1) It is this population problem that makes it necessary to explain the positive significance of being the kind of fool who is not right in his own eyes, whose folly is right in G‑d’s eyes alone.

2) In these discourses, under the pedagogic necessity to “answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit” (Proverbs 26:5), we find contrasted with a folly that is nothing but a brew of mindless conformity to the status quo, neurotic self-deception, bad faith, and bursts of irresponsible pleasure-mongering, a very different kind of folly, namely a folly of purely positive value called shtus dikdushah, “holy folly.” This kind of folly is not only praised, it is emphatically placed in the first order of business for the contemporary Jew. If there ever existed a time in which holy folly was a second-order issue, ours is not such a time, according to the Previous Rebbe. But was there ever such a time?

The text called the Basi Legani is being mentioned repeatedly about the idea of holy folly within Chassidic thought.

I was trying to start doing the morning prayers of Judaism, Shachareet, Modeh Ani, Birchot HaShahar and an image kept impinging on my mind. So I am acknowledging it HERE, and then see what others may make of it as well. Jewish Renewal teaches mysticism and Kabbalistic thought.

Size and labeled as a Tarot Card - these are NOT for any forbidden divination, but for meditation and guided imagery.

The Fool - Alef, the Hebrew letter

Images are to be in an outline style, for coloring later!

Central image - a faceless person in profile standing facing right side of card, with a Bukharan type kippah on the head, tallit - prayer shawl over the shoulders, arms holding a large book open in front of them as being read, tallit katan fringes showing at the waistband front and back, full pants narrowing at the calf, sandals or boots.

Fox as replacement for the dog in the classic Tarot card, no taller than waist, and trotting ahead of the person

A myrtle tree behind.

Facing into two waves to the right, but before the parting on dry land - the display of faith, to head forward blind for reading, trusting to Shekhinah

A sun/Light in the top right corner, to the East.

On the other side: Modeh Ani and the Birchot HaShahar to start the day, with small graphics for the different blessings

(no subject)

5/11/18 01:42 (UTC)
zeeth_kyrah: A glowing white and blue anthropomorphic horse stands before a pink and blue sky. (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah
The Fool could be considered an innocent when holy, even a knowing Fool. Whereas the mundane fool being full of wrongful thoughts and troubles will create more problems, the holy Fool is a starting place for solving problems: Knowing one's foolishness is key to walking the path of mastery.

Which is how the order of Tarot was arranged as it changed from card game to wisdom tool: instead of merely an idiot who would get the whole village in trouble in front of the king, the character became the symbol of the unawakened and unenlightened who could change if given the right understanding. Thus the Major Arcana are also called the Fool's Journey, as I think you understand.

Am I right in thinking that Alef symbolizes not only beginnings, but primacy and/or infinity?

Looking up the symbolism of myrtle makes me smile. Of course one would find Diety behind and before, even in the unlearned showing their potential and the possibility of great Light ahead.

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