At the Hillel welcome back night, one of the activities was to paint flowerpots, and then plant flowers in them. On my pot I wrote something which Lissy Isaacson said in 8th grade when throwing ideas around as to what to write in the yearbook. We didn’t end up using it, but for some reason, I have no idea why, the quote has stuck with me.
“Germinate Your Mind.”
I was looking at my flowers recently and realized that theres more of a connection between flowers and the human mind than one would think of at first glance. Theres the obvious one that just like flowers need outside stimuli to grow properly, our brains need to be excercised regularly as well.
But theres another one that I just thought of.
I have noticed that I need to rotate my plant daily, because the flowers grow towards the sun, so they seem to lean over towards the window. Rotating them balances out the leaning, and makes them grow upright.
Just like flowers, our minds tend to lean towards one way (presumably the way we have been taught previously), and, just like flowers, we need to be turned regularly to be able to view things from an objective perspective.
A personal example: I went to school at relatively right wing Jewish high schools, and then I went to a pretty right wing seminary in Israel for a year. Then I returned to America, to the University of Maryland. I’m taking Jewish History, and it’s taught from an extremely left wing perspective. The Proffessor is actually really good about presenting all opinions. Recently he was talking about Bayit Rishon and Bayit Sheni, and he said sometimes he gets the question “Is there a third temple?” The answer, he said, was “No, unless you are one who is of the opinion that the Messiah will return and come build it.” He said it in a way that implied that was a preposterous thing to think , and the class laughed politely at this.
Well, some of us are of the opinion that the Messiah will come and redeem us all from our long exile. However, I didn’t realize exactly how crazy this sounded untill this class. I mean, when discussing Christian theology in High School, no one could understand how Christians could actually believe that Jesus would come back to Save them. However they could readily accept that Meshiach will come [a second time, as the first time will have failed] to Save them.
As the Adderabbi once said, “I have often pondered what would happen if Mashiach comes, and his name is Jesus.”