A good friend of mine (you know who you are 😉 recently wrote a really thought provoking post entitled “ignorance is…creativity”. In it, she describes how when she first started learning gemara on her own, at around the age of 16, she was coming up with such wild and crazy chidushim that could never actually make sense in the larger scheme of things, but the served the vital purpose of allowing her to expand her mind.
I just spent the past 6 hours studying for a math test with another dear friend, “Danny”. Danny is somewhat of an atheist (he’s a little confused as to what he believes at this point), but more importantly, he’s a philosopher. He’s only 19 years old, yet he is brilliant beyond his years. Danny and I have the craziest conversations, that only someone as insane as I would understand, much less enjoy. Whats unique about Danny is that when I say something outlandish, instead of nipping it in the bud and explaining why it can’t be, Danny will proceed to expound on it, and develop the idea as if it was something that could and should happen.
For example, once I mentioned that someone I know was told as a child that God only gives people a certain amount of words, and once you use up those words, you won’t be able to speak anymore. Other people that I’ve told this too responded in one of two ways: 1. They said that it’s probably just illustrating how important it is for one to think about the necessity of their wordsds before they speak, or, 2. They try to convince me that this is impossible since God wants you to do certain mitzvot, like teffilla, that involve talking, every day of your life. Danny, on the other hand, just expounded on that and went on to discuss how much different our lives would be if we had to ration out our words, and asked if this would apply to the written word as well?
Danny thinks so much out of the box that I don’t even think he realizes there is a box. He hasn’t yet got to the level of comfort with the way of the world to become sedated in his musings. His thoughts are absolutely insane, but at the same time, insanely rational. I could sit and talk to him for hours about absolutely nothing, and at the same time, feel like a smarter, more intellectual woman.
What I wouldn’t give to see his thoughts for a day…