I’ve noticed that over the past few days- weeks, maybe- my articles have become increasingly personal. Rather than only discussing the Parsha or interesting Halachos, i’ve taken to writing about my everyday, mundane activities- things like the encounters I have, gifts I receive, and struggles I encounter. At first, I was taken aback by this realisation. You’re becoming self-centered, I told myself. You’ve taken to blogging about yourself- how sad, when there are so many Seforim and Hiddushim you could be writing about! I felt disgraced. Was I one step away from displaying my culinary skills on Instagram?
But as I sat down to write about today’s trip to Stamford Hill, in the baking sun (and, yes, it was pretty wonderful nonetheless), I remembered a magnificent article by the wonderful Chabad Rabbi, Tzvi Freeman, which I’d read a month or two ago. It was called “The Kabbalah of Pokemon Go”, and in it he wrote about the wonderful, Kabbalic undertones to the then-trending videogame. Now, that article wasn’t all about laws and texts, I realised. But did I enjoy it? Yes! Did I rank it among my favourite Chabad.org articles of all time? Yes! And did I learn a very, very important lesson from it? Definitely yes!
I’m not going to write my own version of Rabbi Freeman’s article here, in this post. That would be stripping it of it’s meaning and beauty. You really have to see Freeman write- he really can write! But for those of you who haven’t yet read it (go and check it out this minute, I implore you!), I might as well tell you roughly what it was about. In the game Pokemon Go, your everyday surroundings become the hiding-places of millions of Pokemon, collectable creatures which can sometimes be very rare and highly valued. But if you’re not playing the game, your house just looks like a house, not a Pokemon centre. You need to turn on to make what’s mundane, special.
Sound familiar? That’s where the Kabbalah comes in. In true bringing-Heaven-down-to-earth fashion, Rabbi Freeman finds the amazing link to living a Torah-observant life. If you start looking, then what was once mundane- getting dressed, or cooking- becomes Holy. And in many ways, this article made me think about myself, and the progression of my own writing style. I have really enjoyed my articles about Halacha and Mesorah, and I hope that I imparted some interesting lessons. But I think that in many ways, my insights on everyday life will be more useful to others in the aspect of helping them incorporate Torah observance into their daily routines. I just hope my readers don’t get too bored…