The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Comment Worth Posting

One of the interesting outcomes of my blog is that, every once in a while, despite its inherent goofiness and non-seriousness, a commentor will leave an important, even profound, comment or I will receive such a thought by email.

Today I received such a comment from "AJewInTheAyalonValley" in connection with my "Freakiness - Lateness Connection" post.

It is certainly worth a post of its own so here it is in its entirety.

I very much enjoyed your interesting observation regarding the "freakiness – lateness connection" and wanted to share the following thought.

To over generalize, people fit into one of two personality types, the concrete and the abstract. The concrete personality is the doer, the man who places supreme value on the world of action and knows how to get the job done. "Just do it". This man is usually described as having "two feet on the ground" because his realism, rooted in his concrete outlook, enables him to see what action has to be done and he does it successfully. Because of concrete man's emphasis on the world of action he usually scoffs at abstract man, viewing him as an unrealistic, irrelevant, loser.

The second personality type views the world from an abstract perspective, placing much more weight on words, meaning, emotions and the spirit. This outlook tends to belittle what it calls the pettiness, small mindedness and superficiality of the world of action. In addition, not only does abstract man belittle action, he is prone to reject any trace of specific units, measurements, including those in the form of time. These men want to let their spirits soar, free from the shackles of time and space. (Hence they are often labeled as "freaks" by people who have the importance of action built into their worldview.)

Perhaps one of the most beautiful aspects of Halacha is the synthesis of these two opposite forces within us, bringing about complete harmony between our abstract souls and the concrete physical world that we live in. The angels feel that Torah is too abstract to be brought "down to earth". Physically oriented man sees this world as an action-defined world and therefore finds philosophy, poetry and song to be irrelevant "fluff". The Jew knows the secret of bringing about unity between the two.

May the abstract freaks and the concrete doers be zocheh to learn from each other and maximize the potential given to us, in this case allowing for a concrete, effective, punctual, soal soaring, beyond this world tfilla. Na'aseh V'nishma amru k'echad.
All I can say is Amen!



  • At 9:53 PM, Anonymous Rodrigo said…

    Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

  • At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Lonely Man of Faith, by Soloveitchik deals with exactly this by comparison of the two different accounts of Adam.


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