Back to Basics
What is now being experienced with the Polar Vortex is a return to a less sophisticated state. If you live in the southern hemisphere, the south is indeed cold and the north is indeed hot. In this sense, the southern hemisphere is natural. Because it exhibits nature in its raw, still unrectified form.
But this is exactly what is happening now to the north. The north is now warm, and the south of the northern hemisphere is now cold. Some take this to mean that civilization is moving too fast, too many greenhouse gas emissions, etc… Whether the Polar Vortex is the result of global warming or not, there is a very important lesson that we can take from these events:
The events surrounding the Polar Vortex are a good opportunity to work to become more north again. This means that while we shouldn’t trade places in an unhealthy way (e.g. population swaps in Israel or confusion over gender in the U.S.), we should strive to include more positive opposites in our lives for the good. Not to be so rigid in our own opinions, but to work to inter-include or sow more of the colors and hues of the Jewish people into one magnificent tapestry.
Adapted from Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh’s essay “Earth Sciences A Kabbalistic Model of the Oceans and Continents” (the Polar Vortex part is my own add-on application)
1. There is a great deal of in-depth commentary on this topic. Most importantly see the Eishel Avraham’s (Fiorda: 1701) commentary on these folios. See also the Alter Rebbe’s Lukutei Torah, Tazria 19d-20a and Mikdash Melech on these folios.
About the Author: Yonatan Gordon has spent most of his past 13 professional years in the world of Jewish publishing. He was the Marketing Manager at Kehot Publication Society (publishing arm of Chabad) for the better part of six years. He is founder of the website Community of Readers.
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