depth of perception  

December 8, 2020   

"Rabbi Samuel son of Nahmani said in Rabbi Jonathan's name; What is meant by "Thou has ravished my heart, my sister, my bride, thou has ravished my heart with one of thine eyes." (Song of Songs, Chapter 4, verse 9). In the beginning with one of thine eyes; when thou fulfillest, with both thine eyes." (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 88B)

The above passage comes from the Talmud compiled in Babylon between the years 200 - 500 C.E. The rabbis are discussing a verse in the Biblical book known as "The Song of Songs" by King Solomon.  A much later rabbi, known as the Maharsha, or Rabbi Shmuel Eidels (1555 - 1631, Krakow, Poland) explained as follows; "A thing may be perceived spiritually and materially. When the Israelites first accepted the Torah they perceived its greatness in spirit only, i.e. in theory (one eye). Having observed it they saw materially too, i.e. in actual practice (both eyes)"

Let us contemplate this ancient exchange of ideas. The rabbis are interpreting the verse from the Bible to express that one will not appreciate something fully at first.  A husband will only see his wife partially at the beginning, after years of a relationship, after years of experiencing one another, he will see her in a much deeper sense, the relationship will be much more fulfilling. 

The idea here concerns the Torah, the Bible. They are saying that seeing the ideas in theory (in "Spirit") is one thing but living by the laws of God over a period of time one will experience the pleasures and satisfaction of this way of life on a much deeper level, and on a much higher level. The initial benefits of the system cannot be understood, appreciated or enjoyed at the beginner level. One requires time, study, patience and diligence in order to enjoy the full benefits of this package deal.

While this idea is simple, it is also profound and something that we need to be reminded of, particularly today. While everything today must be faster; faster computer connections, faster downloads etc, we become geared towards instant satisfaction. Gone are traditional foods, it is all instant miso, instant coffee, instant soup, and all are lousy. We are in too much of a hurry. 

Our Krav Maga, IKI Krav Maga, is geared towards fast learning. We have eliminated the complexity, we have shorten the process, we have simplified the techniques; not because we are impatient but rather because we understand that most people will not have the patience, time or determination to earn a black belt in Karate or Jujitsu.  But I will apply the Talmudic lesson from the ancient rabbis here as follows: At first you will only see IKI Krav Maga with one eye. You will not fully appreciate what we have to offer during your first lesson, your first month or even your first year. Only after time, seeing the gun techniques, the hand to hand combat, the defense vs long weapons, sticks and knives, and ground defense, only then will begin to see how it all comes together in one whole and pure system. Only after time will you see how natural all the movements are, and how the different defenses all blend together, in fact, they are all just parts of one whole. Eventually you will see us with two eyes, as the rabbis explained. 

 I have encountered many people over the years who dismissed the Bible, the Talmud, the works of our sages, as old fashioned, out of date nonsense that only gullible people see value in. I smile and let them talk. I feel sorry for them. They have not even opened one eye, let alone two eyes. They have eyes but they cannot see. There is wisdom in front of their noses but they cannot sense it. What a pity, but to each his own. 

Over the years I have heard many off-hand remarks such as, Certainly you don't think that any of this stuff would actually work against a real criminal with a gun or a knife!

Well of course not! of course everything I have devoted my life too is just silly games, naturally I would never actually expect any person to be able to defend themselves. Surely we must accept our fate; there is no self-defense. 

Now really. As the rabbis of old would say...Toh shamh, Aramaic for now Go study!

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