Alleys

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+ 419 These people live again in print as intensely as when their images were captured on old dry plates of sixty years ago... I am walking in their alleys, standing in their rooms and sheds and workshops, looking in and out of their windows. Any they in turn seem to be aware of me. Ansel Adams


+ 554 We find ourselves under the government of a system of political institutions, conducing more essentially to the ends of civil and religious liberty, than any of which the history of former times tells us. We, when mounting the stage of existence, found ourselves the legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings. We toiled not in the acquirement or establishment of them; they are a legacy bequeathed us by a once hardy, brave, and patriotic, but now lamented and departed, race of ancestors. Theirs was the task and nobly they performed it to possess themselves, and through themselves us, of this goodly land, and to uprear upon its hills and its valleys a political edifice of liberty and equal rights; 'tis ours only to transmit these—the former unprofaned by the foot of an invader, the latter undecayed by the lapse of time and untorn by usurpation—to the latest generation that fate shall permit the world to know. This task gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general, all imperatively require us faithfully to perform. Abraham Lincoln


+ 429 Come live with me and be my love, And we will all the pleasures prove, That valleys, groves, hills, and fields, Woods, or steepy mountain yields. Christopher Marlowe


+ 324 The last day i was home i took the rental car up old 14 behind the Sandia Mountains. as i drove north toward Santa Fe past Madrid I rolled the window down halfway and let the cold, brisk, February air come into the car. I smelled the pinon trees and the damp earth. The Gray came over me. My life flashed through my heart in one deep rush of feeling. When I made the turn around the mountain to the west, the mesas and valleys spread out before me under the orange and gold horizon. The sun hit me like a wave that flooded out the past and dissolved any idea of the future, and I felt okay and whole for about twenty minutes. Marc Maron, The Jerusalem Syndrome: My Life as a Reluctant Messiah


+ 253 I am a rose in the Plain of Sharon, a lily in the valleys. Song of Solomon 2:1


+ 108 For the Lord your God is bringing you to a good land, a land with brooks of water, fountains and depths, that emerge in valleys and mountains, Devarim 8:7


+ 111 But the land, to which you pass to possess, is a land of mountains and valleys and absorbs water from the rains of heaven, Devarim 11:11


+ 170 Dark Alleys Shine

Once we learn much hidden Torah, whatever we understand and learn from the revealed Torah shines with a precious light.

Then the hidden Torah, with its special quality, appears in all those topics that the revealed Torah discusses.

This is found in the Jerusalem Talmud: since its authors were pious, their Torah was “blessed.” In contrast, the words of the Babylonian Talmud are merely “kept.” It seems that the Jerusalem Talmud deals with more elevated, pious people. Because of them, the Torah grows and becomes glorious. This is due to the appearance of attainments of holiness, starting from a small beginning and developing into great and powerful rivers. These people attain the light of Torah by prayer and deep study, as well as before and after learning. Such people constitute the body of Torah and the soul of Torah.

In this regard, there is a difference between the air of the land of Israel (where the holy spirit can flow upon the content of Jewish law) and elsewhere (where the holy spirit can spread openly only in aggadah, whereas Jewish law is judged by human intellect).

“‘In the dark places, You have placed me’ (Eichah 3:6)—this is the Babylonian Talmud” (Sanhedrin 24a). But from the midst of darkness, great light will sprout: “The nation that walks in darkness has seen a great light, those who dwell in a land of the shadow of death—light has shone upon them” (Is. 9:1). [“These are masters of the Talmud, who have seen great light, for the Holy One, blessed be He, illumines their eyes with what is forbidden and allowed, what is ritually unclean and clean” (Midrash Tanchuma Noach).]

In this way, these people bring down to the lowly avenues of life the illumination of God’s supernal Presence. In this way, they cause multitudinous dark alleys to shine. This aids numbers of those who are distant come, approach and connect to the supernal light of the glow of Torah in its might, the Torah of the land of Israel: “‘The gold of that land is good’ (Bereishis 2:12)—there is no Torah like the Torah of the land of Israel, and no wisdom like the wisdom of the land of Israel” (Bereishis Rabbah 16).

Orot Hatorah 13:1