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Monday, December 05, 2005

Leisure time in Podova

onthemainline reports about a new psak against computer games and computer movies.

While I am sure that there are many games and movies that can be very damaging. The language of the psak seems to imply that all liesurly activity is assur.

I find this interesting since I have been going through the letters, poems, and plays of the ramchal lately. Apparently in Podova, whenever a Jew would be granted a doctorate from the local university, they would throw him a big party and write poems in his honor. Within each poem there lay a riddle which the party's participants would try to solve with the correct solution earning the person a prize.

What amazes me about these letters and poems is how natual social life seemed to be integrated with deep religious meaning for the Ramchal. In much of religious society today, there seems to be an unnatural break between leisurely life and religious life. There is the kiddush and the shiur and the 2 often don't mix. I think that the model of social life that is reflected in these writings of the Ramchal should be investigated further to see what we can learn from this giant of Jewish thought.