Spirituality on the Upper West Side
Personally, I haven't found retaining, cultivating, and developing my spirituality while living on the Upper West Side to more difficult than anywhere else I've lived, which I guess isn't saying much.
What does "spirituality" mean, anyway? People talk about it a lot these days, but few define it. I have some idea of what it means in a sort of hippy, Jewish renewal-ly context, but not so much at OZ. When I think of spirituality, I think of yearning to connect with something greater than oneself, and outside oneself. That yearning is sometimes expressed in deeply-felt tefilah, sometimes in music, song, dance, or other artistic expression. Having been educated in the Soloveitchikian model, I believe that spirituality can also be expressed through studying Jewish texts, through talmud Torah. However, that doesn't mean that praying, singing, dancing, painting, or studying are always spiritual experiences--they often aren't.
Conclusion: Spirituality is defined but what you bring to the experience of life, not by where you live.
(Except maybe if you're in yeshiva and/or you have someone bankrolling your life, so you can focus on just the spiritual, not the physical. I suppose getting rid of some of the trappings of our physical existence would also help, but I'm a packrat so I'm not heading in that direction.)
Labels: New York
Is this different from life anywhere else? Or is he contrasting it with yeshiva?
The use of the word "spirituality" in Ismar Schorsch's graduation tirade convinced me that I no longer have any idea what anyone means by the word (if I ever did).
I still think that spirituality has something to do with a connection (to quote myself) "with something greater than oneself, and outside oneself," although I really have no idea how to consistently achieve that connection, and I am open to opposing definitions.