Almost immediatly after Rabbi Leib Tropper returned from Israel. He was asked to speak on the Island at a local synagogue. 62 participants came to participate in this night lecture and contributed in a way that all enjoyed. Though the weather was unfriendly, people came the Topic Rabbi Leib Tropper Discussed was ‘ Can one change’?
Rabbi Leib Tropper first quoted Maimondies that one should and could make changes in their Behavior. However , he thought that perhaps Maimondies meant changing behavior but not changing internally. Is it ok for one to be content though living with certain contradictions? Or is it ethically inappropriate and one must resolve the contradictions , the Divide in oneself? It is assumed that in order to change one must resolve their Inner spiritual conflict….is that true?
Rabbi Leib Tropper quoted the Midrash in Bereishis tells us that when Man (in generic term) was about to be created, Hashem discussed it with the angels. Some angels protested because Man is full of lies’ which is synonymous with saying that Humans suffer from inconsistency and contradiction. Unquestionably it is unhealthy to live a life of contradiction and Split. Climbing the ladder of life is possible even if one lives with contradiction. Most people ,religious or non religious Live the life of ‘divide’ inner conflict and even contradiction.
Only G’D is without contradiction. As humans, perfection is imperfection ,Rabbi Leib Tropper says. Walt Whitman writes towards the end of his popular poem ‘leaves of grass’ ‘Do I contradict myself? Very well then…I contradict myself; I am large I contain Multitudes’. Rabbi Leib Tropper quoted Otto Rank , once a devout student of Freud in the 1920’s and then parted to deal with neurosis. In the book ‘A Psychology of Difference’ Rank makes a critical Observation (pg 47) “a fully functioning person “must learn to live (leben lernen)to live with his split,his conflict,his ambivalence , which NO therapy can take away, for if it could , it would take with it the actual spring of life” Rabbi Leib Tropper was fielding questions for a while after the Lecture. I felt excited to be there.
Written by David Gold