No sooner had the holidays ended, the regular schedule of classes and services began. It is a welcome return to normality, but also a return to dealing with the mundane aspects of life.
Always on my mind is the way in which spirituality is part of my life. Spirituality, in my definition, is the ongoing engagement in the struggle with God. It can look like many things and manifest itself through study, music, writing or just thought. A "spiritual" person is both weighed down, and supported by the struggle. That's my definition - it avoids the stereotypical head in the clouds or emotional demeanor that is supposedly emblematic of the spiritual. This week we read Parashat Noach. There's a lot in that parasha, but one word sticks out for me: hit'halekh. The reflexive form of the verb halakh, to go or to walk. It is not used often in the Tanakh, but it is used here: Noach hit'halekh with God. What does this mean? Clearly, it's not as simple as "Noah walked with God" or "Noah walked around with God."
The verb is used in another place that I recall - when David is on the roof, looking at Bathsheba. In 2 Samuel, verse 2: "he rose from his bed and "strolled" - v'yithalekh - on the roof of the royal palace and from the roof he saw a woman bathing." "Strolled" is not the right translation. Perhaps walked around, struggled. In the same way Noach walked with God: there was an uneasy aspect to it, an internal meditation.
That is how I describe my movement now. Hit'halekh - to walk while being engaged with....