Do you know what I love?
The discovery of space.
Yeah, I suppose you could call it astronomy.
When I was a little kid, I would tell people that when I grew up I wanted to be a Scientist of Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.
You should’ve seen people’s eyes bulge at a midget seven year old busting that out as a life ambition!
Although that ambition has been left by the wayside – mostly due to the fact that I discovered, in high school, that you had to write up every experiment you conducted, even if you weren’t successful in finding those elusive aliens – my interest hasn’t waned.
So, you can imagine the squeals of delight that I let out after reading this week’s astronomically big announcement!
Then I got lost in the excitement of this – which, while maybe not 100% insightful journalism, still got me riled up.
And, to continue with a scientific theme (although not astronomy related), we’ve been given the news that New Zealand may have been hiding its own submerged continent all this time!
The more I age, the more determined I am to hold onto my youthful excitement and wonder.
I have spoken a few times about my easily obsessive nature.
These recent scientific revelations, despite being so far beyond my comprehension levels, feed that excitement and wonder.
They allow space (get it – space – it has two meanings!!! #comedygoldwithtash) for that trusty imagination of mine to take hold.
What I love about that Buzzfeed article is that it demonstrates that I’m not alone in finding these topics engaging and enthralling.
At this Shul, we find a middle ground between religion or spirituality and science.
The two things do not have to be mutually exclusive.
Each encourage free thought.
Each demand investigation.
Each require a mind open to new possibilities.
I want to open today’s lesson with a hypothesis:
Let’s suppose that with this new solar system discovery we are introduced to a life form similar enough to our own that we can engage with them intellectually.
Will they have religion?
Will we be able to articulate what religion is to us?
Will we be able to explain why there are so many religions in our world and why they’re so important that they are the major factor in 99% of all international conflicts throughout the history of our species?
Will they have missionaries of their own – ready to knock on our doors?
But isn’t it exciting and amazing and wonderful and scary and hilarious and enthralling to imagine all of the possibilities?
Today’s isn’t a long lesson.
But it’s an important one.
And one that may herald a slight change in direction for the Shul of Tash.
We’re one year in – that’s right, my bunnies, happy Shul-iversary to us all! – And so, for year two, Rabbit Ash is going to exercise her imagination a little more.
There’ll still be lessons like this from time to time, but I’m also going to try and use the opportunity for some creative writing.
It may be in the form of a short play or monologue.
It may be a silly little poem.
It may even be a tale of Tash…
Time will tell.
But for now?
Use the world around you to trigger your imagination.
Find the wonder.
Find the excitement.
And hold onto it.