Renewed Interest in Russian

Through a series of unexpected life experiences I've undergone in the past two years I've lost my interest in language and linguistic research as I've come to realize that language is not only limited but also limiting and there seems to be vast space that transcends language and the intellect with language as its main tool.

Nevertheless I've kept my interest in some specific languages though I've also lost my interest in some others. Hebrew and Yiddish remain important as tools for my spiritual growth, and English as a tool for my intellectual growth. Unfortunately, I seem to be able to find any value in my continued active use of Esperanto though I won't forget it.

I have a much more complicated relationship with Russian - a kind of "love-hate" relationship. To make a long story short, I now have a renewed interest in Russian (as well as Russia and Russian Jewry). While looking for films to watch, I stumbled upon some Russian melodrama with an English subtitle a few weeks ago. Since then I'm hooked again on Russian films with English subtitles.

Watching these films, I saw how Russian, which I consider the most beautiful language on this planet, could still touch and move my heart. So I've decided to resume my study of Russian for pure emotional pleasure with no practical benefits.

Having also started to read or listen to my former favorite websites in Russian, I also see that I still feel close to Russian and Jewish Russian culture - definitely much closer than to Modern Israeli (non-haredi) culture.


Legacies of Academic Life

The first conscious decision I've made in my entire professional life is to leave academia, where in retrospect I remained more out of inertia than as a result of conscious decision.

When this first conscious professional decision started to have practical implications, I thought I would have to unlearn everything I had learned in my academic life, which spans almost two decades since I received a "driver's license" for "academic highways" and about three decades since I started teaching in the university, first as a PhD student.

But to my pleasant surprise, the more progress I make in my study of a new career and its neighboring areas, none of which has anything to do with academia, the more clearly I realize that my decades-long academic life has left me some legacies I can reuse and have already started reusing in my new professional life path.

What I consider the most important legacy of my academic life is the skill to study new things from scratch. Since I was a child, I've always been fond of and good at finding new sources of knowledge from the minimal existing sources of knowledge. Actually, I had no choice but to develop this skill as I was born and brought up in a very remote place with no one to ask for advice and recommendations.

Though I find myself now blessed with some amazing teachers and mentors for my new professional life path, this skill comes in handy, and I also enjoy finding and digging "gold mines" by myself. The most brilliant one I've found and started digging on sabbatical this academic year is (Chabad) Hasidism, especially the Book of Tanya, and its profound teachings.


New Life Path, New People

"Life has taught me that you can't control someone's loyalty. Now matter how good you are to them doesn't mean that they'll treat you the same. Now matter how much they mean to you doesn't mean that they'll value you the same. Sometimes the people you love the most turn out to be the people you can trust the least." - Trent Shelton

It must be sometime in December 2017 that I started taking a new life path and reclaiming my true self. Even since the initial stage of this life transition - the so-called dark night of the soul - I started witnessing a fundamental change taking place around myself.

On the one hand, those old friends and colleagues of mine not aligned with my newly reclaimed true self started to disappear from in front of my eyes. On the other hand, new people aligned with my new spiritual vibration started coming into my life. Between these two extremes there are also those few old friends who not only didn't leave me but also supported me on my difficult days. And in addition to those who left me there are also those whom I had to initiate to leave because I started feeling their disempowerment.

Now that this life transition of mine has stabilized more or less and I'm so glad that I was given the divine grace of taking the courage to decide to leave the old disempowering world and jump into a new unknown world, while feeling the fear of uncertainty. When I stop to look around myself now, I'll filled with gratitude for being surrounded by empowering people.

Now it's my turn to start empowering others who may be feeling stuck in their life. One of the most powerful tools I'll use for this new task of mine is the light of Hasidism.