Thursday, September 13, 2007

appropriate dress for a hot day in Israel

One afternoon in Tel Aviv a friend who lives in the city drove us into a section of the town home to many of the observant Jews. Our friend had grown up in the area. His family was not religious but the character of the nieghborhood had changed as they lived there.

The men all wore the exact same black suits and ties. The women wore long dresses and head coverings. The different sects were only distingushed by the style of black hats they wore. Despite the fact that Tel Aviv was experiencing a heat wave with high temperatures and humidity, the men dressed exatly the same as they did every other day of the year.

I admire the principle of faithfulness to God. But I know that God wants our happiness and wants our living to be a joy. At the point where faithfulness to God starts to result in a diminished, or impoverished life experience, then I think the best way to live a life pleasing to God is to lay aside the spiritual practice that causes suffering. God is not honored by miserable lives, even if the misery is earned in the name of holiness.

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