···› from root מ-צ-ה “to squeeze”
(not to confuse with מ-צ-א “to find”)
What a juicy topic. It’s multi-layered, not only if you let it settle.
Juice “from concentrate” is boiled down to about 10% its original volume for shipping across the world, and some undeclared additives are used to homogenize it back into something resembling juice once re-diluted with water; some juice drinks contain extra sugar or further additives, how some hardly contain any fruit at all…
Besides that, most juice including “not from concentrate” is pasteurized, i.e. heated for a few seconds to 85° centigrade, about 185 Fahrenheit, and then it lasts up to a year in cartons or plastic bottles, several years in glass bottles. How can this be? How dead (microbiologically, chemically, energetically) does any substance have to be, so that you can keep it in a container for years without it going off? (I must admit I wonder about that even more with tinned fish…)
Is juice “healthy”? It used to… but the tides seem to have turned against it. Manufacturers often want to lead us to believe that the essence of the fruit is squeezed into each carton. Yet without the fiber and all the intact cell walls, juice contains high levels of sugar, typically 10 per cent or more. That’s pretty much on par with the sugar levels in common soda drinks, the very sugar levels that every health conscious person detests them for! Yes, with no-sugar-added “direct” fruit juice, it’s all “natural” — but then, amanitas are also “all-natural”.
The benefits from eating fruit lie mainly in the nutrients and fiber that you get mostly from all the bits around the juice. With pomegranates for example, the yellow/white stuff (called mesocarp) around the seeds and arils is very much edible and contains high levels of tannins and other nutrients. Yet it is most often discarded, as a by-product of juice production…
How much of the fruit will you be able to appreciate by drinking the juice? How much of the essence of the tree that those apples or oranges grew on, how much of the morning dew and evening sun that it soaked up? How much of the scenery that the tree overlooks, how much of the damp soil minerals that the roots tap into? How much of the souls of the animals that sat in its shade or nested on its branches?
Likewise — how much essence of true religion are you expecting to receive by reading scriptures only, without the cultural and linguistic context that they are embedded in, and that they emerged from? By reading a translation, and only the books that some committees decided over centuries were “canon”, deeming others “apocryphal”? How much has been taken away? And what has been furtively added, without declaring the additives? How much interpretation has been added by the translators? Just keeping in mind that the original Hebrew text of the תַּנַ״ךְ (Tanakh) had no upper- or lowercase letters, no punctuation, sometimes not even space between letters (at least according to Nachmanides)!
Juice for thought… to be continued.
Double-spacing. Growing up I never encountered it. When I moved to the UK, I saw it, and even adopted it for a while. I still think it’s pretty; but it also generates irregular gaps in the flow of a paragraph — a bit like hiccoughs. In the good olden days of typesetting, when it was still a craft, an “em-quad” spacer lead block would usually be placed after a period (full stop). When typewriters came along, and typesetting turned into typing, there was only one (fixed) width of space actuated by the space bar, and it became an approximation to put two standards spaces — at least in much of the English-typing world. Two spaces are wider than an em-quart though.
I have an old typewriter, purchased some years ago at a flea market in my hometown. When I type the odd poem or piece of prose on it, I quickly notice a big difference: every mistake is immediately inked on paper. Correcting it requires some form of a white cover-up, or re-doing the entire sheet. On the computer, the non-immediate typing and the boon of the backspace key revolutionized the way we work yet again — it allows the writer to take much less care, to think while typing, re-writing, re-structuring, copying and pasting… drafting on screen, rather than in the head in advance.
Back to double-spacing: compared with the em-quart, two spaces are too wide, one space is too narrow. As with any spiritual debate, we do well entering and maintaining the dialogue under the premise of “let’s not find out who is right and who is wrong; let us assume that we are both wrong, attempting to approach truth from different angles, different lengths… and find the beauty in each others’ stories.”
···› theatre of the dolls/puppets/marionettes
Are we puppets? Clay in our maker’s hands? Yes, but the material is not entirely passive, its characteristics feed back to the forming hands. We are HaShem’s counterpart, the abutment, the counter-bearing He chose to make, to not be alone, in His self-sufficient one-and-allness, lacking nothing but… us: an otherness. Our tendencies are opposed to Him – necessarily so. For if we were perfectly aligned with him, we’d be an extension of His, projecting outward into infinity, but with no space present. HaShem decided to give up infinitude, at least to a degree, temporarily, to make a creation. He retracted, though not literally, not completely, from a “vacated space”, that he placed us in, the universe, a spurious space-time-continuum — flimsy when compared with His ever-present consistency, yet in itself, self-evident. Here we are, playing parts.
Sometimes graceful, with bouncy step, sometimes slouchy and grouchy, sometimes serious, often fatuous; facetious, fastidious; nuanced; wholesale, outright… true, though often also fake, playing roles means, we think: catering to expectations and patterns.
As a musician, “playing” has yet another dimension: it means practicing, honing my craft. There’s no other way, any instrumentalist will confirm to you: you need to play to improve. Thus, playing is dead serious, there’s nothing playful about it. Or is there, still? What if HaShem is playing us, all the time, His creation? Are we His Stradivarius, or His shipping crate? Does He have to slap us, or can He bow us gently, to produce the sound He wants?
We are His orchestra. So the question turns from
“What role do you play?” to “What part do you play?”