Which Bridge Are You Traveling On?

In a post this week Ron included a bridge “On The Road Back”.

We’ve always pictured the Beyond BT bridge as moving ahead to a new and improved world.

Which bridge do you see yourself traveling on?

Do you see yourself as coming back or moving beyond?

Did you ever see yourself as coming back or is that the viewpoint of the FFB world towards BTs?

10 comments on “Which Bridge Are You Traveling On?

  1. Metaphors are very tricky. Understanding Agadata is based on understanding Chazal’s metaphors. My Rav says it’s much more difficult than halacha.

    The bridge like the hallway connects points a and b, so we can view it as going from a to b or from b to a. It depends on where you’re starting and where you want to go.

    The home metaphor is very apt for this week’s parsha on the building of the Tabernacle and Rabbi Dessler has a great short piece on Mishkan and Mikdash which explores two metaphors for understanding it’s spiritual construct.

  2. Pirkei Avot 4:21 Rebbi Yaakov said: This world is like a hallway that leads into the next world, prepare yourself in the hallway so that you may enter the parlor

    That parlor is our future home, but we prepare in our present home. It’s not good to be homeless with respect to Torah.

  3. I like the coming home metaphor. I don’t really understand your problem with it. It need not imply anything about a particular “circle” or sub-group or even “orthodox Jewry.” It’s the home — Torah and mitzvos — that Hashem has made, and kept, for us within Him.

    It also happens, of course, that there are other family members in that home. Aren’t you glad to be with us? ;-)

  4. I’m not crazy about the “Coming Home” metaphor, because it implies FFBs and observant BTs are in the right home (or circle) and our goal is to get others to come into that home (or circle). Come home to our city.

    The Beyond metaphor represents to me that we’re all traveling on the road towards the direction of getting closer to Hashem. Some people are a little farther ahead, but we’re all traveling in the same direction to go Beyond where we currently are.

  5. I find it very interesting that in both Loshon HaKodesh and in Yiddish the word “tzaros” for “troubles” is related to “tzar,” “narrow.” Sort of like when in English we describe it as “being between a rock and a hard place,” having troubles in life is described in Ivrit and Yiddish in a way that literally means “squeezed into a very narrow place.”

    So the metaphor of Rabbi Nachman zatzal that the whole world is a “Gesher Tzar Meod,” a very narrow bridge, also can be taken to mean that human beings are each given a path filled with troubles, which it is our life’s mission to deal with.

  6. When we first discussed the bridge I was struck by a point I had not even appreciated — that the BBT bridge shows a car going away from the viewer, whereas the one in the graphic from my old column shows a vehicle heading our way. But your conception of the bridge metaphor is fascinating; you see it as a time symbol: Are we returning to the “old ways” or “moving beyond” where we are now? It’s an interesting question but perhaps a false dichotomy; in any case I just don’t think of bridges as spanning time, as such.

    I do I think of myself on “this side” of the bridge, however, so I’m happy when others — much less a bus full! — are heading over, too.

    To me the famous saying of R’ Nachman of Breslov, mentioned in Judy’s post, is the most compelling bridge metaphor there is, and an absolutely apt description of what it’s all about.

  7. When I’m angry it’s a Bridge Over Troubled Water (apologies to Simon & Garfunkel).

    When I’m sad it’s the Bridge of Sighs.

    When I’m confused it’s Galloping Gertie (the famous bridge that swayed in the wind and finally snapped apart).

    When I’m happy it’s the Golden Gate Bridge.

    When I left Brooklyn for Far Rockaway, I used the Marine Parkway Bridge.

    When I went years ago to Shabbatons, the participants sang the tune, “Gesher Tzar Me’od,” “Very Narrow Bridge.”

    When I’m heading out into the great world beyond New York City, I usually use the George Washington Bridge.

    Sometimes we have to burn bridges to our past.

    Sometimes we have to rebuild bridges to our relatives and friends.

    When the world seems to be coming apart, it’s “London Bridge is Falling Down.”

    When all our efforts seem futile, it’s a Bridge to Nowhere.

    When life has hard knocks, it’s a toll road, with the great Collector exacting His price.

    When life goes well, we sail right through in the “E-Z Pass Lane.”

    If we’ve overstretched our comfort zones (see prior posting), it’s a Bridge Too Far.

    But, in those wondrous moments when it all comes together, it’s the Peace Bridge between the U.S.A. and Canada: a symbol of true harmony.

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