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    Dreaming without sleeping – Emor

    DreamingThe sidra enumerates the festivals and their mode of observance.

    In relation to Sukkot it says, “You shall rejoice before the Lord for seven days” (Lev. 23:40). The Festival of the Water-Drawing – Simchat Bet HaSho’evah – was a leading feature of the festival in ancient days, and a Talmudic sage remarked, “When we celebrated the Festival of the Water-Drawing we never saw sleep in our eyes” (Suk. 13).

    The celebration was so absorbing that no-one could think of sleep. Later, the participants probably crashed, as we say these days. But in the meantime sleep would have been a luxury.

    We all know people who never seem to need sleep. They can keep going day and night with apparently inexhaustible energy.

    I read of a certain rabbi who could dream without sleeping; his visions of things that could, should and had to be done maintained him on a constant high.

    Not everyone can be like that, but it must be said that many lack the excitement and challenge to dream dreams for the betterment of society, and their boredom and lack of purpose lead them to escape by sleeping for longer than their bodies really require.

    Sleep when you need to – but don’t forget to dream whilst you are awake.

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