Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Thank You For Your Help

Today is the last day of 5771.  As such (of course) it is the last Thought for the Day posting by me for this year.  So... a short retrospective.

I started writing these thoughts as a way for me to solidify for myself the "catch as catch can" learning I try to do outside of my normal seder of learning and when I find spare moments.  The fact that you are interested in reading these thoughts has been very motivating.  First, writing (almost) daily entries forces me to really, really learn something new and substantive each day.  More than that, however, I spend a lot more of my "idle" time (biking, for instance) thinking and mulling over whatever I am learning.  It takes a lot of time to boil a thought down to a couple of paragraphs, and that is time very well spent.  By the time I have worked on a thought until it is ready for dissemination, I have had to really understand what it is I have learned.  It has also been interesting to me how often I start writing one thing and it turns into something quite different than I had imagined.  Very cool.

The biggest benefit to me personally is that I am forced to live up to what I said.  I have, Baruch HaShem, a decent memory, but I am not bad at selectively remembering things to my advantage.  Once it is written, however, I am much more constrained.  Since I can't stomach (for long) saying one thing and doing another, I end up changing my behavior for the better.  For that alone I need to express my hakaras hatov to everyone who reads this.  I also appreciate your comments.  I don't always respond, but a few comments/questions/criticisms have turned into new posts.  Halavei veiter.

Acharon acharon chaviv:  K'siva v'Chasima Tova


Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…

Thought for the Day: Prayer II -- How?

Now that we know that the obligation to pray is nothing more (nor less!) than a divine decree, we are going to also need instructions from heaven on how to implement that decree.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to have instruction from heaven how to implement heavenly decrees.  One only needs to look at the shambles that one modern ism has made of the very important Torah principle of תיקון עולם/improving and fixing the world.  They have taken words out of context and used them to support their own nefarious schemes.  (To the point that Google Translate actually translates -- not transliterates -- תיקון עולם as Tikkun Olam.  Amelia Bedelia would be proud; we are not amused.

The Torah teaches us how to pray in two complementary fashions.  One is the way in which the concept is presented as an obligation, the other is by giving us examples of how to practically implement those instructions.

The obligation is introduced in the second paragraph of "sh'ma" -- וּלְ…