Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Standing Before the King

One of my pet peeves is people whining about things that they are already committed to do.  For example, I went to a chasuna last night and one guy in the car kept whining about how he didn't like going to chasunos because the music is too loud and there is a lot down time and its crowded and on and on.  For goodness sake, once you've weighed the pros and cons and decided on a course of action, then quit whining; you know?  So my wife finally said, "This chasuna is for good friends, you'll know a lot of people there that you like, you'll be sitting with our good friends from out of town that we don't get to see very often, and you have your pocket mishna brura for the down time."  She was, of course, right; so I stopped whining.  At least out loud.

As it turned out, I was very happy when I got to talk to a neighbor that I don't get to see very often.  He has a very cool job: he is a federal judge.  I realized that I had no clue what he really did and we had a few minutes between the chupa and the fist dance, so I asked.  It was interesting, but more interesting was when he told me how it had affected his davening.  He told me that when he first started the job, he had to daven mincha in his chambers (that's so cool; having "chambers").  He daven, you know, normal for someone who is running late and needs to get to work.  Then he donned his robes and entered the courtroom.  Everyone stood up.  The first attorney opened by "If it please the court, may I approach the bench."  My friend told me he had an immediate flashback to his davening.  He had started with, "HaShem s'fasi tiftach, u'fi yagid t'hilasecha".  He was embarrassed to recall how those words dropped out of his mouth and how that compared to the respect and kavana displayed by this lawyer asking to present his case to a federal judge.  That made an impression on me, also; I had that in mind when requesting my own approach to HaShem this morning.

Something else he said clarified something else for me.  "Some of these lawyers wouldn't even give me the time of day outside, but in court it's 'Yes, your honor', 'No, your honor.'"  Now, I call him by his first name; or sometimes "Your highness" just to tease him.  If I had to be in his court, however, I would address him only by his appropriate title, "Your honor".  Even though HaShem is Avinu sh'b'shamayim, our thrice daily davening is a formal appointment.  As such, we need to dress appropriately, speak appropriately, and even pay attention appropriately.

All in all a very productive time.  I should stop whining so much.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Thanking HaShem Each and Every Day for Solid Land Near Water

Each and every morning, a Jew is supposed to view himself as a new/renewed creation, ready for a new day of building his eternal self through Torah and mitzvos.  We begin the day with 16 brachos to praise/thank/acknowledge HaShem for giving us all the tools we need to succeed.  We have a body, soul, and intellect.  We have vision, mobility, and protection from the elements.  Among those brachos, we have one that perhaps seems a bit out of place: רוקע הארץ על המים/Who spreads out the land on/over the water.  After all, it's nice to have a dry place to walk, but does that compare to the gratitude I have for a working body and vision?  As it turns out, I should; as explained by the R' Rajchenbach, rosh kollel of Kollel Zichron Eliyahu (aka, Peterson Park Kollel).  Your best bet is to listen to the shiur; very distant second is to continue, which I hope will whet your appetite for the real thing.

First... since we have dry land, I don't have to slog to work through even a foot…

Thought for the Day: Using a Mitzvah Object for Non-Mitzvah Purposes

As I am -- Baruch HaShem -- getting older, I am more cognizant of the fact that I'd like to stay as healthy as possible right up the moment I leave this world.  Stuff hurting is not the problem (I am told there is an old Russian saying that once you are 40, if you wake up and nothing hurts -- you're dead), stuff not working, however, is a problem.  To that end, for several years now I commute to work by bicycle (weather permitting, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine when weather does not permit).  I recently took up some upper body weight training.  Not because I want to be governor of California, just simply to slow down loss of bone mass and extend my body's healthy span.  Simple hishtadlus.  I have an 18 month old grandson who is just the right weight for arm curls (yes... I am that weak), so I do about 10 reps when I greet him at night.  He laughs, I get my exercise; all good.  (Main problem is explaining to the older ones why zeidy can't give them the same "…

Thought for the Day: Hydroponically Grown Humans... I Feel Sick

I am quite openly not at all objective about abortion in particular and the treatment of human embryos and fetuses in general.  I am, after all, the survivor of a failed abortion attempt.  Not "thought about it, but couldn't go through with it"; not "made appointment, but then chickened out at the lost moment"; but, "tried a procedure, but was unsuccessful in attempt to abort".  Nonetheless, I try very hard to listen to the liberal arguments (which I also used to chant as part of the general liberal catechism), and am genuinely empathetic to the plight of women who find themselves in that difficult position.

What I heard on NPR this morning, however, has left me feeling physically ill.  You can read about it, if you like, but here's the bottom line:  Scientists in Cambridge have achieved a new record, they fertilized a human ova and then kept it alive in vitro (that is, in a test tube/petri dish in a laboratory) for 14 days.  The scientist involve…