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Thought for the Day: Living Effectively Mean Paying Attention

We (Jews, that is) don't eat mollusks, often thought of as "shell fish".  However, an octopus is also a mollusk.  So is the hexapus.  "What's a hexapus?", you are wondering.  No, this is not a joke where I use the word henway in a sentence, then you respond, "What's a henway?", and then I answer (amid peals of laughter, of course), "About three lbs!".  There really is a hexapus.  It's just like and octopus, but this one has six legs/tentacles instead of eight.

I was being precise when I wrote "the hexapus".  There is only one known in existence.  There were two, but an American tourist on vacation in Greece fried up the other one with tomato and lemon and then ate it; just about a month ago, July 27.  The hotel cook refused to cook it for him, so he had to cook it himself.  The cook explained afterward why he didn't want to cook it...  The tourist's comment, "It tasted pretty much like regular octopus."  (I would provide a link, but I can't vouch for whatever else might be attached to the end of that link, so you'll have to google it yourself.  Buyer beware.)

So basically this tourist traded fame, wealth, and glory for a meal; let's say 10 minutes of mundane culinary pleasure.  Why?  Because he wasn't paying attention.  Had he noticed the six legs, or had the cook explained his reticence first, tragedy could have been averted.

I am wondering if you can see where I am going with this...  The M'silas Yesharim begins by saying that he has nothing to say that is not already well know.  Moreover, the reader will get nothing out of a cursory once over.  The benefit comes from constant review.  There first step in fact is: Torah brings one to z'hirus/watchfulness.  It is true that from there one can climb, step by step, all the way to eternal life.  But (as explained by the Maharshal), you can't get from one step without mastering the step below.  You need to know all of M'silas Yesharim to know where you are headed and the basic course outline.  But you can't get from here to there without doing the work.

The work starts with paying attention; the Torah gives you the focus you need to understand what you are seeing.  No time like the present; best get started.


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