Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: All Is For Me and I Am For All

Passover is coming soon; ready or not.  I prefer to be ready.  It's a lot of tasks and things go much more smoothly if those tasks are shared; and that requires coordination.  This year I found a project/task management tool that has both web and mobile app components.  I can create, assign, follow, set reminders for, and track tasks.  I have tasks for getting haircuts, moving chametz out of kitchen, ordering pesach food, getting wine, etc.  A non-frum colleague at work thought is was overkill.  "Well, we are having about 15 people, but I'll go on Saturday to do the shopping."  Misreading the look on my face, he added, "I know, it's easier for me because I am allowed to shop on Saturday."

I, of course, felt compelled to respond.  Which I did.  "No, you are not allowed to, you are choosing to do something wrong."  He's known me for a while now, so he simply replied, "True." Of course you need to know your audience (a skill I continue to hone), but it's important to be true.  After all, had he told me that he planned to douse himself with gasoline and then smoke a cigar, I would have had no compunction to remind him that smoking is dangerous for one's health.

The mishna in Avos says not to hold anything nor any person in disdain, for they every thing and every person has his moment for you.  I always thought in terms of what use they are to me, but upon further reflection it also means in terms of what I can/should do for them.  There is a reason that HaShem arranged for this non-frum Jew to work with me; and for me to work with him.

I heard a beautiful mashal from R' Ezriel Tauber, shilta, many years ago.  Imagine two couples who live across from each other.  The wife in couple A is an early riser, likes to get the house in order, breakfast ready, ironing done, etc all before she sweetly goes to awaken her husband to start his day seeing her smiling face.  Similar situation for couple B, except the husband is early riser.  Couple A has a son and couple B has a daughter; having grown up across the hall from each other, the get married.  First morning, both A son and B daughter wake up, waiting to be treated like they saw their parents treat each other.  Not a friendly picture.

Wouldn't it have been better for A to have the daughter and B the son?  No, says R' Tauber; you are not in this world to do what you are already good at; you are here for self and world improvement.

There was a bit more to the conversation at work.  First he noted that he got and "Out of Office" message from his orthodox relative that was sent on Shabbos (in response to my friend's email).  So we discussed why that is permitted, etc.  Good conversation.  Then he said, "As far as the shopping goes, I'll just send my wife -- who is not Jewish -- so then there's no problem."

As I said, I am getting better at gauging my audience; I let that go till another time.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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: 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: 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…