Showing posts from September, 2017
The Emendation of a Parting Gift
When I moved from Baltimore to New York three years ago, a friend of mine gave me a gift of a plaque that said, “Life is not about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself.”
This quote was originally coined by George Bernard Shaw and most likely connected to the theme of his play, Pygmalion.
In spending time reflecting on the themes of the chagim this year, and especially on those of Shabbat Shuva, for some reason, this quote kept playing in my mind and I have come to look at it with different lenses.
The Haftarah for Shabbat Shuva comes from the 8th Century prophet, Hosea.  He begins by saying, (14:2)
(ב) שׁ֚וּבָה יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל עַ֖ד ה אֱלֹ-הֶ֑יךָ כִּ֥י כָשַׁ֖לְתָּ בַּעֲוֺנֶֽךָ
Return, O Israel, toward the LORD your God, For you have fallen because of your sin.
We are to return towards the Lord and this return, according to Rabbi Yehuda Kil is a return to our origins--a going back to the roots of our relationship with God.  He says that the messa…
When our Kids “Beat” Us

It has become a summer ritual.  The “Jerusalem Marathon.” Each August on the second Sunday, I visit the summer camp where my wife works and my son attends.  Around that time, the camp holds a camp wide run with official scorers, numbers and timers.

I began running in this run and in others with my son a few years back.  He is now almost 16.  The first few races we did together, I had to slow down significantly just to make sure he was safe.  As the years went on, we ran together, but I still had a faster time.  

And this year, when asked if I was running with him, I told people, “I can no longer run with him, he has far surpassed me.” Just like my other children who have far surpassed me in their acting, singing, learning and moral abilities, in the father son race, he has won.  

In the Talmud there is a famous story about a Torah “father/son” dynamic.  In Bava Metzia 59b, a heated discussion about a technical point of Jewish law is found.  There is one single opi…