This blog was given birth on a walk home from a David Sacks’ lecture… about a year and half ago. Ben (my partner in this endeavor) and I, along with Stacy Light, began an in-depth and deeply philosophical continuation of the class on the way back to Jonah and Stacy’s house.
In fact, my post on Facebook yesterday was inspired by that very same discussion. David talked about how we should not put the utmost significance on ANY ONE DAY… INCLUDING the most holy days like Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah… because each and every day gives us an opportunity to be holy… each day itself can be holy.
Obviously we mark them… and honor them… and celebrate them… and observe them… but every new day offers new joys and creations, as well… new potentials for miracles and holiness.
I wrote: “We mark our days on earth with holidays and celebrations, and yet very often the days before and after do not feel any different.
And while any chance to celebrate, to fully enjoy life, to give a day something extra is vital and something we should and must do… We must also understand that each and every day has the potential for miracles… for something amazing to happen…
Each and every day… each “regular” day… has a chance to be holy… (Thanks, David Sacks for the inspiration!)”
This contemplation is coming, most likely, from celebrating a milestone birthday this past Friday. It was, and still is, met with mixed emotions…
I wrote that day: “As we hit certain ages… certain milestones… it’s easy to look at the things we didn’t do or don’t have… to judge how we thought we’d be further along… or in a different place…
But that ignores the gifts… the presents… THE present. We have been given so much… and have so much to give back… and this is just a new chapter… a new start… And there are forces that know far more than us… and know what’s best for us, even if we cannot yet see it.
As my Dad says… getting older is so much better than the alternative. And as I see posts on a college friend who just passed, I cannot help but feel even more mortal, more fragile, more aware of reality…
Hug, kiss, love, dream, pursue, accomplish… TODAY! TODAY!!!”
Ben and I also have great discussions off-line, and that is what promoted today’s post! Judaism is so rich and filled with such insight… and yet, at times, it is so profound that I have a hard time fully wrapping my brain around it.
Both the secular world and Jewish scholars and philosophers seem to agree that HOW we respond to something, like a test or tragedy, is the important thing… and is ultimately HOW that event is defined.
Eckhart Tolle says that every event is neutral… and it is defined solely by our reaction to it. Still not completely there on that one, as a tragedy is a tragedy… but I do get that we can make lemonade out of lemons… start a foundation out of a death… and do great and positive things that may be born out of a horrible situation.
As far as Hashem goes, as I wrote last week, there are things we cannot possibly see or know as they are happening. We will hopefully gain insight and knowledge… things will hopefully be revealed to us in hindsight… but the truth… the significance… the importance may not be revealed until long after we are gone… perhaps even in the life yet to come.
So what does that mean? It means that we must thank Hashem for EVERYTHING! We must thank Him for the good and the bad… or what we “perceive” those things and events as being. It is like an actor reading their own reviews… if we read and embrace the good, we must also do so with the bad! It is a slippery slope… UNLESS… we are grateful and thankful for EVERYTHING.
Flip a coin… call heads or tails… and know that the coin is the coin… it does not change… It is and will always be the SAME COIN… and what it lands on can be “good” or “bad”, but is what it is supposed to be… and how we react and what happens is as it should be… but that reaction is our FREE WILL! So celebrate winning OR losing the toss… because sometimes, you just don’t know… and maybe receiving in the second half of the game is what Hashem knows is best for you. (Jewish football reference!)