Yes, this title is a bit and intentionally provocative, but there will be no politics here. In this case, I am talking about #45 out of the brilliant, Rabbi Noah Weinberg’s (OBM) The 48 Ways.It’s funny how things change. There is the famous and now a bit cliched question of: “If you could have one guest for dinner, living or dead, who would it be and why?” The answers, at least for me, always go back and forth between relatives I never really got to know, like both my Grandfathers, to celebrities like Bruce Springsteen and John Lennon… but lately when I have been asked this question, and many “focus” groups seem to ask it… my brain has gone to Moses/Moshe and other Jewish leaders. Rabbi Noah Weinberg is also high on my list.
I don’t know about Ben, as he always seems to have something insightful to say, and as the guy who is much more steeped in Parsha, he seems to have a weekly blog automatically built into his brain (Last week’s post was so good and meaningful for me) but I struggle at times to come up with something to share. So when iTunes on your iPhone randomly plays songs, and Noah Weinberg’s The 48 Ways starts to play, you immediate take notice and listen! As I was driving the other day, #45 started playing in between some classic rock songs. It’s amazing and NOT coincidental when things come into your life…
Rabbi Avi Rabin just talked about this last week at our monthly Mensch Night, and said that “people see us how we see ourselves.” Perception is everything, and as Ben said, there really is something to the “fake it until you make it” mentality. Believe in yourself, my friends. Let us believe we are grasshoppers. But then we move deeper, and actually and truly become something because we study, grow and develop.
This, of course, for many of us and at least for me, means that when we hear the word Grasshopper, our minds jump to the old TV show, Kung Fu and “Grasshopper” being the one who needs to learn, as in “Patience, young Grasshopper.” It’s all tied in… It’s all connected.Which brings us right to Way #45!
Way #45 is shomey’ah u’mosif, which means “Hear” and “Add.”
Rabbi Weinberg says: “Pay attention, really listen, appreciate what you are hearing, internalize and then make it real.”
“Listen to wisdom, listen to life, then you have to add a correlation of your own.”
“It’s not enough to hear an idea. You have to study it, develop it, and add new dimensions. And then live with it. Only then will the idea become part of you.”
The specifics of #45 are that we have to love and take pleasure in every human being. “Help them, protect them, fight for them.”
We need to hear EVERYONE, study them, learn from them and then add our own take, our own understanding out into the world. Add dimensions of our own.
I will stray just for a moment here, but so much of true Jewish wisdom and teaching is being ignored these days. Think about this very lesson and how far we are away from it right now. We are divided and angry.
We don’t truly listen to one another much anymore, and as Rabbi Weinberg would say, we need, more than ever, to listen with our ears and not with our positions.
We don’t talk to each other anymore, we insult. We don’t have healthy debates and discussions, we yell and scream.
Think about how much better life would we be if we not only HEAR the Jewish ideals and lessons, but absorb them, make them a part of us, and then ACT on them and ADD our own take. THIS is what Rabbi Noah Weinberg is saying we must do… So lets us ALL find the true 45… and 16… and 37… and of course, The 48 Ways…