Friday, October 10, 2008

The Bottom Line

A story, a thought, and a question (and a P.S.)

There is a lot of worry about the bottom line right now.

Let’s see if we can find a “karmic” response to our plummeting “securities”.

The story:

Yesterday during Yom Kippur I found myself in shul beside a fellow Jew who happened to be deaf. A couple times there were announcements or stage-directions that he was unable to hear so I (and my son) clued him in via a combination of gestures and oral interpretation (he’s a good lip-reader).

The thought:

It seemed to me not a big deal, no different than helping anyone anywhere who needs a hand at something.

Evidently it is a big deal.

Evidently, people who are deaf, even members of our Jewish community, often feel excluded from the community because:

1. Many people do not say “Hello” to them, let alone strike up a conversation.
2. Some people interrupt a conversation between a hearing person and a deaf person.
3. Few people go out of their way to let a deaf person know what was announced in public.

I will say quite frankly that communicating with a person who cannot hear, or hear well, is more difficult than with a fully hearing person. Sometimes you have to speak louder, sometimes you need to repeat yourself, sometimes you need to enunciate better.

So what?

I cannot even imagine what would prevent someone from helping another who needs help for any reason.

In my opinion, it’s not a question of deaf/hearing, it’s a question of general sensitivity to others, sympathy and empathy.

Are we all just too busy to pause and do a little kindness?

I don’t know about your town, but in our town there are numerous elderly people who are not able to get out of the house. Most of them are widow(er)s. Loneliness is one of the greatest afflictions of old age. And if that’s not enough to get you away from the TV/internet/golf course/etc., think about the tremendous amount of wisdom that comes naturally from a long life.

Someone once said that the best measure of how Yom Kippur went is how a person thinks and acts after Yom Kippur.

The question for your table: How did your YK go?

Shabbat Shalom.

The P.S. – Monday night is the start of Sukkot. You can now get an affordable, easy-to-install sukka (no tools needed) that can give one a true dessert to the 2 main courses of the High Holidays.

First, try your local Judaica shop – they usually have the best ones and they usually will ship just as readily as anyone else, plus it helps to have a local dealer in case there is a problem AND it helps your local economy to shop locally.
If for some reason your local shop cannot get you one, there are online locations. I do not have any particular recommendation because there is so much competition and I am not familiar with all of the outlets. However, here is an example of one that will show you the various options.

Make sure you get the schach (or cut your own)!

PPS – if you didn’t enjoy vid #3 there is still time! It can be seen here.

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