Friday, October 15, 2010

Climb Out of That Hole

Life underground seems to be a theme of the week.

And patience.

Just as Switzerland completed a 20-year project to build the world’s longest tunnel... (

Just as the Chilean miners were emerging from their 70-day ultra slim-down retreat….

Two patience-required milestones happened in my life that were causes for personal joy. I just wanted to share these with you before I ask this week’s question.

Event #1 – after 12 years of work – yes, that’s not a typo, 12 years – I have in my hands the Hebrew version of the Art of Amazement. It was published just after Rosh Hashana in Jerusalem and it is exactly how I envisioned it. Small, paperback, beautiful cover.

1,000 extra copies were printed to send to Jewish centers around the world where young Israelis are wandering. (15,000 copies were requested, by the way.)

Event #2 – after 8 years of work, yesterday I submitted my very first iphone app to Apple.

How could it be, you ask, since the iphone hasn’t been around for 8 years?

I’ll leave that question unanswered for now. When the app is approved and I can unveil it to the world, then I will tell all.

Now, here’s the stumper for your table:

We live in a time of instant gratification. Food, information, communication, entertainment and you name it – can be enjoyed with the push of a button.

Some of us (including yours, truly) enjoy the slow, delayed gratification of home-grown vegetables.

But let’s face it. We’re all somewhat addicted to instant results. If a computer becomes sluggish, we get impatient, forgetting what computers were like just a few years ago.

One day I imagine our grandchildren are going to ask, “Tell us again that story about how phones used to drop the call…” or “Tell us that story about how you had to push buttons in order to call someone.”

So here’s the question: How can you get instant “spiritual” gratification?

(Remember the rules, there are no wrong answers, but ask at your table

Of course, there is the long-winded answer that I put into a book: (that’s cheaper than you can get it anywhere else)

Here’s a short-winded answer:

Give to someone.

The moment that you give to someone, you are getting outside of your own bubble. That’s the most basic spiritual experience.

We all pay lip-service to becoming more spiritually-connected.

Time to put your mullah where your mouth is.

Our friend Captain Shulman is now on assignment on the US base in Korea. He just sent a list of Jewish soldiers currently serving overseas.

Why don’t we – you and I – try to make sure that every one of these soldiers gets something for Hannuka. A card, some chocolate gelt, a box of small candles, a book, a silly toy. You name it.

If you know any kids, get them to MAKE cards. Hand-made cards are the best.

Email me for the names. Let me know how many you want.

(The cost of mailing is the same as a US address, but needs 10-14 days.)

Think about it.

(But not too hard.)

Shabbat Shalom

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