Friday, October 26, 2012

Exhuming Obama

The purpose of this blog is to help you turn your Friday night table into the talk of the town. Please print & share.

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True story: A woman is just leaving the house on the way to do some really important shopping.... and there's a neighbor whom she always finds so annoying.

"Oh what great timing! My phone is out and I really need to make a call. Do you think I could borrow your cell phone for a few minutes?"

The woman really doesn't want to help. She has a tight schedule and a list of errands. Let her borrow someone else's phone, she's thinking.

This woman is being tested. I will offer my interpretation of her test and how it applies to you and me.

Last week, several astute readers caught an error in this email. I had written that the ghost of Samuel came up feet first. In fact, he the story tells specifically that he came up head first, unlike ordinary ghosts.

The reason is quite simple: he was being called by King Saul, and when being called by a king, you don't come feet-first. See Miss Manners, Chapter 1.

So this leads us to the obvious question: Does the same protocol apply to the president of the United States?

If President Obama were to hold a seance to contact the ghost of, let's say, Jimmy Carter, no wait, technically he's he's still alive. Let's say, the ghost of Dick Cheney....

No, he's technically still alive too.

OK, let's imagine Obama, he's rounding the corner to the final stretch of this horse race, he's got Romney so close behind he can feel his breath on the back of his neck. He's tried everything to get those poll numbers higher, nothing is working. He's into the low 50s, but it's too close for comfort.

So he holds a seance in the Rose Room to see if he can get a little pep talk from the ghost of Ronald Reagan.

Wait a second. Would Obama, a Democrat, turn to Mr. Conservative Revolution for eleventh-hour counsel?

Here's a little presidential secret for you: these presidential guys have a lot more in common than you think.

Anyway, the real question is - does Reagan come up feet first like an ordinary ghost, or does he come up head first in honor of the President?

(Believe it or not, this is actually going somewhere....)

On the one hand, King Saul was a monarch-for-life, while Mr. Obama is an elected, term-limited official.

On the other hand, he's the President. You know, hail-to-the-chief and all that.

Where this is going:

One of the most fundamental of all Jewish values is the concept that every person you meet is created in the same Divine image. (For John Lennon that means, "You better recognize your brother in everyone you meet.")

A person with no Torah but treats others well - especially opponents and adversaries - has a foundation to acquire wisdom, and the wisdom he acquires will stick.

A person who knows the entire Torah but has no respect for others, his Torah has nothing to rest on and he will lose it.

If we Jews were living up to the Torah, we would be so ethical that any non-Jew would do business with us on a handshake.

If we were getting the Torah's core message, we would be so concerned for others that there wouldn't be any hunger.

I think we're on the right track. But we're being tested all the time.

Question for your table: When were you last tested in this area, and how did you do?

Shabbat Shalom

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