Friday, April 26, 2013

Are You a VIP?

The purpose of this email is to promote life-altering conversation at the Shabbat table. Please print and share.
images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRIsPysccxtf-7pJk7Rs9UoxMuvMC20Re7MaNdJzg4-HWi-aMB6 The other day, the five-minute hourly newscast included this breaking news.... can you fill in the blank?

"Actor Allan Arbus has died. He was best known for his role as _________________."

So strong is the lure of the VIP that some people who cannot achieve it do the next best thing, try to take the VIPs down from their pedastals. There is even a cottage industry in death hoaxes, such as this recent one.

These news items lead us to this week's first question for your table: Are you at all tempted to click on the graphic to the left?

Even the slightest bit?

Not even slightly curious about what it takes?

Come on, be honest.

If you look around our world, who are the VIPs?

It's easy to tell. Whoever, when they die of old age, their passing away gets mentioned in the news:

- Just about anyone who ever starred in a movie or television show, even if it was 50 years ago
- Anyone who invented, created or discovered something useful or unusually beautiful
- Anyone who broke some kind of record, even if it was entirely by accident (like the world's tallest man)
- Anyone with a billion dollars or more.
- Anyone else?

A rabbi in the Talmud rejects all those definitions of VIP.

The true path to VIP-hood, says the rabbi called Ben Zoma, is open to anyone. It's a level playing field. Follow his advice and you can become a true VIP, regardless of your talent, genes or luck.

What it takes to be a true VIP is simply treating others with respect.

Your spouse, your children, your parents, your neighbors, the clerk in the grocery store, the stranger on the street.

The greatest VIPs are those who honor others all the time.

Did I mention your spouse?

Did I mention your parents?

Second question for your table:

On a scale of 1 to 10, how big a VIP are you? What's missing?

Shabbat Shalom

PS - Want to make your Table Talk rabbi happy? Like it, tweet it, or just send the link to someone who might enjoy it.

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