Friday, July 05, 2013

Father's Day

In memory of my father, Dovid ben Eliezer (Dennis Seinfeld).
(To dedicate a future Table Talk, send an email.)

Father's Day

Saba and KidsFor you, yesterday was Fireworks Day.

For me, yesterday was Father's Day.

It was eight years - on the Jewish calendar - since my dad passed away in a sudden and tragic way.

He had been healthy - running every day, eating right, yada yada.

And each yahrzeit the past seven years, I have tried to remember one facet of who he was.

A person who continues to inspire us and motivate us is not fully gone.

He was called many things by people who mourned him.

"Champion of Justice" (his epitaph).

"Man of integrity".

"Wise."

"Handy."

"Healthy."

This year I would like to share with you what was arguably my father's greatest legacy.

If you and I could skim even a bit of the cream off the top of this one, we would change the world.

He didn't seek the limelight, not even a little bit.

He didn't want attention or awards or any of that stuff.

So you can imagine my surprise when 1,000 people from all walks of life came to pay their respects eight years ago.

What was his secret?

My father understood, deep in his gut, that the greatest happiness in the world was seeing other people succeed.

Get this - every year he attended the community college graduation. For days afterwards, he would tell about these graduates who overcame the odds to graduate from community college.

These were people he didn't even know! He met them for the first time at graduation.

True, he derived immense satisfaction from his own creative projects, especially carpentry.

But his greatest joy was watching someone achieve their potential. He absolutely loved seeing others succeed.

Even if they bested him.

All the more so if they bested him.

In that sense, no one bested him. No one was greater than he at this quality.

Question for your table.... Is that a trait that you're born with, or is it something you can work on?

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Shabbat Shalom



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