Friday, June 13, 2014

Do You Want Knowledge or Wisdom?

The goal of this blog is to foster rewarding Friday night dinner conversation. Please print and share.
In memory of my grandparents, Eliezer ben Zelig and Sima bat Yaakov Mordechai.

The-Enterprise-Needs-Big-KnowledgeWhen you hear the name King Solomon, what's the first thing that comes to mind?



The Good Book calls him wisest person in history.

But what does that mean exactly?

What's wisdom?

He is reported to have known astronomy and other natural sciences, including botany and zoology. He allegedly understood the languages of animals. He mastered statecraft and foreign relations. He composed music, poetry and literature, and under his guidance the Jewish People created architectural and engineering wonders.
Some say he could easily sink a 40-yard putt.
But we call these intellectual and spiritual achievements knowledge, not wisdom.

Knowledge is something that you can put on the internet. Wisdom is something else.

The other day a radio show guest claimed that in the next decade, professionals such as doctors and lawyers will face the same type of obsolescence due to technology that low-wage workers have long experienced. Patients and clients will get many medical and legal answers from apps.

But isn't there an aspect of medicine and law that can't be automated?

That's the wisdom part.

When Solomon became king of Israel, he didn't ask for wealth or fame, or even knowledge. He prayed for one thing only:

" understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and bad...."

In honor of my grandparents, who knew each other for exactly seventy years and seventy days, I would like to cull one piece of wisdom from their marriage, for myself and for you.

Many people think of a relationship in terms of "what can s/he do for me".

Yet as long as I knew them, it was clear through their actions that "good" in their marriage meant "making my spouse happy" and "bad" meant "not making my spouse happy."

Think about it.

So here is this week's question for your table: Based on King Solomon's definition of wisdom, did my grandparents have a "wise" marriage?

Shabbat Shalom

PS - Looking for a summer book? I heard this author interviewed the other day and it sounds like a great read for anyone interested in modern Israeli history.

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