Friday, June 06, 2014

Is Your Life Random?

The goal of this blog is to foster unpredictable Friday night dinner conversation. Please print and share.

In memory of my grandparents Eliezer ben Zelig and Sima bat Mordechai Yaakov, whose yahrzeits will be observed next week.

dice roll
The other day my wife and I took our four-year-old on a Shavuot walk.

She (4-year-old) asked, "Where are we going?"

"We're just walking."

"You mean we're just going random?"

And without waiting for an answer, she skipped ahead of us, down the block.

My wise wife then said, "You know, if we go too far, one of us is going to end up carrying her."

"Let's wait and see, she's a pretty good walker. Besides, it's nice and cool out."

Sure enough, we wandered, randomly.

Sure enough, we did go "too far". The sun came out and it warmed up about ten degrees.

On the last quarter-mile, we started to hear, "I can't walk anymore!"

The Talmud defines "wisdom" as the ability to foresee an outcome.

My wife is obviously a wise woman.

But this week's question for your table is about randomness.

Jewish wisdom says that the journey we take is actually out of our hands. We may buy the ticket, but could miss the flight. Or the flight might be cancelled.

Random things - out of our control - occur all the time.

So the question is - Let's assume for the sake of discussion that Jewish wisdom is correct, that the outcomes of your choices are out of your control. Then what can you really be held responsible for?

Shabbat Shalom

PS - Not too late to stock up on summer-vacation books and toys for kids AND parents....

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