Friday, February 20, 2015

For a Change

The purpose of this blog is to add something happy to your Shabbat table. Please print and share.

change-cartoonThis week: a question, followed by a story, followed by a question, followed by a really good piece of wisdom.

The first question for your table: Are you 100 percent happy with yourself, or is there something that you'd like to change?

I don't know about you, but I pay lip-service all the time to wanting to change — like changing a bad habit to good or to improving a skill — but I don't necessarily do anything about it, for months, for years.

But we weren't always like that.

Here's this week's story: On Sunday, our son Yoseph (5th grade) had a special event at school. The entire grade had a celebratory brunch with parents to receive their first Gamara - i.e., volume of the Talmud.

They were so excited! Everyone was dressed up for the occasion.

A few days before, Yoseph asked me to take him to the store to find a bow tie.

He was inspired by stories about my father - the grandfather he never knew - wearing a bow tie.

When you learn Talmud, you are swimming in a stream of tradition that comes from your ancestors to you, and that will hopefully continue to your children and grandchildren. Yoseph seems to intuit that connection.... that even though his grandfather never learned Talmud, certainly his great-great-(great?)-grandfathers did.

Go far enough back and we all descend from Torah scholars.
My Dad and Yoseph
But learning Talmud is hard - why would anyone want to put themselves through that?

Kids seem to love to learn (i.e., to change) in a way that many adults have lost.

We all know people who are struggling with losing weight, with quitting smoking, with controlling their anger, with even getting out of bed on time.

The obvious Question #2 for your table: Why do you think it's so hard?

(My answer: they haven't listened to this.)

Shabbat Shalom

PS: Speaking of the Talmud, today is the first day of the month of Adar. The Talmud says: "When Adar begins, we increase simcha (joy)." We have Purim and Pesach ideas at
PPS: The Happiest Video on Youtube

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