Friday, June 17, 2016

If She's Happy and You Know It...

The goal of this blog is to bring some gracefulness training to the Friday night dinner table  - please print and share, repost, forward, tweet, etc.
In memory of my grandparents, Lester and Sylvia Seinfeld, whose yahrzeits are tonight/tomorrow and Sunday night/Monday. They knew each other, from the day that they met until the day my grandfather died, for seventy years and seventy days, inseparable in life and in death. And they were the kind of people who truly rejoiced in other people's successes.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTBFoxDLEN-FHNO2l3rj7BgCIInHCCx_IcgGBQcVHt1SfiRJWFdThank you for all the kind responses to last week's big announcement. (If you missed it, just click here.)

This week's first question for your table is simple:

What would you suppose Jewish tradition would say about a person who fails to share another's burden, who fails to sympathize?

If you answered, "mean", "cold", or even "un-Jewish", you wouldn't be so far off the mark.

But what about the opposite?

What about when a person is feeling rather bad for himself or herself. The person is struggling, isn't so happy, has problems....

Think about how many people have health problems. Or financial. Or are fighting with a spouse or a parent or a child.

Can Person A really be expected to be happy for Person B's blessings when Person A's life is so stressful?

Let's make this personal.

The odds-makers are giving Game 7 to the Warriors. 80 pecent of Game 7s go to the home team.

So what are the odds that LeBron joins Stephen's party Sunday night? Should he?

Imagine hoping for a promotion and one of your co-workers gets it instead of you.

How do you feel? How should you feel?

You're struggling to pay the bills and a wealthy acquaintance wins the lottery.

How do you feel? How should you?

I'm guessing you can guess what Jewish wisdom has to say about these situations, can't you?

It's sometimes simply impossible to feel genuinely happy for another person, isn't it?

And Judaism wouldn't ask someone to do something impossible, right?

Actually, Jewish wisdom gives us two tools for mastering this level of maturity.

What do you suppose they are?

Shabbat Shalom

PS - There's a hidden link in this post - can you find it?

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