Friday, January 13, 2017

Either That Wallpaper Goes....

The goal of this blog is to make every word count at the Shabbat table ...  Please share.
Continuing to wish a speedy recovery to Tamar Adina bas Kayna Shulamis.
Happy Birthday to Marc (but your "real" birthday ain''t til Jan 31!)

Have you prepared your last words?

Ugliest WallpaperThis week's theme is "spontaneity v. script".

It begins with a real-life dilemma you can share at the dinner table, along with two questions and two advanced questions.

The dilemma:

Someone phoned me this week with a heart-wrenching question:

"We decided we don't want so-and-so to be the godfather of our children anymore. How do we tell him?"

Question for your table: What would you have advised this person?

After offering my rabbinic view, I go home and our 11-year-old is waiting for me to share the wonderful news that her tryout was successful and she received a part in the class play.

She and now is diligently practicing her six lines.

And I'm thinking, "Isn't it wonderful to have a script? To have someone else tell you what to say and how to 'feel'?"

But didn't whoever-wrote-Shakespeare say, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players"?

So in my sleep-deprived head I'm mixing the two together, the godfather phone call and the script.

We don't like to think about end-of-life scenarios. We hope they will never happen.

But statistically-speaking, there's evidence that most people die. And yet most people don't pass away with memorable dying words.

It's a shame. It's probably more important than a first impression - it's the very last impression you'll leave on the world.

Picture the scene. You've lived a full life. You've reached the proverbial 120. You are surrounded by family and friends. Your last breath is minutes, maybe even moments away.

If you have your wits about you, what are you going to say?

A witticism?

A profound insight to
life, the universe and everything?

(Oscar Wilde combined the two:
"Either that wallpaper goes or I do.")

You know how they say an actor who writes his own script has a fool for a director?

So maybe we should all just memorize a poetic dying-word from the Bard...or one of his last-lines....

Bonus question for your table: Would it be good or bad to know when you were about to die?

Advanced question: What does this whole discussion have to do with this week's parsha?

Shabbat Shalom

PS - Super-advanced question: What well-known Yiddish word comes from "Godfather"? (Hint) (Answer)

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