Friday, June 30, 2017

As Fast as You Can

The purpose of this blog is to bring zerizut to the Shabbat table. Please forward / like / tweet or just print and share.
In memory of R' Shlomo Gardner who passed away last week.

soft-ground-trail-running-shoes-633x422If you take your five thousand steps
the way I did the other day

in a five-kay race,
and you move those legs
as fast as you can,

You will start in a run
and then shift down to a jog
and then slow to a trot
and you will ask yourself,
"Is this really, truly
as fast as I can?"

Up and up, bend after bend, then
enjoy the long descent
until you realize you've only gone halfway
and now need to do it all again, always
as fast as you can;

And by that second up and up, bend after bend
if you are like me you start to wonder
whyfore are you here
when you could be weeding the garden
or plucking your eyebrows —
anything would be more fun than running in the sun
as fast as you can.

"Isn't it for a good cause? What's the charity again?"
No room for noble rumination
when a tortured body needs full concentration
to reach that finish line
as fast as it can.

Pale youths politely pull ahead (as they should)
but then a bearded old guy in a suit and tie passes you by —
Why the schtick? What's on his sign?
"It doesn't matter how fast you run; it does matter how slowly you eat."
Thanks, Rabbi. Is that a dispensation not to run
as fast as I can?

Your kids are going to wonder
why you pushed yourself so hard
and you merely need explain,
"it was a race," which of course means you go
as fast as you can.

The fitness folks today are on the same page,
distance and duration are on the out and out
but short sprints are on the up and up
and what gets you round the ageing bend
is of course to run (or walk or swim)
as fast as you can.

To the rabbis who didn't run
because "one man's torture is another man's pleasure":
You say good health is a gift
but isn't taking care of your health a mitzvah
rewarded measure-for-measure,
as best as you can?

If you run like this rabbi
then a 5K is the same
as going to work
as loving a wife
as raising a kid
as controlling a temper
as avoiding a temptation
as being happy
when you ask every day
(I do hope you ask),
Am I just trotting through life
or am I doing
the best that I can?

Question for your table: Does the effort bring the reward, or does the reward cause the effort?

Shabbat Shalom

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