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Paper Guide

05/28/2021 11:32:54 AM


Dear TBD community,

Tonight, we return to our beloved sanctuary.  I look forward to seeing you all in person tonight and in the future.  Rest assured that we will continue to stream services so if you cannot make it in person, join us virtually.

As we reflect on this past year, I have been reflecting on a teaching from Pirkei Avot (4:20):

Elisha ben Abuyah said: He who learns when a child, to what is he compared? To ink written upon a new writing sheet. And he who learns when an old man, to what is he compared? To ink written on a rubbed writing sheet.

At the beginning of life, or any experience, we are like a blank sheet.  As time goes on, more and more writing appears on that once pristine sheet. Those lessons and notes we wrote down and learned early on that guided us so well get harder and harder to see.  We become confused by the noise of life.  How we are supposed to cope with life’s problems becomes more and more unclear.  But the truth is, those life lessons were already on the sheet; they have just been written over.  We need to recover that wisdom we once had to deal with life’s problems that has been hidden by the noise of life.  

Therefore, I ask you to imagine that you are sitting with that blank sheet.  What do you want to write on it with the instructions, “Do not write over this!”?  How would you guide your younger self to make decisions to help you navigate the tough times?  What have you learned over these past eighteen months that you are going to put on your next blank sheet?

For me I would put a question.  We are always faced with the question of how to deal with catastrophe or problems.  Therefore, the question I would put in the middle of my paper is, “How are you going to let this shape you?” 

What words of wisdom would you give your younger self to help guide you on this unpredictable journey of life?

Tue, June 22 2021 12 Tammuz 5781