Friday, August 9, 2013

3/4 Elul

In the interest of not posting on Shabbat, here are the Elul Thoughts for Friday and Saturday:

3 Elul/August 9
A quote often attributed to David Mamet: The difference between a good person and everyone else can be summed up like this: a good person, when walking down the street and glimpsing a house on fire, hopes it is his/her own.  How have you been good in 5773?  How do you aspire not to do good but to be good in 5774?

4 Elul/August 10
On the exterior wall of the synagogue where I grew up in Queens, NY, a quote from the prophet Micah was emblazoned in a beautiful mosaic, “It has been told to you, oh human, what is good and what God requires of you.  Only that you do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)  These words were also carved into the fa├žade of the old UAHC offices on 5th Avenue in New York City, now a multi-million dollar apartment building.  In the Talmud (Makkot 23b-24a) it is quoted as one of the summaries of all Jewish teaching, encompassing all of Judaism’s obligations for how we act in our world.  Each of the three exhortations is open to our own individual interpretations.  How would you define these three commandments?  Do you practice them in some form?  How might you incorporate them into your daily life?

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