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daily living

daily living (9)

Sunday, 09 September 2012 09:43

good morning enthusiasm

Written by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

art-bedjumpRabbi Joseph Karo begins his code of Jewish Law (Shulchan Aruch) with a statement concerning the way one should get up in the morning:

Monday, 12 March 2012 21:37

enthusiasm… real or put on?

Written by rabbi michael schiffman

art-excitedOver the few years of my life, I have encountered many people who were enthusiastic over one thing or another. Sometimes they seemed too excited over whatever it was than I thought was necessary for that thing.

Saturday, 10 March 2012 20:02

as little children

Written by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

art-kidwindowYoung children tend to be the most enthusiastic people…ever. With regards to energy, they are also quite well off. Whether the energy fuels the enthusiasm or vice-versa is hard to tell but one thing is for sure, the two are inseparable. A part of it has to do with the fact that life is significantly “newer” for children than adults.

Sunday, 11 December 2011 10:12

laid back enthusiasm

Written by rabbi russ resnik

art-easychairI’m laid back, or so I’ve been told. Years ago I gave a message that seemed particularly compelling to me and I thought I delivered with unusual excitement and passion. Afterwards someone came up to me and said, “I really like your teaching; your style is so laid back!” So, the middah of zerizut presents a particular challenge: not just doing the right thing but doing it with zeal.

Friday, 03 June 2011 00:00

resting with diligence

Written by rabbi michael schiffman

art-restAbout 20 years ago, I was having lunch with a local director of a large well-known ministry.  He asked me how many hours a week I put into my work.  After thinking about it, I told him, on the average, I put in fifty hours a week.  He smirked and condescendingly commented that it was a “light week.”

Friday, 03 June 2011 01:00

life's marathon

Written by rebbetzin malkah

art-marathonI can recall a time when I was teaching my children a history lesson.  We had begun a study on Greece and encountered the topic of the origins of the marathon.  For those of you not aware of its origins, here it is in a nutshell.

In the 5th century B.C., the Persians invaded Greece, landing at Marathon, a small hamlet about 26 miles from the city of Athens. The Athenian army was more than outnumbered by the Persian army; this forced Athenians to send messengers to cities all over Greece asking for help if they had any hope to survive. The traditional origin of the marathon comes from the story how a man named Phidippides ran the 26 miles from Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek victory and died on the spot.

After one of my twin sons heard this story, he exclaimed with his usual dry wit, "Marathon? It should be called a death race." After we recovered from his comment, I realized he did actually touch on something.  He was addressing diligence gone too far.

Friday, 25 February 2011 13:24

say and do it

Written by rabbi michael schiffman

art-squirrelDiligence is one of the most underrated of human values. Some people think diligence is just being busy. It reminds me of the old Communist proverb. “We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us.”

There is a lot more to being diligent than being busy. A good way to understand its importance is to examine what happens without it. The opposite of diligence is laziness, and neglect. One could argue that if I put off something until tomorrow, there is no big deal, because its my time and my life. However, it could be costly. If I buy an airline ticket, the longer I wait, the higher the prices go. I put off stopping to fill my gas tank, and the next day found the prices had risen by 15 cents a gallon. In an age of inflation, the sooner you make your purchases, the better. But this is not the worst part about not being diligent.

Thursday, 25 November 2010 11:34

awareness of belonging

Written by rabbi russ resnik

art-waitphoneI recently added email to my cell phone capabilities and discovered that waiting in line will never be quite the same. If it looks like the line might hold me up for more than a few minutes, I flip out my phone, click a couple of times, wait while the little icon spins around for a few seconds, and then start doing email.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010 16:12

lessons from a beetle

Written by rav rafael

art-beetleLast fall, my wife and I took a 10 mile walk on the Snoqualmie-Preston trail east of Seattle.  It’s a very scenic trail near the famous Snoqualmie Falls and is in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.  The unfortunate thing about walking on trails like this is you can’t always have your head up to view the scenery.  There’s a lot going on beneath your feet that requires extra care as you walk.  One wrong move and you will step in goose guano, slip on a slug, or crunch a bug.

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