I am a humanitarian Messianic Jewish Rabbi, leading Messianic Jewish congregations since 1981, involved in humanitarian work since 1990.
When I was a kid, I joined the Boy Scouts. One of the first things you learn in the Boy Scout Creed, is that a scout is Trustworthy. Like most kids, it was just something we had to memorize to be a scout. As I have gotten older and somewhat wiser, I’ve come to appreciate the values scouting tried to impart to us.
My dad was a blue-collar worker. Having a handicap, he was not able to pursue the academic dreams he had as a young man. He delivered newspapers for the New York Post. It was a good, job, and he provided well for our family. Once, he told me that he and my mother went to a party where there was someone else who did the same work as my father. My mom overheard the man saying he was a "circulation engineer." My parents laughed because the guy delivered newspapers for a living.
Compassion is one of the most important of character traits, yet its an attribute that comes from learning, mostly in the school of hard knocks. People who have compassion reflect the face of God, because He Himself is compassionate to all.
Patience is a learned virtue. When I was very young, I didn’t have any patience. I wanted everything, and wanted it NOW! As life went on, I learned patience through resignation.
People uphold humility like its the most laudable of virtues. I think its overrated. I’ve seen people feign humility to the point that it’s sickening.
Responsibility, in society has negative connotations. When something goes wrong, everyone looks for who is Responsible. Responsibility has become a synonym for “guilt.” Whoever is responsible, is the one who is guilty. Yet this is not really what the term was designed for.
Over 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.
When I was a young rabbi, my time was consumed by people who were constantly in a state of anger, frustration, and offense. I was not usually the cause of it, but they contacted me to express their emotions over whatever it was that upset them.
There is a well-known anecdote about a young tourist visiting the home of Ludwig Van Beethoven; it seems the pretentious young woman, upon seeing Beethoven's piano, sat down and played one of the great composer's pieces. When she was finished, she stood up looking quite pleased with herself. The horrified guide closed the keyboard cover and informed the group that the week before, the world renowned pianist, Arturo Toscanini was on the same tour. He too sat at the piano bench, but he would not play Beethoven's piano. He felt he was unworthy.