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A Life of Meaning

Source Sheet by Sharon Brous
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Created June 24, 2020 · 438 Views נוצר 24 June, 2020 · 438 צפיות

  1. Abraham Joshua Heschel, Who is Man, p. 107


    Over and above personal problems, there is an objective challenge to overcome inequity, injustice, helplessness, suffering, carelessness, oppression. Over and above the din of desires there is a calling, a demanding, a waiting, an expectation. There is a question that follows me wherever I turn. What is expected of me? What is demanded of me?


    What we encounter is not only flowers and stars, mountains and walls. Over and above all things is a sublime expectation, a waiting for. With every child born a new expectation enters the world.


    This is the most important experience in the life of every human being: something is asked of me. Every human being has had a moment in which he sensed a mysterious waiting for him. Meaning is found in responding to the demand, meaning is found in sensing the demand.


  2. אָמַר רָבָא: בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמַּכְנִיסִין אָדָם לְדִין, אוֹמְרִים לוֹ: נָשָׂאתָ וְנָתַתָּ בָּאֱמוּנָה? קָבַעְתָּ עִתִּים לַתּוֹרָה? עָסַקְתָּ בִּפְרִיָּה וּרְבִיָּה? צָפִיתָ לִישׁוּעָה? פִּלְפַּלְתָּ בְּחׇכְמָה? הֵבַנְתָּ דָּבָר מִתּוֹךְ דָּבָר? וַאֲפִילּוּ הָכִי, אִי יִרְאַת ה׳ הִיא אוֹצָרוֹ — אִין, אִי לָא — לָא. מָשָׁל לְאָדָם שֶׁאָמַר לִשְׁלוּחוֹ: הַעֲלֵה לִי כּוֹר חִיטִּין לָעֲלִיָּיה. הָלַךְ וְהֶעֱלָה לוֹ. אָמַר לוֹ: עֵירַבְתָּ לִי בָּהֶן קַב חוֹמְטוֹן? אָמַר לוֹ: לָאו. אָמַר לוֹ: מוּטָב אִם לֹא הֶעֱלֵיתָה.

    Rava said: After departing from this world, when a person is brought to judgment for the life he lived in this world, they say to him in the order of that verse: Did you conduct business faithfully? Did you designate times for Torah study? Did you engage in procreation? Did you await salvation? Did you engage in the dialectics of wisdom or understand one matter from another? And, nevertheless, beyond all these, if the fear of the Lord is his treasure, yes, he is worthy, and if not, no, none of these accomplishments have any value. There is a parable that illustrates this. A person who said to his emissary: Bring a kor of wheat up to the attic for me to store there. The messenger went and brought it up for him. He said to the emissary: Did you mix a kav of ḥomton, a preservative to keep away worms, into it for me? He said to him: No. He said to him: If so, it would have been preferable had you not brought it up. Of what use is worm-infested wheat? Likewise, Torah and mitzvot without the fear of God are of no value.

  3. אמר רבי אילעאי בשלשה דברים אדם ניכר בכוסו ובכיסו ובכעסו ואמרי ליה אף בשחקו:
    Rabbi Elai said: In three matters a person’s true character is ascertained; in his cup, i.e., his behavior when he drinks; in his pocket, i.e., his conduct in his financial dealings with other people; and in his anger. And some say: A person also reveals his real nature in his laughter.
  4. בכוסו - אם דעתו מיושבת עליו ביינו: בכיסו - כשנושא ונותן עם בני אדם אם באמונה הוא עושה: בכעסו - שאינו קפדן יותר מדאי:

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