Recently, I was introduced to Oliver Sacks, the late neurologist and philosopher. My friend, an octogenarian, who has led a full life and is struggling with health issues, has found much meaning and comfort in his writings. I’m looking forward to reading his short book of essays, called Gratitude.
In this season now approaching Rosh Hashanah we need some good guidance and time to reflect on our lives, to deeply appreciate our loved ones and come to a place of equanimity and soulfulness within ourselves. For many of us who are retired or nearing retirement, who have had careers and raised families, planning for the future has taken on new meaning and challenges. Our future may be limited but our ability to encourage others, to be supportive of their dreams and help in a new way to steer the ship of life is still strong.
This week’s Parsha, Ki Teitzei, reminds us of many teachings to help guide us along the way. While a number of the statutes seem antiquated the overall message is to live a life of compassion and respect for others. From chapter 22:
-If you see your brother's donkey or his ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help him get it to its feet.
-If you come across a bird's nest beside the road, either in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young or on the eggs, do not take the mother with the young. (If you kill the mother, then in actuality you are killing the young.)
-When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof.
I invite you to share with me the names of books that you have particularly enjoyed. Or, just send a few quotes. We will create a Wisdom Page on our website for all to enjoy. Tekiah, Shevarim, Tekiah! Reb David