web analytics
January 26, 2015 / 6 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism

FF Syndrome: Frequent = Forgotten

Logged on

Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90

Vacation!

Seems to be a synonym for summer, sunshine, and the understandable inability to sit in the office or home when the world outside looks so much nicer, and the year-long fatigue and stress feels so heavy.

Being no different than the common man, I too went on vacation this summer, for a weeklong adventure with my wife and kids. In order to really “shut-down,” I decided years ago to put everything in place….so that my cell would remain off the entire week, and I could take a neder [vow] that I would not look at my email till the vacation would come to it’s inevitable end. I wanted to totally “relax,” and thus become unconnected, if even for just a few days.

Not having to run to respond to calls or messages, one’s mind and heart can actually think about aspects of life that are usually (and perhaps unfortunately) not on the agenda. So, allow me to share one such experience from the above “technology free” escapade.

If you’re not traveling, it’s safe to assume that you see your family each day. And yet, while frequently looking at them, hearing them and even giving them a hug before bed, how many of us actually speak to them?

How many of us actually acknowledge their existence, know what they’re going through, what experiences they endured (for better or for worse) and how they’re feeling (and not just physically)?

On the other hand, take the very same questions and ask them about…your work. I think it’s safe to submit that anything you’re responsible for at your workplace, you know about! If you are not updated on changes or glitches, you would be rather annoyed at yourself or those under you. You are on top of every incoming email,have  returned every message in your voice mail, and have an organized schedule to attempt to meet all the objectives and requirements of the job.

So why isn’t that true at home?

Perhaps this known scene, from one of the most known Jewish movies of all time, might be able to shed a bit of light on this quagmire;

Tevye: …Do you love me?

Golde: Do I what?

Tevye: Do you love me?

Golde: Do I love you? With our daughters getting married And this trouble in the town You’re upset, you’re worn out Go inside, go lie down! Maybe it’s indigestion

Tevye: Golde I’m asking you a question… Do you love me?

Golde: You’re a fool

Tevye: I know… But do you love me?

Golde: Do I love you? For twenty-five years I’ve washed your clothes Cooked your meals, cleaned your house Given you children, milked the cow After twenty-five years, why talk about love right now?

Tevye: Golde, The first time I met you Was on our wedding day I was scared

Golde: I was shy

Tevye: I was nervous

Golde: So was I

Tevye: But my father and my mother Said we’d learn to love each other And now I’m asking, Golde Do you love me?

Golde: I’m your wife

Tevye: “I know…” But do you love me?

Golde: Do I love him? For twenty-five years I’ve lived with him Fought him, starved with him Twenty-five years my bed is his If that’s not love, what is?

Tevye: Then you love me?

Golde: I suppose I do

Tevye: And I suppose I love you too

Both: It doesn’t change a thing But even so After twenty-five years It’s nice to know

[Lyrics taken from http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/fiddlerontheroof/doyouloveme.htm]

After this week of vacation, I’d like to submit that anything Frequent in our life tends be Forgotten! Something we see every day does not rank high on our list of concerns, and therefore, we just naturally forget about it.

It takes a step back, a trip away, in order for us to actually acknowledge those we see day in and day out. It’s incumbent upon any husband/wife or parent to not only support their family, insure a roof over their heads and food in their refrigerator, but to speak to them, joke with them, and insure that you know what’s happening in their world.

Perhaps, our sages understood this so profoundly, when they instructed that we not only think about what should be frequent, but actually acknowledge it verbally almost every time we are commanded to “remember” anything;

–”Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it” [Shemot 20:8] invokes a Jew to not only remember, but to utter Kiddush [the sanctification of the day verbally each Friday night] [Tractate Berachot  20b; Rambam’s Code, Laws of Shabbat, 29:1].

–”You shall remember what Amalek did to you on the way, when you went out of Egypt” [Devarim 25:17] commands that we read the passage each year, describing the travesties and tragedies this nation brought upon the Jewish people [Tractate Megilla 18a; Rambam’s Code, Laws of Kings 5:5].

Remember this day, when you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage…” [Shemot 13:3] commands us to say the words of the Haggadah [the story of the emergence from bondage to freedom each Seder night each year] [Rambam’s Code, Laws of Chametz and Matza 7:1.]

Indeed, it’s rather easy to forget within a year the events of Pesach and those of Amalek [Tractate Berachot 58b], or even to forget the sanctity and uniqueness of each 7th day from one Shabbat to the next. But these are not only once-a-week or once-a-year commands. Each morning, 365 days a year, we begin our prayers with the following blessings, ordained by our sages [Tractate Berachot 60b]:

.כי מתער, אומר: אלהי, נשמה שנתת בי טהורה…ברוך אתה ה’ המחזיר נשמות לפגרים מתים

.כי שמע קול תרנגולא, לימא: ברוך אשר נתן לשכוי בינה להבחין בין יום ובין לילה

.כי פתח עיניה, לימא: ברוך פוקח עורים

…כי לביש, לימא: ברוך מלביש ערומים

When one gets up, one says; “My G-d, the soul that you’ve given me in pure….blessed be you G-d who returns souls to dead bodies.

When you hear the rooster, you say “blessed who has given the rooster the ability to distinguish between day and night.

When you open your eyes, you say “blessed who opens eyes……

…when you get dressed you say “blessed who dresses the naked.

The rooster crows in the morning, you can get up off your bed, you woke up, you got dressed, and these warrant no less then an outright blessing, with the holy name of God we dare not use in vain?

What’s the big deal?

But that seems to be the point - precisely because it happens each morning, we must utter a blessing. 

It seems rather consistent that in the eyes of our sages, anything that’s frequent can be easily forgotten, and even more naturally left unacknowledged! Thus, our sages commanded that a blessing be made over them…each day, knowing only too well how easily we can forget the extraordinary privileges we have…right under our noses. After all, let’s just imagine the day when…they won’t be there.

–Imagine the morning when we can’t get out of bed, due to a broken leg or fractured back.  Think of the intent you’ll feel when you say “zokef kifufim” [straightens the crooked] when you get better!

–Let’s say a mosquito penetrated your window at night, and thus you awaken to a swelled up eye due to an allergic reaction. I would love to be in the room with you, after this predicament is over,  when you say “pokeach ivrim” [give sight to the blind] the next morning.

Perhaps the tragedy of the Human Being, so connected to incoming emails and calls, is that being so connected to the latest news and every email, we somehow miss what’s right under our noses.

So I urge you – disconnect from all distractions once a year, or better yet, once a day for just a half hour, so you can connect to what’s right there. Don’t allow the frequent to become forgotten, but rather use the gift of speech to connect to all that is there.

Don’t wait for the eulogy at the funeral parlor to acknowledge what you had, but today, right now, acknowledge them while you have them frequently with you. Perhaps Tevye can say “After twenty-five years It’s nice to know” that his wife loves him. Let’s not wait that long.

About the Author: Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein is Director of training and placement at The Straus-Amiel Institute at Ohr Torah Stone.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “FF Syndrome: Frequent = Forgotten”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Kosher Wine Review features a wine from Yatir, whose grapes are grown the Judean Hills south of Hebron.
Israeli Wine Exports Sparkle [video]
Latest Judaism Stories
Tissot_The_Waters_Are_Divided

Leading by example must be visible, regarding where, when and how-like Nachshon entering the Red Sea

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.

Parshat Bo

Before performing the 10th plague God makes a fundamental argument about the ultimate nature of justice.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Life Before The Printed Word
‘A Revi’is Of Blood’
(Yevamos 114a-b)

How is it possible that the clothing was more valuable to them than gold or silver?

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

“It means that the disqualification of relatives as witnesses is a procedural issue, not a question of honesty,” explained Rabbi Dayan.

Property ownership is an extremely important and fundamental right and principle according to the Torah.

The tenderest description of the husband/wife relationship is “re’im v’ahuvim/loving, kind friends”

And if a person can take steps to perform the mitzvah, he should do so (even if he won’t be held accountable for not performing it due to circumstances beyond his control).

Suddenly, she turns to me and says, “B’emet, I need to thank you, you made me excited to come back to Israel.”

Pesach is called “zikaron,” a Biblical term used describing an object eliciting a certain memory

Recouping $ and assets from Germans and Swiss for their Holocaust actions is rooted in the Exodus

Pharaoh perverted symbols of life (the Nile and midwives) into agents of death.

I think that we have to follow the approach of the Tannaim and Amoraim. They followed the latest scientific developments of their time.

More Articles from Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein
what me worry

Using the term “Halacha” for policies which are not in fact Halacha, delegitimizes those who differ and causes ill-will towards Jewish law.

Israelis wave flags and signs saying "Together We'll Win" during a demonstration supporting an Israeli ground operation in Gaza.

This past week should teach us one thing; in the eyes of the enemy, Israel is one Israel.

As the worse in now behind us, and yet with restorations efforts still ahead of us, I believe that the terms utilized so widely this week to describe a terrible predicament should force us to reconsider their use when, thankfully, tragedy doesn’t strike. Though my heart and soul are with those hurt by the storm, I am disturbed that so many of these very adjectives are commonly used to describe common occurrences, a far cry from the critical situation that so many Americans on the East Coast are facing.

A leisurely Shabbat stroll around town recently turned a calming experience into a rather upsetting one, as graffiti sprayed on quite a few buildings in my neighborhood defaced the beautiful Jerusalem stone with the words; “Dabru Ivrit/Speak Hebrew”!

“It is a Sabbath of Sabbaths for you, and you shall afflict yourselves, It is an eternal statute” (Vayikra 16:31). This is how our Torah sums up the upcoming experience of Yom Kippur: a Sabbath of all Sabbaths. Rather than use the more colloquially known “Yom HaKippurim,” The Day of Atonement, the Torah reading of Yom Kippur morning uses the above term to summarize the twenty-five hour experience we are about to step into.

You’ve seen the scene before – the congregants are silent, the tension can be cut with a butter knife, all eyes are peeled on the bimah in the center, two blessings are uttered, and the silence is pierced….by the most primitive horn one could find!

As the year is coming to an end, with endless days filled with doing the very same commandments, we besiege G-d on each remaining day, asking for one vital ingredient for the one yet to come: May we never get used to our routine.

I’d like to submit that anything Frequent in our life tends be Forgotten! Something we see every day does not rank high on our list of concerns, and therefore, we just naturally forget about it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ff-syndrome-frequent-forgotten/2012/08/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: