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October 8, 2015 / 25 Tishri, 5776
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Movie Star


“You’re never going to believe what she did…”Safran-041213

I had to act fast. “You know what Rachel, I realize forgot something,” I mumbled as I pulled myself out of line.

Rachel protested. “But Tammy can’t it wait a few minutes? We’re almost at the front of the line and you haven’t even heard the story yet.”

“Sorry — gotta go!” I zoomed out and went straight to the back of the line where I really belonged.

You know, the wait didn’t even seem so long. In fact, I enjoyed every minute of it as I felt the camera rolling, and making the kind film that someday, both Ha-Shem and I would enjoy seeing.


Ages 3-5

Q. How did Tammy feel when she first cut into line?

A. She was happy that she wouldn’t have to wait so long, and that nobody saw her do it.

Q. How did she feel in the end?

A. She remembered the Hashem was really watching, and it helped her be strong enough to do the right thing and take her right place in the line.

Ages 6-9

Q. Why did the class act differently just because they were being videoed?

A. We all have a conflict between how we know we should act and how we sometimes feel like acting. We can convince ourselves that what we are doing really doesn’t matter. When someone important is watching, and especially if we are being videoed, we become aware that our actions do count, and are going to leave an impression, and become motivated to connect more with our true inner desire to act properly.

Q. Is Hashem really watching our every move? And if so, does He really care what we do?

A. Absolutely. Hashem is right there with us 24 hours a day seven days a week. He put us in the world, cares very much about us, and wants to help us make the right choices that will bring ourselves, and the whole world to reach our greatest potential for happiness.

Ages 10 and up

Q. Is guilt a positive thing?

A. Guilt has gotten a bad rap. If used properly, a guilty conscience can be one of the most potent tools to help us reach our ultimate goals and desires. Healthy guilt is the tugging of the G-dly, spiritual part of ourselves, working to keep us from straying off the path of spiritual and personal growth. Without guilt, a person would be a slave to his momentary whims, and could really hurt himself and others in the process. Guilt should never make us depressed, but rather empower and motivate us to live by our deepest and truest values.

Q. Is there any way to edit or erase the parts of our “life movie” we’re not proud of?

A. Amazingly, Hashem has given us a loophole to do just that. The process is to contemplate the parts of our movie where we blew it, and were untrue to our values. We should speak to Hashem about these incidents, freely admitting our mistake, and affirm our commitment to do better in similar situations from now on. This is called teshuva – repentance. Depending on our level of sincerity, Hashem will “edit” our movie, and either erase the embarrassing parts, or even rewrite them to show us in a positive light.

About the Author: Nesanel Yoel Safran is a published writer and yeshiva cook. He has been studying Torah for the last 25 years, and lives in Israel with his family.

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