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Talk Less, Do More



Dear Rachel,

Shortly after the Second World War, two German businessmen had reason to travel to England. Since Germans were not very popular in those years, they applied themselves to serious study of the British vernacular, until they felt comfortable enough to walk into a restaurant.

“Would you like to have aperitifs?”

“Yes, please, we’d like to have Martinis.”


Nein, nein, nur zwei!”

The joke’s been around for a while, yet I’m willing to bet many reading this today are not finding it so funny. I’m not trying to be funny either.

Neither do I care to reveal my status: Male or female; married or single or other; overworked or unemployed; misunderstood or troubled.

Is no one feeling it? Is everyone feeling it? Are we listening, really listening, or are we talking over one another (myself included).

Whether as an inadvertent onlooker, hapless bystander, or active participant, I find myself shaken to the core as I leave the scene.

We are not “hearing” one another, not tuning in. I’ve sensed it at intimate family settings, in formal exchanges, in delicate circumstances.

Oh, yes, my opening monologue, the joke. The waiter asks, “dry?” (Referring, of course, to the martinis). The Germans understand “drei” to mean the number 3 – a perfectly reasonable conclusion, considering their mother tongue.

All I am saying, or maybe trying to say, is that we need to “turn the volume” down a bit so that we don’t drown out the weaker voices in our midst, or cause pain to the more vulnerable or fragile among us.

Just sign me,
One of Hashem’s beloved children


Dear Beloved Child,

You had us worried there for a bit as we wondered where you were headed to… until you redeemed yourself with that last paragraph, your summation.

I’m thinking you’re a deep thinker. But how can we really judge, when we know next to nothing about you. And that’s exactly the point. No one but our Heavenly Father, HaKadosh Baruch Hu, sees into our hearts and reads our minds.

Since the clock is ticking and the work is aplenty, I’ll take the high road: talk less and do more (always the better option). Conveniently, a dear friend just happened to send me the perfect closing:

Life is not happening to you. Life is responding to you.”

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