Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Mitzva in Time...A Nice Haredi Story

This afternoon, we went to the Kotel for Aliyah le-Regel (zekher le- for the purists). Afterwards, we boarded a very crowded 1 bus to return to the car. There was nowhere to sit. Next tome was sitting an elderly man (a Gerrer Hassid, to judge from his spodik). Next to him sat his grandson, a boy about nine. All around, were haredi kids sitting down with adults standing. It never occurred to any of them to get up for their elders, or to their parents to tell them to do so.

I said to my wife, not sotto voce, that it's amazing how they learn so much Torah and don't know how to fulfill mitzvot.

The grandfather obviously heard me, took his grandson on his knee and offered me the now vacated seat. The truth is, he put me in a spot. 1) I did not want my comment to be self-serving. 2) There were mainly older women around and I would normally offer them the seat. The problem was that if I did that, I'd be forcing the older man to get up. I decided to take the offer and I thanked the young boy for his gesture.

I always wonder when tokhaha is in place, and how to do it. [Pushing people till they hit you no longer works.] I'm glad that this time everyone learned a lesson, בנחת.

1 comment:

James Fletcher Baxter said...

The missing element in every human 'solution' is
an accurate definition of the creature.

The way we define 'human' determines our view
of self, others, relationships, institutions, life, and
future. Important? Only the Creator who made us
in His own image is qualified to define us accurately.
Choose wisely...there are results.

Many problems in human experience are the result of
false and inaccurate definitions of humankind premised
in man-made religions and humanistic philosophies.

Each individual human being possesses a unique, highly
developed, and sensitive perception of diversity. Thus
aware, man is endowed with a natural capability for enact-
ing internal mental and external physical selectivity.
Quantitative and qualitative choice-making thus lends
itself as the superior basis of an active intelligence.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. His title describes
his definitive and typifying characteristic. Recall
that his other features are but vehicles of experi-
ence intent on the development of perceptive
awareness and the following acts of decision and
choice. Note that the products of man cannot define
him for they are the fruit of the discerning choice-
making process and include the cognition of self,
the utility of experience, the development of value-
measuring systems and language, and the accultur-
ation of civilization.

The arts and the sciences of man, as with his habits,
customs, and traditions, are the creative harvest of
his perceptive and selective powers. Creativity, the
creative process, is a choice-making process. His
articles, constructs, and commodities, however
marvelous to behold, deserve neither awe nor idol-
atry, for man, not his contrivance, is earth's own
highest expression of the creative process.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. The sublime and
significant act of choosing is, itself, the Archimedean
fulcrum upon which man levers and redirects the
forces of cause and effect to an elected level of qual-
ity and diversity. Further, it orients him toward a
natural environmental opportunity, freedom, and
bestows earth's title, The Choicemaker, on his
singular and plural brow.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. Psalm 25:12 He is by
nature and nature's God a creature of Choice - and of
Criteria. Psalm 119:30,173 His unique and definitive
characteristic is, and of Right ought to be, the natural
foundation of his environments, institutions, and re-
spectful relations to his fellow-man. Thus, he is orien-
ted to a Freedom whose roots are in the Order of the

Let us proclaim it. Behold!
The Season of Generation-Choicemaker Joel 3:14 KJV