A New Era of Excellence Rooted in Tradition

Looking Foward 11.18.16

Michele serves as the Vice President of Development on the Board of Trustees at the sufferance of President Sandor Schuman (and pretty much everyone else on the Board). She has 2 children at HACD: Zvi is in Dolfinim and Razi is in Nesharim.

Shomray Torah, people. Let's do this.

At our Annual Meeting in June, Julie Pollack reminded us of the Pirkei Avot teaching: “Lo alecha hamelacha ligmor, v’lo atah ben horin lehibatel mimena.” You are not, Rabbi Tarfon said, required to complete the task, yet you are not free to withdraw from it. Perhaps you've heard the song. Perhaps you've sung the song. As popular as that teaching is, though, many people don’t know what Rabbi Tarfon said right before that: “Hayom katzar, v’hamlacha m’ruba, v’hapoalim atzelim, v’hasachar harbe, v’ba’al habayit dochek.” The day is short, the task is abundant, the laborers are lazy, the reward is great, and the Master of the house is insistent.

That first part? About the overwhelming burden of the stuff we need to do? It makes a terrible song. No one wants to hear us caterwauling about the pages we fill with inventories of our action items. Everyone has their own verse about their own co-workers who can, at times, be lazy or sassy or obstreperous or all of the above. The great reward remains, always, tantalizingly out of reach and is never quite enough to cover the property tax bill. Andrew Lloyd Weber owns the rights to "Master of the House." Nothing rhymes with to-do list. At times, throwing up our hands and hunkering down under a blanket on the couch with the remote in one hand and a large jar of Nutella in the other is an almost irresistible option.

Were he here with me, sharing my Nutella on my couch, I would turn to Rabbi Tarfon and say, “Dude, I feel you,” because right now life is weighing a little heavy on my soul. He would nod sagely - because he's a sage, natch - and then gently extricate the spoon and the remote from my sticky hands, pull the chocolate-stained blanket from around my shoulders, and remind me that it was time to remind you that it is, on so many different fronts, time to get to work.

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And yes, I will most certainly share my Nutella with you.