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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

When are you going to stop pretending you don’t know who you are and what you were sent here to do?” - a Rabbi's prayer

An admired acquaintance posted this on his Facebook page, and the only attribution I can find on the internet is the one he used: "said by a Jewish rabbi." (Does anyone know any other kind?)  But I think we should all listen to this quote, even if that turns out to be apocryphal and having been really written by a failed rabbinical student turned fortune cookie stuffer.) 

When are you going to stop pretending you don't know who you are and what you were sent here to do? 

I think we should break that down, folks. First, it means we really do know who we are. Second, that we were sent here for something. Third, that we can stop pretending we don't know that anymore. 

I'm still confused, I must admit, about what I'm supposed to do. But--truth is, I know who I am, strengths and weaknesses--like the fact that I am mouthy, with a sideways sense of humor that does not fit in well in my chosen home city. Still, it is mine, so claim it I must and use it, I will. (I sound like Yoda, another Jewish philosopher.) 

The Jewish rabbi quote, though fits beautifully with a piece of better known Jewish wisdom, from the Pirkei Avot (the sayings of the fathers, attributed to one Rabbi Tarfon, though I wonder if he--or they stole some of these sayings from the mothers.) "It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work, but neither are you at liberty to desist from it." Meaning: stop and help that old guy on the bus bench, even if you're running late. You may not be able to save the whole world, but it is enough (for now) to keep the drunk from falling off the bench while you call the ambulance. (Yeah, okay, that happened last month, and I did, and we didn't accomplish much--the EMT's actually knew the guy, but still, at least he didn't give himself another gash in the head like the one held together with staples that day.) 

So--let's all do this. Take a deep breath. You know who you are. What you were sent here to do is right before you. Remember, you don't have to do it perfectly. 

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