Get Moving

Sometimes you hear something short and to the point and it motivates you. My daughter sent me an email with the following short moshel:

There are a group of boys playing in the street. A bus pulls up and stops. The bus driver honks his horn because he needs to get through. The boys don’t flinch. They continue playing ball as if the bus doesn’t even exist. The bus driver honks again. The boys look up and, almost in unison, shout “We heard you!”. The bus driver replies “It’s not enough to hear me, you also have to move.”

It’s not enough to hear great and inspiring droshas and profound insights. You also have to move. Take a step, a small step. Get moving.

Share a SHORT insight or story for YK in the comments. G’mar Tov.

11 comments on “Get Moving

  1. Ross #10: No, of course you are 100 percent correct, sometimes Jewish self-deprecation and putdowns reach the point of Jewish self-hating, which only encourages non-Jewish Jew haters.

    It is really interesting to see and hear the new in-your-face “Heeb” culture of some younger Jews, rejecting the old Borscht-Belt-Catskills humor in favor of an attitude that goes, “I’m Jewish and proud of it, and if you don’t like it, that’s your problem.”

    For example, there used to be a lot of misogynist jokes out there about Jewish women: Jewish girls were “spoiled princesses” and Jewish mothers were neurotic, controlling harpies. Young Jewish women today are loudly rejecting those unfair stereotypes perpetuated by Philip Roth and Woody Allen and other Jewish men in the pop culture.

  2. There is a story in the Gemara from about two thousand years ago regarding two fellows who were praised by Chazal for telling jokes in the marketplace that made people smile. It seems they were the first Jewish comedians, way before Henny Youngman and Milton Berle. So there is a place and time for Jewish humor, possibly to help lighten the burden of Jewish tragedy at least for a few moments.

  3. “…playing embarrassing jokes on people…”

    This reminds me…I always wondered how Jewish (non-frum) comedians are judged. Some (I can think of two very famous ones) made a career out of making fun of people, mocking and putting down others in public on stage. It might be true that people go and expect this, but of course some are hurt, whether they admit it or not. (“Oh, it’s all in good fun,” they claim.)
    Some others mock Jewish history to the point where we would get physically sick. And non- frum Jews go in droves and pay loads of money to see them and their productions.
    Maybe after a while when old age sets in they’ll start regretting it. Maybe they have.

  4. Two thoughts as we near Yom Kippur:

    1. Teshuvah takes care of our aveiros. But what takes care of our mitzvos? (Mitzvos never done, done wrong, done without kavanah, done in a slipshod manner, etc.)

    2. Repentance out of fear of Gd (the Yamim Noraim) erases our sins and leaves a blank. Repentance out of love for Gd (think Pesach) replaces our sins with mitzvos.

    I heard a story related to that concept. During the Tashlich ritual, we symbolically toss our sins into a body of water. Months later, on the night before Erev Pesach, we draw Mayim Shelonu, a quantity of cool water for the Erev Pesach matzas mitzvah baking. At that time, we are trying to get back the sins we previously threw into the water, since they are now all going to get turned into mitzvos.

  5. Ross –I make no pretense of knowing how anyone is judged or what happens as a result, but there are two very rough possibilities –one is judged negatively for all the time he spent at fraternity parties, taking dates out without the most honorable intentions, attending clam bakes, playing embarrassing jokes on people, etc etc. Or one is judged favorably for having gone from that to cleaving to God in however imperfect a way he does so. So my opinion is that we should be strengthened and inspired by the latter but motivated to keep improving by the former. Put differently, each of us has a lot to be proud of, but we should never become complacent.

  6. I can only speak for myself. I actually picture worse than I described…that the elevator will get stuck between “floors”. Listening to elvator music for all of eternity isn’t fun either.

  7. Ross,

    It might actually go differently for us…

    We’d arrive, and the malachim would be amazed that we actually made it to heaven after all the twists and turns in our lives, so they’d give us a loud standing O in perfect harmony (Malachim always stand anyway, but the O would be a bonus!).

  8. I was at a fancy hotel in California, and in the lobby there were about 100 people with cameras staring at the elevator. Obviously they expected a celeb. The doors opened and there was, standing inside….two chinese tourists. Almost in unison, everyone from the utterly dissapointed crowd went “Oh.”

    Can you imagine being in the elevator somewhere and the doors open and loads of people are staring at you smiling, and then suddenly frowning?

    Well, this is how I picture myself after my years are through. In Heaven, there will be an announcement that some religious guy is coming from the NY area, and the malachim will get so excited…which one of the many tzadikim will we be greeting? (And there many in the NY area, for sure). Then I’ll get in the elevator and go up (well, assuming I actually go UP), and then the doors will open…

    I can’t describe the scene. It’s just too hard. I guess I should try to do start doing things so I’ll merit some type of decent greeting. At least from one of them.

  9. In prehistoric times when the kids on my blockon Staten Island were playing ball in the street, someone yelled “Car!” when he spotted a car coming, and we’d all scramble out of the way immediately. No one thought to stay in the way.

  10. Just saw this one from BBT contributor Akiva:

    Co-worker answers phone “I’m not here right now, who’s trying to reach me?” I feel like that all the time!

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