Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What is Lacking in You?

A friend relayed to me the following story about author Rabbi Harold Kushner.

When studying at Columbia University Kushner took a course in the the Great Greek Classics. On the final exam, he recalls the following two questions:

  • Which of the works that we read this semester did you least appreciate?
  • What is lacking in your character that made it so that you couldn't appreciate the work cited in #1?

He mentions that he has applied this question to parts of Judaism that he has struggled with (and if you have read his bio, you see that he has had some struggles).  

I humbly pose the same question to you and your students - dare we ask that something is amiss in our personal state of mind or ability to daven?  How can you improve your understanding of the siddur?  Why do I struggle with tefilla? Let's not always blame the teacher, the "rabbis", the school, or even Hashem - let's look inward.  

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