Sunday, March 22, 2009

Headwinds and Tailwinds

I have been thinking about the economy and our current crisis. I have this sense that we will be writing history in 2009. Everything is going to be rewritten. How businesses are run and how their employees (and executives) are paid. How charities are supported. How synagogues function. Much has been said about the making of history. And now we are really in the thick of it. History is hanging over our heads. For this reason I am pulled to the first century. I know that how I practice my Judaism was written during those years. I understand that the rabbis then made historic choices. They chose the Torah over the Temple--after the catastrophe of 70 C.E. when the Temple was destroyed. They chose relevance over irrelevance. The rabbis seized history over the Sadducees and Zealots. I know I am simplifying their struggles but how many Sadducees are still quoted in Jewish circles? I can only imagine the fear that gripped our people during those days. I can only imagine how afraid they were of the future. Such is the mood today. But I will not be taken in by depression. I am already planning tomorrow. I take strength from my reading of history. I believe success is determined by turning and changing. Struggling to rebuild the past is impossible, pining after what we once had a distraction. Remember the past. Turn to the future. You may be surprised to know that I not only gain strength from our history and tradition, but also from of all places, my passion for bicycling. This is why. The wonderful thing about heading out on your bike into a headwind is that you know you are going to be coming home with a tailwind. The lesson in this is simple. Every headwind can be turned into a tailwind. You just have to figure out which way to turn. People think the secret is pedaling harder but the real secret to success is turning. Don't be afraid to turn. There are many blessings to be written in your turning.

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