I see, I saw, I see

Seesaws go by several different names around the world. Seesaw, or its variant see-saw, is a direct Anglicisation of the French ci-ça, meaning literally, this-that, seemingly attributable to the back-and-forth motion for which a seesaw is known. (from Wikipedia)

I thought I could get more of an uplifted attitude, now that Tisha B’Av is over. But there are so many things hanging over our heads at all times.

Mourning is represented as a sword raised over the mourner’s shoulders during the first three days; it approaches him from the corner of the room up to the end of seven days; it passes him on the street up to the end of thirty days; it is likely to strike any one of the family during the whole year (M. Ḳ. 27b; Yer. M. Ḳ. iii. 7; comp. Shulḥan ‘Aruk, Yoreh De’ah, 394, 4).

From the 1906 edition of the Jewish Encyclopedia.

I was thinking about this image, but I have also been thinking about the other end of things, the happy things, the upbeat chadesh yameinu k’kedem things of the end of Lamentations.

כא  הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ ה אֵלֶיךָ ונשוב (וְנָשׁוּבָה), חַדֵּשׁ יָמֵינוּ כְּקֶדֶם. 21 Turn Thou us unto Thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.

What does it mean for us to wish G-d to renew our days “as of Old”? Kedem really means before, or east, like where the sun already shined. (Oh that doesn’t sound right.) Or it means ahead, like in the word that we were taught that soldiers use, Kadimah! Forward march!

I had thought of this phrase when one of the young people in my program was super-excited when he saw we had chunky peanut butter for lunch. I told him I would say this only once to him, that I bless him that he should always get excited about such simple things in life.

And then, upon reflecting on that, I realized that is the secret. My father gets excited about the simplest things; he never gets bored. Of course, he never sits still long enough to get bored, but that’s probably a full circle. And it’s not like in the nursing homes, where the staff try to get the residents excited about doing projects like they were in Kindergarten. It’s not infantilizing people but allowing them to stay forever young.

Oh. I guess video will let us do that, stay forever young.

The interesting thing about that verse (not Bob, but Jeremiah) is that it’s not the last one of the book. But we go back to it. So we have to make the choice about what to focus on. Glass half-full or half-empty?

Get another glass and go fill it.

May you always do for others

And let others do for you.

So here’s the deal–when I see that you are not getting excited about chunky peanut butter, I’ll remind you to do so.

And back at me, please.


2 responses

  1. Pingback: renewing ourselves, once again | But Mostly Hers

  2. Pingback: what are we building | But Mostly Hers

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