Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Reflections from recent travels

I have been traveling a lot recently (for work) and it has kept me completely out of my schedule. Davening, eating, sleeping, and learning. You name it and it was all just off. I was flying back on Ta'anis Esther and starting thinking of what did I learn from all this? Here are some ramblings:

Just remember yidden are everywhere - In downtown San Fran and a homeless man in front of Starbucks yells out "Shalom Brotha". I look over my shoulder. Ask where is best to get a cab. He helps me and I give me a $1 ask if he is Jewish and walk away with a lesson for the day. Holy neshama's are everywhere. We don't know their purpose but they are yidden and our family.

Just be respectful - I had to daven on the plane one morning. My friend sent me an email that morning that the same airline called the FBI when frum men davened on the plane. So I walked up to the flight attendants and told them "I need to pray...". I do my thing and before we are suppose to land they all came over to me saying thank you for being so respectful to us. Lets just not forgot a first impression always counts.

While I would have rather been at home with my family, learning in my chabura, and eating my wife's delicious lunches, my travels provided me with a many learnings I could not have grasped from sitting in my daled amos.

We (well I'll speak for myself) often get rapped up in complexity. Keep life simple as the simplest things are more often the most important.

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Anonymous said...

I hope ypou also listen to shiurim using a small MP3 player. And then you can listen to gevaltig things and see wierd things at the same time.

MP said...

My kids must remember some of the things I've told 'em, 'cuz more than once one of them has asked me to retell my "gas station Rabbi" story.

The first vacation I ever planned and took by myself was a two-week driving trip which began in AZ and ended in WY. Towards the end of that trip (I think I was already in Wyoming), I had stopped at a gas station's convenience store to buy a small jar of Skippy Peanut Butter (nowadays, so much processed food is under reliable Kashrus supervision; not nearly as much food was then, but Skippy PB had been under the OU for some time). While on line for the cashier, a gigantic fellow behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked, "You some kind of Rabbi or somethin'?" I said no, why do you ask, and he noted my kippah. I briefly explained that I covered my head as a sign of respect for our God above, and he seemed satisfied with the answer.

As you say, first impressions are important. Y'never know who's watching, but it pays to keep in mind Who's always watching.