Ethical will: Education

Internal obstacles to writing this entry I've been thinking of writing an ethical will entry on education for some time now, but it's been challenging for me to begin. For me, there are three obstacles: The strong personal association I draw between Judaism and placing a high value on education, which I worry may come… Continue reading Ethical will: Education

Ethical will: Loving-kindness

In composing my ethical will, I usually find myself resistant to including entries that should, according to my sensibilities, be self-evident. That's not to say that I personally exemplify any of these self-evidently positive traits; rather, it is to say that I wish I did. On the other hand, my ethical will is, by default,… Continue reading Ethical will: Loving-kindness

Ethical will: Patience

What do we remember of our departed loved ones? In speaking to other mourners, I have noticed that people's recollections of their deceased loved ones differ widely. Some people seem to remember only the most loving and tender of moments, whereas others recall a wider range of experiences. (I've also met widows who only spoke… Continue reading Ethical will: Patience

Ethical will: Truth

Following my previous 'ethical will' entry on 'listening' and the profoundly divisive aftermath of the 2020 U.S. Presidential elections, which once again reveals a country broken jaggedly in half, I've been thinking a lot about the pervasive lack of trust that has come to typify today's global politics. Yes, we must listen to one another… Continue reading Ethical will: Truth

Ethical will: Listening

We find ourselves on the eve of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, and voices across the world on both ends of the political spectrum are declaring that all we know as humankind will come to a devastating end if their preferred candidates don't win. What befuddles me is that I personally know well-intentioned and well-educated… Continue reading Ethical will: Listening

Ethical will: Impartiality

Judgmentalism has always come easily to me.-Me, 'The Skeptic's Kaddish 45', May 30, 2019 During my kaddish journey following Papa's death, I struggled with being judgmental of myself. In fact, this was one of the primary impetuses behind that yearlong writing project... Frankly, I had been feeling FAKE by going through the motions of communal… Continue reading Ethical will: Impartiality

Ethical will: Curiosity and mistakes

In Pirkei Avot (Chapters of the Fathers) 2:6, the great Hillel is quoted as follows: הוּא הָיָה אוֹמֵר, אֵין בּוּר יְרֵא חֵטְא, וְלֹא עַם הָאָרֶץ חָסִיד, וְלֹא הַבַּיְשָׁן לָמֵד, וְלֹא הַקַּפְּדָן מְלַמֵּד, וְלֹא כָל הַמַּרְבֶּה בִסְחוֹרָה מַחְכִּים. וּבְמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין אֲנָשִׁים, הִשְׁתַּדֵּל לִהְיוֹת אִישׁ: He used to say: A brute is not sin-fearing, nor is an… Continue reading Ethical will: Curiosity and mistakes