think about direction

After Shabbat, 6 Tevet 5775 Jerusalem Chanoch Ne’eman(c)

When I was 15, I worked as a CIT at a boy scout camp, named Floodwood. On the wall in the camp office was a poster with the message: If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.

What a haunting message. When I look at my life, I feel its relevance. Too many periods of drifting. Too many times of being deterred by obstacles. Too many times of not believing I could make it work. And there you are: somewhere else.

Stay calm. Think it out. Think of more options. Pray to God for ideas. See a path, and begin. When you hit the obstacles, figure out how to crack them.

I left law school after a half year. I only recently regretted it, some 22 years later. Interesting that in this week’s parsha, Vayigash, when Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, it is 22 years after they sold him. Bam. You suddenly realize that what you always thought was right, was wrong. Catch 22; you are caught after 22 years. “I am Joseph.” Whoops.

One of the reasons I left was because I couldn’t stand most of the classes. But I recently realized how I could have dealt with that better. I did not have to go to many classes. I could have sat in the library and reviewed the material myself, and also set up review groups with fellow students. We often think in black and white. Have to think of third options, fourth options. Have to learn to not run away, but chart your own path.

That is what I am starting to do in my own life now. The Shmitta year is giving me an opportunity to do so too.

hi, my name is...

hi, my name is…

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