Using Time Productively
Thank you for printing last month’s column by Rabbi Mansour (Every Day is Friday!). As usual, Rabbi Mansour gave over a very thoughtful and enlightening message. The importance of using our time wisely cannot be overstated.
The most important question to ask ourselves is if a given activity is helping us develop a closer relationship with Hashem or is distancing us from that goal. What we’re doing is of less importance than why we’re doing it and how the activity affects us. Every moment has the seed of greatness in it, depending on how we use it.
While you go through your day, evaluate your activities to see if they are bringing you closer to your ultimate spiritual goals. Sharing lunch with a friend, laughing together and giving each other emotional support can be a positive activity. Sitting together and gossiping isn’t. Find a way to imbue all you do with a spiritual dimension.
Last month’s article about bullying really hit home (Community Members Speak Out Against Bullying). I was bullied in school when I was a kid. I had to learn the hard way – but from my experience, bullies avoid kids who are assertive. Children need to learn how to communicate in an assertive manner.
Assertiveness can start with body language. Direct eye contact, standing up tall, and using a calm and even tone of voice is ideal. It is important to mention, that getting in a bully’s face can create more tension and aggression. Of equal consequence is helping them understand that looking away and shrinking body posture can invite more abuse from the bully.
Bullying is a modeled behavior: people learn to bully by watching bullies. Children most often learn bullying behavior from their parents. That is not to say that young bullies are regularly bullied by their parents.
A child sees his parents tormenting a checkout clerk or a waiter and comes to think this is an acceptable way to get what one wants. A child sees his parents abuse an employee and thinks this is the proper way to treat someone who is “beneath” you. And if the child sees his parents browbeating school personnel on his behalf, you can bet the child will be doing the same to his peers.
If a society really wants to rid itself of bullying, two things will be needed. The society must not reward bullying. Bullying must not be seen as a means to getting what one wants or enforcing social standards. Second, those with influence must be conscious of the behaviors they are modeling.
Ukraine Rescue Mission
Last month’s article about the Sephardic Heritage Museum’s Ukraine Rescue Mission was simply amazing (SHM’s Mission to Rescue Jews Fleeing Ukraine). I’ve always been a big admirer of the special work Sephardic Heritage Museum does for our community and for Jews worldwide. But their latest mission is over the top. There are really no words that can accurately express the importance of their past and present accomplishments and their future goals. It is just incredible.
I don’t know anyone in Ukraine, but I feel for every person in Ukraine. What is going on right now is just heartbreaking. May Hashem give courage and protection to all the people involved with this heroic rescue mission. Besides donating funds, we as a community need to pray for our Jewish brethren who are really suffering in Ukraine. May we should be zoche to witness a complete turnaround very quickly!