A Pair of Glasses

As part of our ongoing exploration of faith and religious traditions, Rabbi John Moscowitz came to UCC this morning to speak to the Upper School students. Within the last month, we’ve also had a priest and an imam speak to the boys. (I know. I know. This has the making s of bad joke. “So the priest, the imam, and the rabbi are walking down the street and …”)

Rabbi Moscowitz stressed 3 important themes: learning, loyalty, and gratitude.

On learning: The Torah is the key text of Judaism. It’s like a pair of glasses – without it the world is out of focus. But deep learning of any text, any literature is important, and you should do this before you think about your career in order to better know yourself and to more clearly see the world.

On loyalty: If you’ve seen the movie “Blind Side” you know the quote, “The people you care about most will have your back, will protect you…” If you are not loyal, you will not have friends. If you are loyal, you will.

On gratitude: To say “thank you” is also to acknowledge the other. And it is this mutual knowledge that leads to satisfaction. It is that ability to extend yourself to thank the other that is central.

Are these 3 virtues the result of nature or nurture?  Rabbi Moscowitz leaves that for us to decide. But his final piece of advice is this: “If you are not where you need to be with learning, get up to speed. If you are not loyal, get up to speed. And if you are not grateful, get up to speed.”


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