Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thanks for Sharing

Have you ever walked outside and heard blaring music coming from a car driving down the street?

Whenever that happened while I was out, I'd say to whoever I was with, "Thanks for sharing!" The music coming out of those cars weren't usually songs I'd want to listen to while having a massage. They were songs I'd choose to listen to while doing exercise. Or maybe I'd rather not listen to those songs at all... :-)

For a while, it was hard for me to understand why someone would do that. Why do they have to drive down the street and "share the wealth" with people who never asked for it? Why couldn't they just enjoy the music in their own car and not have to make so much noise?

Until I had that incredible urge.

I was driving down the street listening to a song that I absolutely love. A song that empowers me, that moves me, that pushes me to want to do more, to do my best no matter what is going on. It's a fast song, it has a great beat, and the words are just plain awesome.

And so...I did it. I rolled down my windows and turned the volume up to the max. 

Why? Why did I do that?

It's because...I had something that felt so incredible to me...and I wanted to share that with everyone around me. This song did something to me. It moved me. It inspired me. It talked to me. And I wanted everyone else to feel it too. I wanted them to hear the words, to feel what I was feeling. I wanted them to feel the power of the song so they could be touched the same way the music touched me.

All this got me thinking...

You know, we as Jews have something so incredible. We have the most awesome gift ever. Hashem gave us the Torah. It is a part of who we are, it helps us learn how to be more sensitive and caring to others. It turns us into better people.

Do we ever feel like we really want to share it with others?

When we feel a positive emotion that is so overpowering, we have this tremendous urge to share it with others. It's like when someone is in "simcha mode". When they get engaged, have a baby, marry off a child...or when a very close relative gets engaged, has a baby or gets married...the emotions inside of us are so strong, we just want to share it. We want all our friends and neighbors to know who got engaged to who, who had a baby and if it was a boy or a girl, who got married...all the exciting details of the simcha that make us feel so happy. All we feel like doing is sharing that incredible joy with others.

So...what about our Judaism? Are we as passionate about what we have that we feel this same urge to give over to others and share the wealth?

This year, before Shavuos, take the time to think about it. Think about the things inside you. The things you care deeply about. And if you are passionate about Torah and mitzvos and you have thoughts and ideas you want to share with someone who is not as fortunate as you are, who doesn't have the same Torah background as you have, sign up for a program that will give you the opportunity to share your wealth.

You can sign up to learn with someone on the phone once a week with Partners in Torah. You can learn with someone in person, one on one. And if you don't feel you have that inside you, you can host a kiruv training seminar in your house as a way to help others learn more about kiruv. Or, you may choose to donate some of your ma’aser money to any of the organizations who are involved in kiruv. Oorah also has many ways of getting involved.

Whatever you choose, just realize that you have been given a unique treasure. You own it...and it is a part of you. And if you felt passionate enough about it, you'd also feel like you want to do whatever you can to share it with others. 

Do what it takes to share the wealth. 

It will enrich your life in so many ways.

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