Nothing is Wasted

After hour depository (dropbox) of the old Exc...

After hour depository of the old Exchange National Bank building, in downtown Tampa, Florida (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes I prepare for a class that simply doesn’t happen.  I had one of those this week:  I was to teach a three-week class on Food and Jewish Ethics, and the timing simply wasn’t right.  There were not enough people signed up, and the management at Lehrhaus Judaica and I regretfully pulled the plug.

It’s a pity, because I was really excited about it.  I was going to spend the first class meeting talking a bit about how Jews do ethics.  Then we were going to brainstorm what ethical issues come up when one contemplates the dinner table, and choose two to four topics to hash out over the remaining classes.  The specifics would be driven by their interests.  But 10 am on Wednesdays was not a good time, despite some interest, so we’ll have to find another time slot and give it a go perhaps in the fall, perhaps in the evening.

So, was the preparation a waste?  Not at all.  For one thing, those lovingly prepared lesson plans are waiting in my Dropbox folder for another opportunity.  All I will need to do is refresh my memory, see if any new ideas have sprouted in the back of my mind since I prepared them, and I’m off to the races.  So that’s all good.

But there’s a deeper reason why it wasn’t a waste:  time spent studying Torah is never wasted.  I approach my own table now with renewed awareness.  When I pick up a piece of nice matzah, I am drawn to read the back of the box:  where did it come from?  Who made it?  When I look at the vegetables in the fridge, I am much more aware of a host of  issues.  The chapters I read on hunger led  to check on the status supplies at my local food bank (not good), leading me to dig a little deeper for tzedakah.

As Mishnah Peah 1.1 says, “Talmud Torah keneged kulam” — “the study of Torah leads to them all” [the things that are valuable both in this world and in the world to come.]

And those are my thoughts at the beginning of Day 5 of the Omer.

4 Responses to Nothing is Wasted

  1. I wanted to drop in and thank you for stopping by my blog. I am not Jewish, either, but I am following your blog to see what I can learn. Take care!

    Like this

    • rabbiadar says:

      Glad to have you Amberr! I’m enjoying your blog very much! So much to learn! Thank you for stopping in and for following!

      Like this

  2. Khaled says:

    that we were created in God\’s image (B\’tzelem Elohim) so each one of us has a spark of God in us. When we do a good deed or a mivztah, we feel good inside and so we feel God. So does that mean that God is matter since we are created in his image? What do you think?

    Like this

    • rabbiadar says:

      Neither a feeling nor a tzelem (the word translated as image) is made of matter. One of the things that most rabbinic sources agree about is that God is not made of matter. What do you think God is?

      Like this

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