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"Softer and green"

Friday, 8 June, 2012 - 3:51 am

Two years ago at this time I was working on the video invitation to Mendel's Upshernish. The slideshow is based on the song “father, please tell me" which is playing in the background. It was only a few weeks later that I realized the little change that Mendel had done to the lyrics of the song...  

In one part of the song the child pleads:

Father please tell me , what does G-d intend,  
Will this long bitter exile soon come to an end,
Or must we continue to suffer and grieve,
Father please tell me, what should I believe.

Mendel, however, instead of “or must we continue to suffer and grieve" sang "or must we continue to softer and green"...

 Isn’t this a sum up of our generation in comparison to just two or three generation ago? Children growing up for about two thousand years of Jewish history knew all about suffering for their Jewishness. How amazing is it that we live in a time and place when children don't know about the daily difficulties of the Jewish bitter exile, when suffering is not part of their Jewish experience.

But there is also a call here. When you think about the sacrifices our ancestors did to stay Jewish, to be connected to their faith and heritage, so their children should know who they are, even at the price of "suffer and grieve”, shouldn't we make more effort in a time when our daily concern is all about "softer and green"?!...

Comments on: "Softer and green"

Sheila Thompson wrote...

Smart little boy, that Mendel of yours. especially since t was done subconsciously. But then, all your children are amazing! May you continue to enjoy and 'shep nachas' from them. Wishing you all shabbat shalom.

Ed Fitch wrote...

Dear Rabbi Kaplan,

Thank you for another thoughtful story in "the adventures of the Kaplan Kinder". Shabbat Shalom from Ottawa.

P.S. Regards from R. Chaim Mendelsohn; we sat together at a chassidishe wedding this week.

Elisabeth Gelb wrote...

Dear Rabbi,
With insight into your dear Mendel's words, you have pinpointed our Jewish history with precision. We have experienced the 'suffer and grieve' and the 'softer and green'. At the peak of many celebrations, we recall a past destruction. Is this part of what makes us unique? Is this why we have endured while other ancients have vanished? As always, your insights trigger more reflection... Shabbat Shalom

Soriana wrote...

2 Joyce LaRoe|May 26, 2009 I would be interested in knonwig more of the prayer life of our Lord. The Gospels give some of His prayers (The Lord’s Prayer, Gethsemane, and John Ch. 17). In my mind, I see Jesus praising, worshiping, and talking with the Father about the things on His heart, as we do. But I don’t know the Jewish context of prayer at that time. What were the traditions and customs in terms of prayer when Jesus taught in the synagogues? Were there prayer books? If so, did the common people, the disciples pray using prayer books? Is that why they asked Jesus to teach us to pray? If the Son of God deemed it of utmost importance to go apart to pray to the Father, how much more so do we need to spend time alone in prayer?

Auth wrote...

Thank you for visiting the wteisbe, I do not know of any discussion boards on these topics. I am sorry I cannot be more help, but I just can recommend other wteisbes you might enjoy. Joyce Meyer Ministries is one. She can be quite funny as well. I noticed you liked Laugh of the Day. Jeane Batty is another one you might try. Billye Brim Ministries is another very interesting wteisbe. I pray you enjoy these other sites as well. Come and visit us often.Rich Blessings,Rachel Jeffries

Kanyisa wrote...

9 Lance Walker|June 9, 2009 I think your next book should be about the how Jewish peolpe used visual learning to help them walk with God daily and be reminded of His Word. For instance, the mezuzah, phylacteries, tzitzit, and their Jewish significance as well as a 21st century counterpart today (pocket visuals that we could use daily to help us do the same!). Too much “devotional” christianity today…one and done spirituality…read once in the morning and forget about God all day long! Daily pocket visuals can help change all that!