Today's Torah From My Daughters

October 9, 2010

Today's "Leff family Beit Midrash" studied Pirkei Avot 1:14.  Hillel's famous saying: "If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?"

Katherine came up with a great illustration of how we understood "If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?"  We saw that as meaning you need to take care of yourself … yet it's in the context of the second part, "And if I am only for myself, then what am I?"  So it's kind of telling us you need to take care of yourself, so you can take care of others.  I said that's why we need to make havng the time to take care of ourselves — eating right, getting enough sleep, exercise, prayer/meditation, etc., a priority.  I asked for other examples, and Katherine came up with the perfect one: The announcments on airplanes always tell you in the even of low cabin pressure the face masks will drop down, and you should put your own on first before helping others.  Clearly, if you're unconscious, you can't take care of anyone else.  So, go out and do something nice to take care of yourself today!  And then take care of someone else…

Reb Barry

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