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These Are the Duties

Sunday, 16 January 2011

I should look so good when I'm sick!

Each morning, before the daily liturgy really gets going, we recited a passage from the Mishnah regarding duties whose full worth is without measure.

These are the things whose fruits we eat in this world but who full reward awaits us in the World to Come:

  • honouring parents
  • acts of LovingKindness
  • arriving early at the house of study morning and evening
  • visiting the sick
  • welcoming the bride
  • attending to the dead
  • devotion in prayer
  • and bringing peace between people
  • but the study of Torah is equal to them all

~Shabbat 127a~

From this passage, we draw out that the study of Torah, when done properly, leads to ethical and proper conduct. Chazal turned the text over and over until, finally, they bequeathed to us the ways in which we should live.

And the ways are many…

And sometimes, especially for a Jewish woman consumed with the obligations of running a household, the needs of the self are overlooked.

If I learned nothing else from my bout with illness two years ago, I learned the importance of listening to my body. Prior to that, I’d just plow through whatever was ailing me. Maybe it was all those years of performing. “The Show Must Go On” and all that.

I recognized the signs earlier in the week: tightening neck muscles, a tickle in my trachea, aches. By Thursday, I knew that things were going south and, in an unprecedented move, I called the doctor AND had our sitter take over for me.

Friday morning and I had high hopes that I’d be on the mend. “Hah!” scoffed my tired and beaten-down body. Forcing me to accept my reality. Cancel what could be cancelled and turn over the rest to BossGiraffe.

Here’s the thing — no one, and I do mean that, is so important that he or she is indispensable.

Except to her loved ones. Her husband and children and parents and siblings. To them, she is irreplaceable.

God lovingly crafted not just our souls but the vessels that protect them. Am I not obligated to care for them both?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sunday, 16 January 2011 2:05 pm

    Hope you are feeling better…take care of yourself.

  2. BossGiraffe permalink
    Sunday, 16 January 2011 2:18 pm

    After services, several people commented, “We sure missed FrumeSarah. But, you have a really nice voice.” (Thanks go to our wonderful voice teacher…and our gifted accompanist!)

    I’ll pass up the compliments, in favor of your r’fuah sh’laymah and quick return!!

  3. Monday, 17 January 2011 9:35 am

    That’s a really hard lesson for anyone to learn, especially a mom and probably even more a rabbi. Good for you for prioritizing your own health when you needed to.

    Feel better soon!

    PS Just in case misery loves company, I think I’m coming down with it too.

    My photography is available for purchase – visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

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