Running After One’s Hat with apologies to Chesterton

The wind was blowing and my yarmulke flew off my head. I was carrying my computer, briefcase and a coffee and my open coat was blowing all over my face. I was first bothered and upset, as I had to run between cars hoping and praying that my yarmulke wouldn’t blow into garbage or a puddle. I also didn’t appreciate the laughter of people watching the comic scene. But then I decided to have fun. I turned it into an adventure. I began to enjoy dodging the cars, chasing my yarmulke, and with Debbie in mind, the exercise. What began as a miserable experience was transformed into a wonderful game.

I finally caught my yarmulke. As I sat and caught my breath (insufficient exercise) I considered the many things I am chasing in life: attachment to God, growth, knowledge, financial security and oh so much more. I am chasing my vision of spiritual integrity for all those who come to synagogue to pray. I am chasing a world in which people stand silently, with tears in their eyes when the cantor reads the Prayer for the Soldiers of the IDF. I become visibly upset with people who talk even as we pray for those young men and women who put their lives on the line for Israel.

Why not chase my vision of how people should be with the same sense of adventure and fun with which I chased my yarmulke? Why not find the joy in overcoming the challenges of changing the way we pray, learn and observe? Why not?

There is absolutely no reason why I should not have fun fighting this adventurous battle. In fact, The Foundation Stone is my battle cry and it is a wonderful quest.

This week’s Haftarah- The People’s Home is the story of a very young king who succeeded in his pursuit of change. This week’s Music of Halacha – Things II – describes the joy we can derive from our things. Rabbi Irwin Katsof describes the joy of the search for the right words. The Podcasts on Love of God and thePortion of the Week are a joy to record, but I hate having to listen to my voice.

This is an adventure and it is much fun. I hope you are enjoying as much as am I.

Rabbi Simcha L. Weinberg

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