Monday, March 07, 2005

Kohelet, Ecclesiastes chapter 7

Try to have a text handy.

Chapter 7
"Tov shem, m'shemen tov."
Better a good name (reputation) than good oil (perfume.) Perfume is very superficial; it masks bad smells. Years ago, when we were on shlichut (doing Zionist youth work) in England, we had a summer camp/seminar in a chateau in the French country-side. I got there a coupld of hours early with the three girls (She'era was a tiny baby), driven my one of the madrichim. I almost puked when I went to the toilet. The wooden floor was saturated with urine smells, worse than an old NYC subway toilet. The staff insisted "no problem" and promptly doused it with some perfumed stuff. And the stink was well-masked.

A good name lasts forever. Good perfume costs lots of money, and a good name is for free. Perfume fades, a name doesn't.
"shemmen"=possesions, like university degrees
"shem"=the inner person
Another reason that the Dovrat Commission's insistance that more university degrees will make a better teacher is wrong. It's superficial. Teaching demands inner strength and knowledge and good instincts. Kids are not predictable. It's not theory.

Whatever you have, you can build on; it depends what you do with it.

2-Death is more important than birth. Even when you have to choose between two events, honor the dead, rather than celebrate. It's better if we do the right things in life.
T'hilim 2, 11 If we worsip G-d with proper respect, "yirah," we'll be able to deal with the troubles.
People forget what is our true purpose in life; especially at smachot, joyous occassions, they get too involved int eh "shemen" instead of in the "shem." At weddings, people sometimes forget that it's to build a new life, and they concentrate on the "gashmi" materialistic end, instead of the spiritual. Weddings are much too expensive. The money should be invested in the young couple, not a few hours of fun. And if the families don't have lots of money, so the wedding should me much simpler. There are ways, and they're much better in the long run and also in the short run.
If people concentrate on the wrong things in life, we go back to the better "nefel,' stillborn than a wasted life.

No comments: