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KD MAGAZINE! 
Posted: July 25, 2006 -
כ"ט בתמוז, תשס"ו

 
 
 
   
 

Touching the Future
Rabbi Shea Hecht
About the Author

In today’s day and age, electronic mail makes it simple to send people different things of interest. People send each other inspiring articles to read, important issues to vote on, touching photos of interest and of course, inevitably, jokes.

One joke that passed through my inbox recently was this one: A very self-important college freshman at a recent football game, took it upon himself to explain to a senior citizen sitting next to him why it was impossible for the older generation to understand his own. "You grew up in a different, actually almost primitive, world," the student said loud enough for the whole crowd to hear. "We young people today grew up with television, jet planes, space travel, man walking on the moon, our spaceships have visited Mars . . . We even have nuclear energy, electric and hydrogen cars, computers with light speed processing and uh." Taking advantage of a pause for breath in the student's litany, the "wizened" one said, "You're right, Son. We didn't have those things when we were young . . . so we invented them! Now . . . what are you doing for the next generation?"

After a small smile at the cute joke and the smart senior retort, I started thinking. Who said this is only a joke? Maybe there is something so honest and true in this communication that it’s worth taking a second look at it and learning something from it.

We all have an obligation to future generations. We have a duty to leave the world a better place than the one we came into. We have a responsibility to take care of the earth for those who are following us.

There are times that we may look smugly at what we have and what we have accomplished in our generation, spiritually and physically, and feel superior to those who have lived in the past. We can count our different free-loan funds and show that we make helping people a priority. We can read the advertisements for the benefits for charity and boast that we give it a front seat. We can see all the houses of worship that have been set up and all those that attend prayer services and feel we are superior in our spirituality. All this can lead us to think that we have mastered what previous generations have not. We may not have the same Chutzpah that the college student in the joke did to say it to someone’s face, but we may think it to ourselves nonetheless.

But with all this good that we have to show off, we must ask ourselves these questions: Are we living a sanctified life that our children can learn from? Do we live a life that our children can be proud of? Are we creating a moral world for the future generations?

We must always remember that the previous generation is pointing a finger at us and asking the same question that the elderly gentleman asked the college graduate. “We paved the way for you to grow the way you did, what are you doing for the next generation?”

 


Read more articles by Rabbi Hecht 

Rabbi Hecht's Website:  www.sheahecht.com  

 

 
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