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Walk Don’t Stand

In Jewish thought, angels are referred to as “those who stand.” People, on the other hand, are called “walkers.” This is a fascinating image that presents us with an ongoing challenge.

The implication of being a walker is that life is never a stagnant experience, even if at times it feels like it is. The nature of life is that we are simply not capable of standing still. We may be walking in a productive, healthy, spiritual direction, or we may be headed in a counter-productive direction, but we are always headed somewhere.

The question is: What direction am I headed in. At any moment, on any and every day, this is a question that Jewish life insists we must always be conscious of.

The context and circumstances of our lives may be vastly different, but what we share in common is that we have the ability to choose and pursue a direction, regardless of our starting point. Every human being is responsible for the direction of his or her life.

In Judaism, the goal of life is not to be an angel, but rather to be authentically human. To do so, we must refuse the urge to stand still and engage in the ongoing struggle to keep walking. Walking towards meaning, towards kindness and compassion, towards God and spirituality and in a direction that that makes the very best use of whatever gifts and abilities we have.

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Comments icon March 18, 2009


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