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

YOUR THOUGHTS

By Nina Amir on March 19, 2009 -- 1:30am

I loved this post and did not know previously about “those who stand” and “walkers.” I also write and blog about Judaism from a human potential and personal growth standpoint. I’ll be back to check out what else you write!

By Lora on March 26, 2009 -- 6:22pm

Very nice!

By Leeza on March 27, 2009 -- 10:34pm

Incredibly inspirational on this particular day!!!
Thank you…

By Brian on April 1, 2009 -- 8:22am

I guess the reason why people today resent the Jews is because they have a controlling influence or dominance in so many of the lucrative or influential professions. Law, Medicine, Media, Business, Academic, etc. I am an academic, in philosophy, and whenever a Jewish writer refers to others in his field they are also Jews. They seem to select only Jews. Many American universities are predominantly Jewish. Statistically this requires an explanation. Is it nepotism, or sheer brilliance? You tell me.

By jazy on July 14, 2009 -- 10:44am

great article! thanks….

By Jos Klaassen on April 2, 2016 -- 5:17pm

I am an academic, in philosophy, and whenever a Jewish writer refers to others in his field they are also Jews. They seem to select only Jews. Many American universities are predominantly Jewish.

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