On the roof of the Aish center looking down at the Western Wall with Chevra & Davai in 2011

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Something To Think About: "You the Man!"

Recently I was flipping through the channels on tv and the 80s Spike Lee classic movie, Do The Right Thing was on. 

If you remember the movie, there was one scene where the lead character Mookie was speaking with his friend, Buggin' Out on the street and as he was about to depart, he said "You the man!". Bugginout replied "No, You the man!" and this went back and forth a couple times until they changed topic without agreeing and they both went on their way.

A simple question came to mind.  No, it wasn't who really was the man between Mookie & Buggin' Out.  It was, why can't they both be the man?  Is there something in our society that dictates that there can only be one "the man"? 

The answer seems to be that there can only be one. We see it in magazines and on tv.   There are tons of lists of the top richest people, most beautiful women or the best athletes and theres always only one person in the top spot.  That leads to another observation. Have you noticed that there's no sports in all of the Torah? In modern society, sports plays a huge role. In Biblical times, it didn't exist.  Theres no time that we hear about our forefather Jacob taking his his 12 sons outside for a game of full court basketball.  Why not? Sports can be fun and it's good exercise. 

The answer is that in sports or on determining who "the man" is, the only way that I can win is to beat you. And if you win, then I lose.  This may be true in modern society, but has no place in the spiritual world. In terms of spirituality, there's no competition between me and another person. The only measuring stick that I have to live up to is my own potential.  If neither one if us live up to our potential, we both lose. The flip side is that if we both work hard and live up to our G-d given potential, we can both win... And if that happens, we can all become "the man".

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