Friday, November 30, 2018, Israel
Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky, Moshe Katz, students of Rabbi Jacob Wehl of blessed memory, living exceptional lives.
My old school-mate Dovid Orlofsky spoke about living an exceptional life. When the time comes to evaluate our lives, when the time comes when we are getting closer to the end we all want to think we lead exceptional lives.
We want to be special. We want to make a difference.
We must start with a dream, with a million dreams, we must start with a vision. And Abraham lifted up his eyes and he saw the great mountain, but those with him did not see. We start with a dream, a vision of greatness, and we never back down.
What color is your dream? How great is your vision? What do we wish of for mankind, what impact will we have.
When my cousin Philip Resnikoff of blessed memory passed away I recall knowing that he left this work as a creditor, not as a debtor; he gave the world more than it gave him. He added to his world. Philip, you were a good man, a good cousin to me, I shall never forget your kindness as a tear rolls down my cheek. You left this world a better place.
We begin with a dream, the dream that keeps us up at light, the dream we pursue relentlessly.
Without a dream what are we?
Rabbi Dovid spoke of exceptional lives. He spoke of a man who came to a town in Israel after the Holocaust. He pointed out where a great rabbinical academy would be, and here he shall put a high school, and over there a girls school.
When he returned to Jerusalem it was recommended that he sees a specialist, he was clearly delusional.
He was not delusional, he was a dreamer. Today there is an academy where he said it would be, and a high school, and a girl's school, all as he saw it in his dream.
We dream, we build, we dream a million dreams for a better world. And then we must work, to live an exceptional life, says Reb Dovid, you need to do exceptional things. You must rise up early, you must rise to the occasion. You must lie down with a million dreams and wake up with a million ideas.
You must be exceptional.
World events, for good and for bad, were shaped by those who lived exceptional lives. We may not remember all their names but we know their deeds. As we approach Hanukka we think of Mattiyahu the High Priest and his sons Judah the Maccabee, Shimon, Elazar, Yonathan, Yochanan who took exceptional action that shaped how we live today. Our religious and cultural heritage was preserved because they were not complacent to live ordinary lives.
To live exceptional lives we must do exceptional deeds.
Have a good Shabbat everyone.
Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky, an exceptional man.
Teaching, making a difference, doing something exceptional