July 18, 2016, Israel
וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ, אֲנִי ה
Love thy fellow man as yourself, I am God.
We understand this to mean, treat others as you wish to be treated even if no one ever finds out, even if no one ever discovers your good deeds. For I am God and I am watching and I shall know.
The Great Hillel the Elder was asked by a Gentile for the meaning of this phrase. Hillel responded,
"דעלך סני - לחברך לא תעביד, זו היא כל התורה כולה, ואידך פירושה הוא, זיל גמור".
What you hate - do not do to others, this is the entire Torah, the rest is all commentary, go and study. (Aramaic original)
These few words are a way of life for us, the golden rule by which we attempt to live our daily lives. These words are part of our DNA.
Yesterday I found myself in the hospital, sadly not as a visitor. I was brought there by ambulance, against my will. I was greeted calmly. I felt I was greeted by angels. The doctors, the nurses, the helpers, all so angelic and kind. These professionals are under tremendous stress. The emergency room was overcrowded. They deal with life and death on a daily basis and yet a true sense of calm permeates the air. All is well, you are in good hands.
A kind doctor asks me in Hebrew, "What is your mother tongue", I reply, "English, I was born in the USA". He responds, "Mine too, I was born in Manchester, but the real one in England, not the one in America".
I smile. Our dear students Misti, Tim and family, and their students are all in Manchester, USA.
I am traumatized by the accident. I am upset. I am in pain. But these creatures, they must have been perfect human beings in a previous life, went up to heaven and God said, "Now you are Angels but you will return to earth as doctors and nurses and orderlies and hospital volunteers and you will spread my grace upon all who enter my holy hospitals."
They do not judge, they do not get angry, they do not become impatient with their impatient patients. Day in day out they serve the public. No glamour, no celebrity status, no flash and trash, just good honest people working very hard to help others.
My situation could have been much worse. The staff at the hospital, The Gates of Righteousness, such an appropriate name, were beyond amazing. The volunteers handing out coffee and cake and smiles. A very young woman and an older woman and a very old woman, pushing the cart around, volunteers, trying to make a bad situation somewhat better.
That is life, that is Krav Maga. My teacher always said, our goal must be to minimize damage, that's it. Life will attack us, life will pit us against difficult opponents, life will try and knock us down. Krav Maga, self defense, is all about minimizing the damage, learning to dance in the storm, not making the storm magically disappear.
Let us be as those angels in the hospital, the Gates of Righteousness, let us welcome all into our schools with calmness, acceptance, not harshness, not with judgment.
Our goal is to minimize the damage and make life just a little bit better.
Spread a smile today.
"Israel, A Nation of Warriors" 312 pages,
What makes Israel Unique? Historical overview from Biblical times to our own.
Analysis of the Reserve system, history of a warrior nation, development of Krav Maga fighting system.
The unique morality and ethics of the Israeli army and its nation of warriors.
16.99 PaperbackIsrael, A Nation of Warriors
My steps begin in Judea, my home, my ancestral home. My Krav Maga travels take me around the world but I always return home to Judea, to Israel. This book records my thoughts and observations as I travel both physically and spiritually. The lessons are universal and as such nearly each entry is someone's favorite as he feels it was written specifically for him and for his situation. My hope is that my words will help others along their own personal journeys through time and space.