January 8, 2016, Israel
I am uncomfortable. I am not content.
I have been training in martial arts for well over thirty years and yet I am not satisfied. I have not yet found the perfect solution.
I have trained in Judo, several forms of Karate, kung fu, jujitsu...but I am not yet satisfied. I am always searching for more. I am taking what I have learned, developed, modified and further distilling it down to make it user-friendly.
I am not satisfied.
I am not satisfied that people cannot go shopping without fear of being attacked. I am not satisfied that in downtown Jerusalem people are being stabbed. I am not content.
So we are not content to leave things as they are. And that is good for that is the only way we can grow.
Each week I read the Torah in the synagogue. I look at the ancient scroll and I try to read it as my ancestors in the Land of Israel read it over 2,000 years ago, and each week two experts stand by my side ready to correct the tiniest nuance of a mistake. And each week I spend several hours preparing my little paragraph, I am NOT content. I want to improve. I have been reading the same passages for over thirty years but I am not content.
New students walk into our training center, nervous, awkward, and I think how can we teach them? I must find a simpler way, an easier way, a way that requires less coordination, less power.
Old people are attacked in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. I recently lectured for a seniors group, these are our parents and grandparents, they deserve to feel safe!!!
So I am uncomfortable with our current situation, and this means I cannot retire yet, we must constantly feel uncomfortable, we must work harder.
The discomfort is our inner soul encouraging us, pushing us to improve. This life is a journey, a path towards improvement. We must find a path in this life. Sometimes the steps are difficult, sometimes are legs are tired and that next step seems too painful to take, sometimes we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel and we feel discouraged, but we must never give up.
Only the dead are comfortable, that is why we say rest in peace. If you are alive it means you still have work to do.
In this weeks Torah reading we read that God hears the suffering of the Children of Israel. The Children of Israel are not comfortable and so God himself is uncomfortable. So action must be taken. We cannot leave things as they are. I have heard your suffering, your discomfort so I am taking action but I need your help. Moshe and Aharon come here, I have work for you to do. You will go and speak to Pharaoh and you will deliver my message; Let my people go.
But Moshe is not a speaker, he fears no one will listen to him. And Moshe is eighty years old and his brother Aharon is eighty three as they approach Pharaoh King of Egypt. We are old, we are tired, but we are not comfortable, so we continue, we approach the Pharaoh in our own lives and say, Let my people Go!
Enter the House of Study, the Beit Midrash where the Talmud is studied night and day and you will hear people arguing, yelling at each other. There is no anger, these are scholars of the Law and they are seeking the truth, they are uncomfortable and are challenging each other. They are growing.
And we continue...
Always seeking to improve, never satisfied. Yuriko and Ramon already had years of Krav Maga and martial arts training but they were not satisfied. So they took a 14 hour bus ride from Chile to attend my seminar in Argentina (with Jose Nacul). And then they flew to Israel for Tour and Train, and they came back the next year, and then invited me to Chile to train them and their group, never enough!! We keep training.
We have more seminars this year in Chile and Argentina.