From the Desk - The Meaning of Life
Shalom Friends! I hope you're all doing well! All things are good here, with another great BBQ yesterday! Last Week in Synagogue Last week in synagogue, I discussed the widespread problem of broken resolutions. Why do we so often fail to fulfill our aspirations of becoming better people? You can read more about this here. I hope your Summer is going well and that those of you who are still around will make it to synagogue this Shabbat :-). We extend our condolences to Denise Siegman on the passing of her brother Asher Elbaz. May Denise’s family find comfort at this time and may they know no further sorrow. Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Anthony and Carly Knopf Dovid, Rachelli, Yehuda and Avrami
What's the Deal with...The Meaning of Life?! Last Shabbat, we were delighted to celebrate with the Anders and Schwam families in officially giving their granddaughter her Hebrew name, Frida. Frida's father, Jeffrey, asked the following question: 'Is finding one's purpose the meaning of life?' Well, there's a different kind of a question for this week's letter! The question of the meaning of life is perhaps the deepest and most important question we can ever ask. Why are we here, what difference do our lives make and how should I live as a result. So, is finding your purpose the meaning of life? I would answer that they are not the same thing and I'll do so from two different angles. Firstly, you may have identified a purpose for your life but the purpose you have identified may have very little meaning. Perhaps you decide your purpose is to watch paint dry. Or to get drunk every night. Or to look after number 1. None of those choices is particularly meaningful. But what if you do make a wise decision and identify as your purpose something that is truly meaningful? If that is so, you have identified the point at which your life connects to the meaning of life. I would suggest that each of us give serious thought to the meaning of life. Why and how is it meaningful that there are human beings in the world? Why and how does it matter what people believe, how they experience the world and how they behave? When you come up with some persuasive answers to those questions, ask yourself another: 'How can the way in which I live connect me to what I believe is the meaning of life?' When you answer that question, you will have identified your purpose. Phew! I need to go back to philosophy school before Jeffrey's next trip to Montreal!