Monday, February 13, 2012

Actions speak louder than words

Sometimes, actions do speak louder than words. Last week, my wife and I and a group of friends went out for Chinese food. Yes, Jewish people do go out for Chinese on days other than Christmas. Afterwards, after much deliberation, we decided to see a film at a local theater. Now, you have to understand that it’s not always easy having eight people agree on one film, but fortunately for our rather belabored decision-making process, there were only a couple of films to choose from at the time that we were all available.

We (most of us) decided to see the academy award nominated film, “The Artist." If you are not familiar with this film, it is a black and white film set in the 1920’s. It is about a silent movie star named George Valentin, who, while at the top of his career refuses to believe that changes happening in the world, will affect him. He was in denial and the changes did have a profound effect on George’s life. What makes the film so interesting is that like many great films and books and music, it is a really good story that is well-told. There was romance, conflict, humor, loss and transition. And ultimately, there was redemption. What made this film so powerful: All was accomplished without spoken words. We understand the characters, we have empathy for them, we laugh with them and also shed a tear for them by virtue of their actions, not their words.

And so, this holds true for much that we do in our lives. Certainly, words are tremendously important. So much of our tradition is hugely related to words, both written and oral. But, much of what makes us each unique is what we do, not just what we say. Certainly we reinforce this notion with our children as they are growing up. I think part of what helps define us is what we decide to do, what we become involved with and what action we take with the people and ideas that we are passionate about.

One of the really important things about the Tifereth Israel Men’s Club is that it provides an outlet or a channel to help give some direction to the things that you might want to be involved in. Whether it’s playing poker and eating pizza with a group of guys, volunteering at a Purim Carnival, learning how to lay tefillin or perhaps a new idea you’d like to explore, Men’s Club is there to help.

Always Happy to Be of Service,

Karl Rubin

President, Congregation Tifereth Israel Men's Club

Columbus, Ohio

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