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A 2006 Graduation Message

A 2006 Graduation Message

What message would you leave them with? (2 min.)


See comments below.


Some people are funny. Some are insightful. Some are cynical. Some find a humorous touch in everything. Others find irony. Some write beautifully. Few people do them all as well as Rabbi Yaakov Salomon does. Entertaining, inspiring, astute, he has the uncommon ability to look something to give us pause and make us think. His new book, Something to Think About , gives us just that -- with a healthy dose of wit and charm. Click here to order.

May 27, 2006

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 3

(3) Anonymous, May 30, 2006 12:00 AM

Query about Rabbi Salomon's bio

I've been enjoying Rabbi Salomon's video snippets for quite some time... and now with his new bio on-line, I learn that, in addition to everything else, his *musical* talents have been "on Broadway." Inquiring minds want to know: What's this musical background you hint at? Now *that's* something to think about!

(2) Kirsten, May 30, 2006 12:00 AM

Questioning is bad?

I usually enjoy Rabbi Salomon's vignettes, but his grave concern with the emphasis on the advice 'question everything' puzzled me. In maturing, we learn that everything is not black and white, but shades of gray; that not all aspects of a situation are apparent at first glance, and may be deceiving and harmful. In my opinion, it'd be a grave disservice to not include that advice to graduates! I also add that questioning something and finding it to be good plants it even more firmly in the psyche.

I will however agree wholeheartedly that principles should be emphasized as well to graduates; I am eternally grateful to my parents for establishing a strong base of love and support blended with insistence upon virtues.

I suppose the best suggestion comes from the old adage: Open your arms to change, but hold tight to your values.

(1) Mordechai Bulua, May 28, 2006 12:00 AM

Be Sensitive to Others

I would say to the Class of 2006 that which the Sage Hillel told the potential convert: "That which is hateful to yourself; do not do to others..." There is too much insensitivity going around, whether it be improper cell phone use, hurtful words, not considering the effects of one's actions on others, and basic lack of mentschlichkeit (humanity). I would tell them that the most important thing in this world is to be a mentsch (ladies included). I said the following at my son's bar mitzvah which occured on the Shabbat before Shavuot and I believe its message is truly meaningful for graduates:

A man came to the Chiddushei HaRim (the first Gerrer Rebbe) and said: We all know the Shabbat before Passover is called Shabbat HaGadol (the Big Shabbat), the Shabbat right before Yom Kippur and two weeks before Succot is called Shabbat Shuva (the Shabbat of Repentance). How is it that the Shabbat before Shavuot doesn't have a special name?" "But it does!" said the Rebbe. "It's the Shabbat of Derech Eretz (Good manners-mentschlichkeit), because as is well known 'Derech Eretz kadman laTorah' - Good manners comes before learning Torah. (Midrash) I ended by telling my son: "May you never forget that you became Bar Mitzvah on the Shabbat of Derech Eretz, and may you always remember that Derech Eretz, mentschlichkeit, comes before Torah!

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