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Rabbi Everett Gendler

on Wednesday, 08 June 2016.

There was an interesting article in the May 20th edition of the Forward, by Talya Zax. The article was about Rabbi Everett Gendler, and Zax quoted him as saying "I think a persistent pain is the terrible discrepancy between the ideal and the actual, the sense that we are really divinely commanded to live with consideration for others and the avoidance of injury to others, at the same time we are commanded to live full lives and enjoy. Sometimes it's so difficult to reconcile those."

While I agree that there is a discrepancy between the ideal and the actual, I see no problem in reconciling the idea that we should live full lives and that we should act out of concern for others. It would be more difficult to enjoy my life knowing that I was hurting others. No doubt Rabbi Gendler is a better person than I am, and his concern for others interferes with his ability to enjoy his life, while mine does not. 

I hope I am following a middle path. I do try to live in such a way that I help others, or at least do as little harm as possible. What I do for others helps me feel fulfilled. What helps you feel fulfilled?