Thought for Shabbat
On Thursday I was at the JCC swimming pool. At the far end of the pool was a little girl (maybe 12-15 months) being held by her dad. She was crying (which is why I noticed her) and holding on to her daddy with all her might. And I had a flashback to my own days as a father of a young child.
I remember those days when my children (the youngest of whom is 19) would hold on to me in the pool. That firm grip from those little hands and arms reminded me of just how much my kids needed me. At the same time, it was heartwarming to know that not only did they need me, but I was able to give them exactly what they needed: a sense of safety and security. There is nothing in the world like that feeling.
Even though my kids are grown up now, I know that they still need me…but in different ways. I also recognize that at different times there are others who need me. There are members of the congregation who depend on me for guidance, and who know that at some time I may need to accompany them through a difficult time. There are clients of mine at the JCC who depend on me to help them reach their fitness goals in a safe and effective way; others rely on me help keep them active and independent in their older years. There are also those in society in general who count on me as a fellow citizen to do the right thing, to support the positive endeavors in which we are engaged, and to help them meet their needs.
It feels good to be needed, but it feels even better to be able to provide for those needs. This is a Jewish value to be sure, but more than that, we know it to be true in our hearts.