Pirke Avot Study #2: The “Legacy” Of A Good Name

David's Star (Patrick Lentz photo via Flickr.com, Creative Commons license.) David's Star (Patrick Lentz photo via Flickr.com, Creative Commons license.)

As we continue our journey from Passover to Shavuot, we suggest looking at a section for this week’s Pirke Avot study from Avot 2:7. This is a long paragraph that involves juxtapositions on society and study but has an interesting clause that relates well to Boomers. “If one acquires a good name, one has acquired something for himself”.

This week, we suggest looking at this little passage because it does speak to an issue that becomes more relevant as we get older. What “name” do we call ourselves, what do people call us, what name do we wish to be remembered by? In other words, what do wish our legacy to be? Maybe this pandemic has sparked in many a renewed interest in this. Mortality is not theoretical as media keeps reminding us. Likewise, too many of us have begun to attend funerals of friends. We gradually realize that material concerns may not be the substance of life. But what is? What do we wish to leave behind to our families?

This week, this little line from Avot 2:7 can help us focus on this question. The time is certainly right to ask. Again, how shall each of us choose to answer?

Be safe, Stay well

Rabbi Richard F Address

About Rabbi Richard Address
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.

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