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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hillel quote-Relevant for Today? October 3, 2012

As we listen and watch tonight's presidential debate number one, instead of checking for minute gaffes and slips of the tongue, perhaps it might be better to concentrate on the meaning of what each candidate reveals about himself. To whom is each beholden? What keeps each from being true to himself and his ideals, his hopes for the future?
Hillel's quote:
"If I am not for myself, who is for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?"

Who else does each man represent? Which others is he "for?" Does that include you? Or me? Or others in your group whether they are unemployed, underemployed, retired, disabled or wealthy?

Hillel was a rabbi who lived 2100 years ago. Yet his words live on today. We are responsible for ourselves, of course, to the extent possible. We must promote ourselves, ask questions, make decisions and improve our lives, but not without considering the needs of our families, our neighbors, our communities. Each of us thrives when we all succeed; we are all lessened when a neighbor or even a stranger is refused medical attention because  the working member of the family lost a job and the family's health insurance.

On the subways of New York it seems to be the less well off among the riders who give money to someone begging; they know we cannot wait for the wealthy to decide to donate money to charity. Institutions must be in place to assist us when we need help as they have been for many years including medicare and medicaid. We need a method for keeping these programs solvent, not for dismantling them. Listen for answers tonight please.www.facebook.com/phylliswpalmphd

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