Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hi everybody! Here’s a post of yesterday’s sermon. Feel free to comment below.

Repetition is Important. Repetition is Important. Repetition is Important.

New things are exciting, and old stuff is boring. This is true of cars, clothes, and even concepts. No one likes to hear the same idea over and over again, and teachers and preachers who continually repeat themselves are boring.

But repetition is important. The Haggadah tells us that we must repeat the message of the Seder year after year, and “even if all of us were wise, all of us understanding, all of us knowing the Torah, we would still be obligated to discuss the Exodus from Egypt”. We might know the story already, but we have to do the Seder all over again, year after year.

But repetition is not about knowledge. Repetition is about keeping focused.Even idealistic people can forget their ideals. The stress and pressure of everyday life can make us lose focus on the big picture and obsess about the petty concerns of quotidian life. Even the wise, the understanding, and the idealistic can lose their way.

I’ve always found it fascinating how companies spend enormous amounts of money drafting mission statements, and then promptly file them away and forget about them. Mission statements are about making sure corporations keep focused on their fundamental values. If a mission statement is going to mean anything, it needs to be referred to on a daily basis. Without repetition and reinforcement, a mission statement is just an expensive book report.

The Seder is the mission statement of the Jewish people. It teaches profound lessons about hope, redemption, compassion and determination. We’d know the values of these concepts without the Seder. But we still need a Seder, because the Seder inspires us to live these values in our day to day lives.

To live by our ideals, we need to make sure we never lose our focus. That is why repetition is important. Repetition is important. Repetition is important.

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