Shalom From the Shabbat Lady

By Laura Seymour
Dear Families,
I admit it — I am a biblioholic! That’s the addiction to buying books and I’ve got it bad. Every year at Simchat Torah (my favorite holiday), I try to absolve myself of guilt — we are the People of the Book and we never stop reading the Torah. That must make it OK to love books, read books and even buy books. Each new year, I shop before Rosh Hashanah to find wonderful books to take to shul. Yes, I read in shul!
This year’s top choice really made me think about life and I want to recommend it to you. It is a book for adults but it is also for teens and can be used with your whole family. The book is “The Seven Questions You’re Asked in Heaven” by Dr. Ron Wolfson. The questions provide the chance to look at where you are going and why. Not to “give away the book” but here are the questions, put very simply:
1. Were you honest?
2. Did you leave a legacy?
3. Did you set a time to study?
4. Did you have hope in your heart?
5. Did you get your priorities straight?
6. Did you enjoy this world?
7. Were you the best you could be?
These may not be the questions you might have imagined, so maybe start your family discussion on what you think are the questions you would be asked; would you keep some of these or find very different ones? The questions are the first step. Talk about why each particular question; what is really being asked of us? For the seven questions above, the answer is hopefully the same for each one — THE ANSWER WE WANT IS YES! But the real questions are how and what and why: how can you be honest, how do you leave a legacy and what will that legacy be, what should I study, why is study important, what is important about hope, and more questions about questions.
Keep reading and keep questioning — it’s the Jewish way!
Laura Seymour is director of camping services and Jewish life and learning at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas.

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