Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Whatzis With The Tzitzis ?
by
Zalman Velvel
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This story started out its life as a closing speech, but then I wanted to make it into something more permanent.
 
The inspiration for it was the closing speech at my daughter’s graduation given by the Dean of the Law School. The Dean stood up, boldly, in front of more than a 1,000 people, and began by saying he couldn’t remember one worthwhile thing from any closing speech he ever heard, and he had heard hundreds. He then promised his closing speech was going to be different – it would be short and memorable. Then the dean proceed to give a very loooong speech – it was over an hour – of which I can’t remember one thing from … other than his broken promise.
 
No, I want this story to stick to you better than that. And I promise this story is going to be short, because many of you will appreciate that, in spite of it also being memorable.
 
I am going to discuss a question that haunted me, day and night, for two weeks. It’s a question I took home after my first speech promoting my first book, “King of Shabbos.” I spent 20 hours preparing that one hour presentation. 20 hours of writing and re-writing, crafting the words carefully, timing the jokes. 20 hours!
 
When it came time to deliver that speech, I stood in front of an audience of Jewish people, my people, a people known for our stubbornness and skepticism, traits that have been amplified by thousands of years of pain and persecution, and I explained how returning to our traditions made me feel proud to be Jewish and more fulfilled as a human being. By implication, if my audience returned to their Jewish traditions, it would do the same for them.
 
When I was finished, the strongest reaction in clearly the most interested member of the audience was:
 
“So where’s your tzitzis?”
 
And that is the question here. “So where’s your tzitzis, Zalman Velvel?” A bold question, isn’t it?
 
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© Copyright 2012 by Zalman Velvel Inc.
 
 
You may print this story for yourself, but not make copies without author's permission.
 
 
 

Über den Author: stuv