Dear Friends,

One of our Temple members who is fascinated by Native American culture recently shared some Indian passages with me. I was struck by how similar these observations are to Jewish thought. These wise sayings suggest to me that there are universal thoughts that are at the heart of our understanding of life and its purpose. Let me share a few of these passages with you:

  • “It does not require many words to speak the truth.”-Chief Joseph
  • “We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.” -Dakota
  • “Do not let yesterday use up too much of today.”  -Cherokee
  • “We’re like water. If we’re the lake-as I see you in me-I’m in you. We’re the great mirror. We’re nothing but the reflection of each other.” -Ruby Plenty Chiefs
  • “Oh Great spirit, who made all races, look kindly upon the whole human family and take away the arrogance and hatred which separates us from our brothers.” -Cherokee Prayer
  • “I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but   to fight against my greatest enemy-myself.”                 
With all the conflicts and hatreds of our world, might we be able to learn from each other, and share the wisdom that leads to deeper living. No, Judaism does not have a monopoly on truth, even as we realize that much of what we believe as Jews is to be found in other cultures also. Interestingly, I am able to find ancient rabbinic passages that speak the “language” as the wise sages I have quoted here. I wish you a Sabbath of peace and tranquility. 

Shabbat shalom,   

         Rabbi David Greenberg