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    Suppressing the memories – Re’eh

    hampstead londonMost cities have two areas of arrival – the area you lived in when you first arrived, and the one you moved to once you could afford it.

    A relative of mine who spent most of her life in London but never became affluent enough to move to Hampstead Garden Suburb would, every now and then, come across Garden Suburb people who no longer wanted to know her, even though they were all brought up together in the East End. She was hurt, but she recognised that moving away sometimes goes with suppressing the memories of where you began.

    The Torah strongly opposes this suppressing-the-memory syndrome when it says several times in this week’s sidra, “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt”.

    One could ask if it is fair to obsess about the past now that it is over. Why not put it all behind you?

    The most important reason is that what happened in the past has made you what you are. If you try to pretend it never happened, you would deceive yourself. Self-understanding is not possible without acknowledging the stages of your life. Often there were both excruciating and exhilarating events.

    We must make sure that neither category ruins our personality… and help others to overcome the handicaps we may have suffered and to attain the degree of success with which the Almighty has blessed us.

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