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    Two suits at once – Ekev

    past back to the futureA recurrent theme of the fifth Book of the Torah is the duty to remember. The events and encounters of the past made us what we are; to erase them is to wipe out part of our being.

    However, we have to learn how to balance the past and the future. If we merely live in the past we are little use to anyone, even ourselves. We need the past as a lead-in to the future.

    If the past reminds us of good things, let’s be happy and say, “How can I make sure that good things take place in the future too?” If the past is full of woe, let’s be canny and say, “How can I make sure that tomorrow is better than yesterday?”

    In seeking the balance between past and future, let’s recall an old Jewish story about a man from a village who came to the big city and found that everyone was staring at him. He was certain it was because he was wearing a shabby old suit, so he went to the tailor and bought a smart new set of clothes. But people still stared, so he went back to the tailor and complained.

    The tailor said, “There’s nothing wrong with your new suit, but the problem is that you’re wearing it on top of the old one. No wonder people think you look strange!”

    The tailor was right. The old suit had its uses, but the new one would define the future.

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