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The Energy Crisis

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein


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The world is abuzz. From politicians to lay people, airline executives to the ever growing movement of stay-at-home-moms, this crisis is on top of everyone’s minds.

The fact is that this natural resource is very limited and yet very much a part of our daily lives. In simple terms: there is low supply and high demand. Additionally, right now we have grown accustomed to relying on foreign powers, which makes us susceptible to waves of instability and even misuse. We can look inward for more resources but that would risk ruining our already sensitive environment.

I am sure you already guessed I am talking primarily about natural energy. Yup, energy: that natural part of our psyche that allows us to work, study, play, exercise and take on noble causes. Or as Webster so eloquently puts it: “the capacity of acting or being active.” 

There is indeed a crisis. So much energy is needed for all the things that we do, yet we don’t know how or how much to dedicate to what. Let’s look at our above mentioned examples:

If we drill for more energy from our already stressed lives, we will surely ruin the current sensitive balance between making a living and actually living
Politicians don’t know if they should dedicate their energy to homeland security, local crime, education, or perhaps the economy. (Instead, some just dedicate their energy to reelection). Lay people don’t know if they should spend more energy at work so they have enough money for family vacations, or dedicate more energy to their family so they actually have a family when it comes time for vacation. Airline executives must divide their energy between striking employees (that is ‘employees who are striking’; not ‘striking their employees’) and customers who want lower fares but higher quality of service (from those striking employees). Stay-at-home-moms have the full time job of dispensing energy for children who seem to have an endless amount of energy (until it is time to clean up or until they grow up). 

The above notwithstanding there always seems to be an additional noble cause or justified aspiration that demands even more energy.

In a world that consumes so much energy we turn to foreign sources. We either look to other people and hold them responsible for our responsibilities, or we find external and artificial stimulants which either give us a boost of energy, or make our responsibilities (seem to) disappear. This is no good. Our life is now governed by other people’s agendas, electronic calendars, automated message, and caffeine (to say the least). These stimulants are easily misused and this system often causes inner instability.

If we drill for more energy from our already stressed lives, we will surely ruin the current sensitive balance between making a living and actually living.

Case in point: A friend of mine recently started working overtime. When I asked him why, he told me he wanted to save up money to buy a Tivo. When I asked him why he needed a Tivo he said so he can record his favorite shows when he is working overtime.


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Cleverly Put

Posted by: Mark Mornsbing, St. Louis, MO on Jun 06, 2006

This article touched a very special part of my heart. How very true it all is. We need to focus on the important elements of life and this article layed those out quite cleverly and imaginativly.

Bravo, bravo! Well done.

(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.