Pirkei Avot, Day 17

On the surface, this Mishna seems simple. We have to know our history and our roots in order to have a vision of where we want to go. And accountability is going to be a big part of the journey. In the end we ask ourselves, who is this all for?

As with all reflection, the answers are layered. Where we came from could be a reminder to ourselves of just how far we’ve come. Where we are going is a reminder that the work isn’t done. And whom we are to give account? So many possibilities. I’ll give you some options. Yourself, your loved ones, God (the universe, nature, karma), and finally, future generations. Our work here is part of an infinite baton passing of life. We do the work and hand it off to the next generation, in hopes that they will find it fulfilling.

It is also our job to find fulfillment in our time here. In this way, we are accountable to ourselves. We want to make sure our life is a life well spent, right?

Know where you came from so that you may know where you are going. But also make sure to reflect and live within the time in between. Are you contributing? Are you living within the vision of what you want your life to be? Are you prioritizing the things that are most important to you? The only one who can give account to these questions is you.

I am so grateful to witness your journey! Love you!

Rabbi Gabi