I want to share this story that’s been bugging me for a while. Last year, when we were learning in Jerusalem, most of the people surrounding us were American. Including my chevruta (Jewish traditional for ‘study partner’). A very nice guy, he was excellent to study with, very cool with most of the odd things I did, until one day we were talking about something and I was telling him I’d forgotten something.
And I said ‘well, you know me, I have sclerosis.’ Which is a normal expression in Russian, meaning ‘I’m very forgetful’.
Only my chevruta didn’t know that. He gasped, went literally green, and it took me several seconds to realize what was wrong and explain. I apologized, saying that I realized how awful this must have sounded, how terrible this expression was, and how disgustingly I had behaved. All he said was: ‘Yeah that was awful!’ Not just awful, it was a dumb thing to do and I’ve been regretting that moment ever since.
Yesterday I was fuming about someone being incredibly inconsiderate and obnoxious to someone else. I was all, shut up, there’s no excuse for what you are doing! But now I realize – it’s not always that easy to be considerate. That’s not to say it’s okay to treat people like crap, but just sometimes it’s good to remember my own mistakes before I judge. So it’s a quiet day for me today as I think about these things.