Too Many Memories?
“And Daudet said the most foolish thing to me. Perhaps he thought that it might console me. He told me that I would have my memories. But my memories are of no use to me. I told him that I never had any interest in memories. I love today and tomorrow, and if I am in form I also love the day after tomorrow. Last year is gone, who cares about last year?”
“Daudet does, I imagine.”
“Yes, too much.”
(The Master, Colm Toibin, page 8)
Here I am just before Shabbat Zachor – Remembering – and I am wondering whether the Russian princess was right: Is there such a thing as caring too much about memories?
There are those people who only speak about the past and have difficulty speaking about the future, or even the present. I remember numerous friends who would speak of how well they were able to learn when they were younger. They would revel in all the hours they had spent learning ten years earlier, and how much Gemara they studied, despite the fact that they no longer learned as they once did. They lived their spiritual lives in their memories, not the present.
Do we focus too much on memories? We will spend the next few days remembering all the Amalek stories. The question will be: How will we use those memories to change today and tomorrow, and perhaps even the day after tomorrow?
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