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Mission Statement

"Where are you going?" mom asked David.

"Out", was the teen's curt reply.

"What are you going to do?" mom patiently retorted.

"Nothing", David responded tersely.

It is not unusual for a teen to go out - prompted by boredom - with no destination or activity in mind. Anything is better than nothing - right?

Well that approach is not necessarily true and many a wandering teen has ended up in a mess of trouble while doing "nothing". The wise adults amongst us may nod our heads knowingly acknowledging the veracity of this little vignette but before we condescendingly look at our teens we should take a glance at ourselves. Successful people, motivational speakers and educators all stress the importance of "goal setting". In order to get where one is going one must clearly state where that destination is located. In order to succeed one must clarify what one would like to accomplish.

When researchers do experiments they start with a clearly stated goal -- e.g. "To measure the effect of sunlight on materials using various types of dye stuff". When organizations form to perform a necessary function they verbalize a mission statement, e.g. "To fill the physical and spiritual needs of those who cannot care for themselves".

You too have a mission. In order to get to where you are going and to accomplish what you set out to do -- clarify your goals by composing your mission statement. This technique should be used for projects and jobs large and small. Try it and watch your success quotient soar.


If the Sheliah Siboor - the cantor - started the repetition of the Shemoneh Esre - Amidah - while there were ten men present and then people left leaving less than a quorum of ten in the room - he continues the recitation of the blessings until he completes the entire Amidah.

However, in situations where the Kohanim would bless the people in the middle of the Amidah's repetition - ten must be present when the Kohanim start the blessings. Should some of the people who were present when the Sheliah Siboor began the repetition of the Amidah leave he may complete the Amidah but the Kohanim do not bless.

Once they do begin the blessings with a quorum of ten they may complete the blessings even if people leave and there are less than ten left in the room.

Source: Shulhan Arukh, O'H 128:1, with Mishnah Berurah and Biur Halakha loc. cit.


Through suffering we discover the great power of brotherly love. At no time are we as capable of giving love and receiving it as when suffering knocks on our door.

Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Carlebach

Text Copyright © 2003 Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Project Genesis, Inc.



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