Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “I am not a Philistine.”

Every morning, we recite the Shema.

Some people recite the Ten Commandments daily as well.

But in addition, one must also resolve to himself each and every morning that he is not a Philistine.

That is to say, every day must be different from the previous one; every experience must be different from the next.

This is a very difficult task.

After all, we are not talking about a sudden point of change and renewal, like a spontaneous decision to travel to the Amazon rainforest.

Rather, it is the simple decision to make a change, even if one does not yet know how and where he will make it.

It is a decision to stay in the same place, redigging the same wells.

One will continue to read his prayers from the same siddur that he used yesterday, to recite the same blessings that he recited yesterday.

Nevertheless, one must recite, over and over again, “I am not a Philistine.”

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz