Truths You Can Use

Truths You Can Use


How To Be Super At Being Human

how to be superhuman

At a conference I attended yesterday, writer Carrie Wilkerson shared a profound piece of wisdom. In discussing the hard work required for success, she said, “Don’t try to be superhuman. Be human and people will think you are super.”

She captured a profound truth. When we try to be something we are not, we fail. A superhuman is not human.

The secret, however, is that we can grow. We become our best when we are our best. In other words, we become superhuman when we are super at being human.

The Story of Zusya

Jewish tradition teaches this wisdom in a profound story. It is about a man named Zusya. He was successful, accomplished, and a pillar of his community. He was married, with children and grand children. 

He was also a man of faith. He prayed and studied, gave to to the poor, and volunteered for his community.

As he grew older, however, he began to have fears. He would lay awake at night. He would shiver. He occasionally withdrew and seemed depressed.

One day he was sitting with children and grandchildren. He grew fearful. They asked him what was wrong.

He said to them, “I am growing older. I will not be in this world much longer. And I am afraid.”

The Fear of Not Being Ourself

His children and grandchildren responded, “But papa, you have lived an extraordinary life. You worked, you gave, you build a wonderful family. 

You cared about our faith. You are the patriarch of our family. You followed the example of our ancestor Moses, who served God and the Jewish people.”

Zusya replied: “When I get to Heaven, they will not say, Zusya, why were not Moses? They’ll ask me, ‘Zusya, Why weren’t you Zusya.’”

The purpose of life is not to be someone we are not. It is to be the best at who we are. And that is our gift to the world.

To receive Rabbi Moffic’s weekly digest of Jewish wisdom, click here.



Previous Posts

God Never Gives Up Hope: A Prayer for Israel
 I remember my first visit to Israel in 1994. The Oslo Accords had just been signed. Hope reigned. My group was greeted warmly in the Arab market in Jerusalem. The opposite feelings prevail today. We witness bombings, indiscriminate hatred, vitriol. Dozens of my friends who are there now share w

posted 10:19:40pm Jul. 13, 2014 | read full post »

The Secret to Happiness? Let Life Surprise You
I remember sitting one day with my  three-year-old daughter. She had a book in her and was turning the pages and telling the story. This was her regular habit. She could not yet read the words, but she could tell the story based on the pictures. I had one ear listening to her voice and the ot

posted 4:23:22pm Jul. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Do Christians Need to Learn More About Judaism? A Rabbi Responds to the Pope
In the 1970s Alex Haley wrote the best-seller Roots. He sought to find the roots of his life as an African-American. Where did he come from? What experiences shaped who he was?   We all ask these questions. We seek not only geographic roots and ethnic roots. We look for spiritual roots. Where

posted 9:50:26pm Jul. 06, 2014 | read full post »

Why Do Jews Care So Much About Israel?
Last year I attended the Irish Fest in my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The music and ambience make it one of most unforgettable days of the year. Listening to a concert, I struck up a conversation with someone standing next to me. I told him I was a rabbi, and once we got past the usual

posted 1:40:08pm Jun. 22, 2014 | read full post »

In the Wake of the Kansas City Horror: The Life-Saving Power of Interfaith Conversation
This post was written with my friend and colleague, Reverend Lillian Daniel.  The late great Abraham Joshua Heschel was once asked why he devoted so much time to interfaith dialogue. He answering by recounting part of his family history. “When the Nazis came for my parents,” he wrote,

posted 1:56:25pm Apr. 16, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.