Actions Speak Louder Than Words

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The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

    for gaining wisdom and instruction;
      for understanding words of insight
— Proverbs 1:1-2

Hello, readers! Thanks for your many responses as to what devotional materials you would like to read. We’re going to start exploring other books of the Bible, beginning with weekly devotions from the Book of Proverbs. Enjoy!

My husband and I usually have many guests at our table on Shabbat, both strangers and friends alike. One time, we hosted a man who was traveling through Israel and who worked in the diamond industry. He shared with us that he had just been to a conference where the presenter spoke about the long journey of a diamond, from a mine in one part of the world, to the eventual owner in another part of the world. But what struck our guest the most was when the presenter concluded, “The most important journey that a diamond will make is the eighteen inches across a desk.”

In other words, if you can’t sell the diamond to a client, its long journey is worthless.

This idea resonated with me because it reminded me of the importance of passing on our faith to the next generation. Like a diamond, our Bible has traveled on a long journey—from the Sinai desert 3,000 years ago, through centuries and continents, until this very day.

But the most important journey our Bible will make is from us to the next generation. Or from us to those who have not yet discovered the truth and beauty of the Bible.

The Most Important Journey

According to the Jewish sages, this is precisely why King Solomon wrote the Book of Proverbs. In Hebrew, the book is called mishlei, which comes from the Hebrew word which means “allegory.” Solomon was able to present important ideas in easy-to-understand allegories so that the wisdom of the Bible became accessible to all.

In the same way, we are called to share the values and lessons of the Bible in a way that speaks to our audience. Whether we are trying to teach beginners to the Bible, disenchanted youth, or our own children, we have to reach out to each individual in a way that he or she can understand.

There are many different ways to achieve the goal of passing on our faith, but I have found that the simplest and most effective way is to teach by example. When we model virtues such as honesty, faith, kindness, and discipline, our actions speak much louder than millions of words and ensure that our faith will make the most important journey to our children and to the world.

Your turn: Thanking God for our many blessings is not just a biblical imperative—it’s healthy for our souls!

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