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I usually invest time thinking about these weekly essays that I write before actually writing them. It is not always easy to come up with a subject that really interests me and if it does not interest me, I do not expect that it will interest any of my readers. Just a few days ago when I was preparing to go to sleep for the night a brilliant idea struck me as to an essay that I thought would resonate with everyone. I not only thought of the idea, but in my mind,  I already blocked out the form of the essay and I even was able to connect it to a statement in the Talmud that would give it legitimacy and content. I went to sleep that night quite contented, certain that in the morning when I began my writing, the essay would develop easily and in a meaningful fashion.

The next morning, to my horror, I could not remember what the essay was about and what I intended to do with it. Try as I did, with all my waning powers of recall, to remember the subject of that essay, my brain refused to divulge it. I was frustrated and disheartened at my memory failure and at the fact that I now had to think of another subject upon which to base this weekly essay. So, again, naturally I chose the lost essay as the subject that I would write about. And, since I cannot remember the original subject, this essay will have to do.
The human mind is a most wondrous organ. It contains within its memory bank everything that has ever happen to us over the decades of our lives. Yet for various reasons and at various times it suppresses those memories and does not allow our conscience brain to recall them. Many times, this is of great advantage to us for it allows us to forget our moments of pain and embarrassment, deceit and tragedy, and to proceed with our lives in a normal fashion. However, at times, and as one grows older these times become more numerous and frequent, we forget what we wish to remember.
This is a matter of great concern and frustration to us and to those who care for us. We all pray that even if other organs of our body begin to weaken and fail us, at least our brain and memory bank will remain healthy and functioning. We all will suffer lapses of memory but as long as they are not severe and constant, we learn to live with our weaknesses and compensate for them in other ways. So even though I have forgotten what my original great idea was for this week's essay, I have thought of another idea – the very fact that I forgot the first idea – as a fitting subject to impart my wisdom to you, my loyal readers.
As it often happens to me, I am reminded of what I had forgotten weeks or even months later by some quirk of activity in my memory bank. I have long ago stopped attempting to understand why I could not remember that item before and why suddenly it dawns upon me and reappears in my consciousness. The human brain is too delicate and complex for we ordinary mortals to truly fathom how and why it works as it does. We only know that if, God forbid, it does not work for some reason then we are truly doomed.
I am supremely confident that eventually I will remember what the topic was that I was going to write this essay about. And when I do, I promise you that I will write it down so that I can remember it and write the article that I intended to write this week. Upon review, I am fairly satisfied with the article that I have written because it communicates a human challenge that all of us face no matter what our age and condition may be. Taking notice of our human condition is one of the main points of Judaism. It is not depressing to always remember our mortality but rather it is a challenge to do whatever good we can do with our years and talents that are granted to us. And I still do not remember what I was really going to write about this week.
Shabbat shalom
Berel Wein

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