Some Context #

I had recently won an annual award called the ‘fraternity’ award, given to one member of my youth group (called an ‘Aleph’) in the whole region. I was part of Central Region West (CRW) including all of the San Francisco Bay Area (and Hawaii) containing roughly 1000 members. I didn’t apply to it, never asked for it, didn’t want it. Two advisers (Dan Appleman and Jeremy Palgon) of my local chapter (Ramon AZA #195) pushed hard for me to get it, god knows what they were saying about me, until they convinced the regional staff to give me this award. I only learned about this after receiving the award at one of our large regional conventions.

I kept the plaque for one year (my first year in college) until passing it along to the next winner.

Original, Unmodified Speech #

April 26th, 2017 #

Today I’m going to be talking to you about my fraternity award. To those of you who know me, this is weird. I’m not one to care about such things, have I finally given in?

No. I did not want this plaque. I do not need this plaque. Now some of you might already know my philosophy well, and do not need me to explain myself at all. However, for those of you who don’t, let me concisely summarize:

My goal was never to get a plaque. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing without a plaque. Someone else might need a plaque. Someone else might need a push, a sign that he’s doing good, to keep doing what he’s doing. I don’t.

So why am I bringing this plaque, if it means nothing to me? Well, that’s because it does mean something to me, and it has had some positive effects. Not those that might immediately come to mind. What some people told me is that now people will know who I am, and recognize what I do. And as I said before, this is not a reason. Anybody who means something to me, who I’ve been kind to, doesn’t need this plaque to know who I am. And anybody who doesn’t mean anything to me, doesn’t mean much to me. I didn’t even know that Eric Jedel received it in 2014, and I didn’t need to to love him.

So what does the plaque mean to me? It means that Dan Appleman and Jeremy Palgon wanted me to have it, and fought for me to have it. Them backing me up and being on my side in such a fashion really means a lot to me, and I thank them so much.

It also makes me think a bit, and notice that some of my philosophy is not known to many in Ramon now, so maybe I should expand a bit on how I think you should deal with people. Now this should go without saying, but take this as Ofek Gila speaking to you.

The Rambam (Rabbi Maimonides) had 8 levels of giving to people:

  1. Giving unwillingly
  2. Giving inadequately, but gladly and with a smile
  3. Giving after being asked
  4. Giving before being asked
  5. Giving without knowing who you are giving to, but them knowing who gave it
  6. Giving knowing who you are giving to, but them not knowing who gave it
  7. Giving without knowing who you are giving to, and without them knowing who gave it
  8. Helping someone out so they will not be dependent on help. This eighth and highest level is done often in Ramon

I think I should have a talk with the rambam, because I think I found out a new level. Helping someone out without knowing that they’ve been helped. This is getting a bit long, so if you want me to elaborate, talk to me in person.

Next post #

In the next post, we talk about the importance of being genuine.