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Find Your Wings: We Are All Guardians...

Posted on 02/08/2013 @ 07:11 PM

What does the image does the word “guardian” conjure for you? A guardian angel? A handsome knight on a white horse who has been sent forth to protect a princess? There’s a midrash that discusses in which ordinary people become guardians in four ways: · The unpaid guardian: The idea that a person assumes responsibility for another's property without having to be asked. They are acting purely based out of duty and loyalty to another. · The paid guardian is reimbursed for his loyalty to the owner and is assumed to provide a higher level of care. This guardian assumes responsibility, even when damages have been caused to the property beyond their control. · The borrower is responsible to return what has been given to him intact, or make good on its value. This guardian has a higher obligation to make the owner whole because they did not pay to use the item. · The renter who pays for the use of the property upfront and assumes responsibility for returning the property intact - even if the damages are out of their control.

The idea that we have different types of guardian roles is something that we can apply in our lives as BBYO professionals. When we think more beyond traditional property and focus on the guardianship that we provide to our community – these levels of responsibility remain just as relevant: · We ask our teens to look out for each other just out of loyalty. · We ask ourselves, and our teens, to reach for a higher level of responsibility and be held accountable. · We often take on new projects. When we do, we have a responsibility to pass our previous projects intact and with integrity. · We strive for new partnerships, “renting” the resources, people, and even good names of others by providing our support to the partnerships in order to enhance the broader Jewish community.

This idea of guardians is essential to how we operate. It’s how we create community – looking out for each other and holding each other accountable to excellence. We must remember that our duty goes beyond each individual and ultimately is our duty and loyalty to the Jewish community that should drive us.

I challenge you to always strive to be the guardian of your BBYO “property” - our reputation, our teens, and, of course, the future of the Jewish people. Fly on!

This Shabbat Message took flight by Chloe-Anne Ramsey, BBYO Associate Director and BBYO Connect Director, Atlanta Council

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