"Why Triple Chai? More of the Best of Rabbi Fuchs"
Coming soon to Amazon.com and our very own Bibnar Store! Until then, below is a bit of background on Rabbi Stephen Fuchs' forthcoming book, Why Triple Chai? More of the Best of Rabbi Fuchs!
Why Triple Chai?
Recently, when a friend accepted a job with a Jewish Federation, she asked if there is anything I thought she needed to know. Jokingly, I responded, “You might want to brush up on your 18-multiplication table.” She understood. In Jewish life, eighteen is an integral number. It stands for the Hebrew word, “Chai” (חי) which means, “LIFE.”
Each of the Hebrew letters has a numerical value. The first letter, “Aleph,” (א) is “one,” the second, “Bet,” (ב) is “two” and so on.
The word, “Chai,” (חי) consists of the letter, “Het,” (ח) which is “eight,” and the letter,” Yod,” (י), which is, “ten.” So, the letters that form the word for “Life” in Hebrew amount to eighteen. For that reason, it is customary for Jews to offer $18.00 as a donation, instead of $15.00 or $20.00 We also give in multiples of Chai, say $54.00 (3 x Chai) instead of $50.00 or $1080.00 (60 x Chai) instead of $1,000.00.
In writing Three Times Chai I wanted exactly fifty-four chapters because in Jewish tradition multiples of Chai have special significance. In terms of my own life, I have eased past three x chai. In fact, I shall, God willing, reach four times Chai in March 2018. I do not take that milestone for granted because if I reach it I shall have lived longer than my father and both grandfathers.
As a survivor of two open-heart surgeries in 1996 and 2012 for a congenital disorder and a life-threatening strep infection in 2017, I do not take a single day for granted. Every day a gift. My life has taught me the meaning of the Psalmist’s words: “Teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12).
My Covenant with God calls on me to try to fill each day with meaning. I cannot control how long I will live, but I can control how I spend my days. Surely, I hope to reach four times Chai, and when I do I shall look toward five times Chai and beyond. But tomorrow is guaranteed to none of us.
My way of trying to make each day count is to share my thoughts and ideas on the meaning of life. I hope you find them worthwhile.
Stephen Lewis Fuchs West Hartford, Connecticut Erev Rosh Hashanah 5778
Check back often for release dates and other exciting updates!
Repeatedly in the Bible, it is the woman who gets it and the man who is clueless. Eve has been maligned for generations for the supposed fall of man, when in fact; she is the heroine of the elevation of humanity. ~