The realization of intellectual knowledge
תשב אנוש עד דכא
You reduce man to pulp (Tehillim 90:3)
There are times when knowledge, which has long lingered in the recesses of our mind, penetrates our being and impacts us in a very deep and profound way. Following a week in which my mother had to go to the emergency room after experiencing an irregular heart beat while exercising, these four Hebrew words sent a current through me. Intellectually, I have always understood that one day my parents will die, however, it wasn’t until reading these words on the morning of Shabbos HaGadol did I truly “know” it.
These four words brought to mind the gradual deterioration of my parent’s physical health. During the course of the past decade, my mother has been diagnosed with adult-onset diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and now this issue with her heart. My father once prided himself for never missing a day of running. At one time, he routinely got up early and ran before work and played tennis once he got home. Slowly over the past several years, the arthritis in his back has forced him to reduce the frequency of his runs. Now, he only runs on weekends and rides his exercise bike during the week due to the pain he experiences.
The four words from this kapitel brought the knowledge that has always lingered in the recess of my mind to the forefront. These words reminded me that I can no longer go on just assuming that there will always be a future visit with my parents.
Now that I know, I cannot not know.