(Photo from Fractal Press)
Games.  Some people love them and others can’t stand playing them.  I like some games (like Blokus, Go, Nok Hockey, and the song “Games” by Husker Du), but I’m not a fan of people who play psychological games with others.
I do like Jenga.  I’ve liked it since college.  I like the fact that you can play it with a group and that you can even just play with it alone and it’s just a challenging.  I have found two very important Mussar lessons in playing Jenga.
Firstly:  Every action we do has an effect.  The effect can either be to build or knock down.  This is very true when it comes to what we say to people and how we act.  A smille, kind word, inquiry into how one is feeling, or simply saying “Hello” can have a major impact on someone.  A simple action on a Mitzvah level has untold effects both in this world and the next (this book is a prime example).  A negative look or remark can destroy even the strongest person.
Secondly:  Even if something topples or gets knocked down, you can start again.  That’s
what Teshuva is all about.  It’s not the end of the world if the game ends or right at a critical point in a high pressured game of Jenga with your older kids your 2 yr old uber-toddler decides to “touch the tower”, and it all comes falling down.  It’s just a game.  You can just start over and maybe the next time you’ll win.

Am I reading too much into a simple game of Jenga?  Probably so, but I’m always looking for a lesson to learn in everything.

One thought on “Games

  1. Rafi G

    the second lesson is difficult. you can start over, but sometimes you have put so much effort into something that you don’t necessarily want to start over again after a failure. you want to do something else.


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