As I’ve mentioned before, I’m currently enrolled in a program which will lead to a Certificate in Jewish Leadership from the Spertus Institute and Northwestern University. One of the topics we covered earlier in the program was “Communication for Leaders.” Each of us has our own style of communication but additionally, the people receiving our communications have different styles as well. This can mean that you have to tailor your communications according to the recipient if you wish to achieve a certain result.
A classic illustration of this took place many years ago as I was traveling on Egged bus route 444 from Jerusalem to Eilat. This is a fairly long trip (about five hours) and the bus makes a rest stop at either Ein Yahav or Hatzeva about halfway through the journey. One time while I was making this trip the driver pulled into the parking lot and announced over the loudspeaker עשר דקות הפסקה which means “ten minute break.” He then said in English “fifteen minutes break.”
I thought that this was actually brilliant since Israelis tend to have, shall we say, a more “flexible” attitude to time and rules than most other people do. By telling the Israelis that there was a ten minute break and telling everyone else there was a fifteen minute break, everyone would get back to the bus at more or less the same time and we could resume our journey on schedule. I don’t recall precisely when this was but it had to be some time between 1986 and 1988 when I lived in southern Israel, and I remember it to this day.
As always, if I can do anything for you or you need to talk, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-977-0768 rather than through the synagogue office. Although I am working primarily from home, I am happy to meet you at the synagogue by appointment.
Rabbi Charles L. Arian