YODO: The Blessing of Living Lots of Times

You cannot go anywhere without seeing YOLO. It seems to be to motto of this era. “YOLO” is an acronym for “you only live once”. It is along the same lines as the Latin carpe diem -‘seize the day’. It is a call to live life to its fullest extent, even embracing behavior which carries inherent risk. But is this true?

To this sentiment Bobby Darin replied, “It isn’t true that you live only once. You only die once. You live lots of times, if you know how.” In many ways living a meaningful life is not the drive to be risky, but the result of it. When we come into contact with our own mortality we are often forced to make sense of our lives. It is in these moments that we must learn how to actually live.

I was thinking about this when reading Toldot, this week’s Torah portion. There we read about Isaac getting old and going blind. We read:

When Isaac was old and his eyes were too dim to see, he called his older son Esau and said to him, “My son.” He answered, “Here I am.” And he said, “I am old now, and I do not know how soon I may die. Take your gear, your quiver and bow, and go out into the open and hunt me some game. Then prepare a dish for me such as I like, and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my innermost blessing before I die.”

Genesis 27:1-4

What is the impetus for Isaac giving his son a blessing? It seems to be a consciousness of his age, ability, and mortality. Isaac wants to give his son a blessing before he dies. But it makes you wonder, does anyone know when they are going die?

In Perkei Avot Rebbe Eliezer teaches “Repent one day before your death” (Avot 2:15).The Talmud explains that his real meaning was that a person should be in a process of Tshuva (repentance) every day, since he never knows which will be the day they will die (Shabbat 153a). I like to think that if this is true about Tshuva, it should also be true about blessings. We should bless the people we love one day before we die. Surely living a life of blessing the people you love is a way of living “lots of times”

Have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving weekend together with your family and friends.

0 Responses to “YODO: The Blessing of Living Lots of Times”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 240 other followers

Archive By Topic


%d bloggers like this: