Earlier this week I was talking to a friend in Israel on the phone. Or, at least, I was trying to. I was in the car and we were talking over WhatsApp, which isn’t perfect, but usually works pretty well. Anyway, it’s free to talk internationally, so for that price, I don’t mind an occasional lag time or blip.

But this wasn’t lag time. My WhatsApp kept beeping, saying it was trying to reconnect. The funny thing is, her WhatsApp was working fine, but I couldn’t tell. She could hear me perfectly. Including after I thought we’d been disconnected for the third time and yelled out, “Bashers!”

I had pulled over to a parking space to connect on the phone, but I wanted to continue my drive home. I closed the app and put the phone away. When I looked at it later, there was a text that read:

I heard you the whole time.
Heard the windshield wipers, even!
Did you say, “Bashers!?”

Before I tell you what Bashers is, I want to ask you a question:

DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR LEGACY WILL BE?

The other day, I was driving when my six-year-old squawked from the backseat: “Dude! What do you think you’re doing? Didn’t you see the light was red? It’s not your turn!”

I don’t know where she learned to talk to other drivers like that. 🙂 But… that could be my legacy. Or at least part of it. Please, God, only part of it.

My grandfather was a very punctual person. He used to say, “You sit here, you sit there.” In other words, you might as well do your sitting at the place where you’re supposed to be, rather than dilly-dallying around the place you’re leaving.

I have a lot of memories of my grandfather beyond this little saying. But my kids — who never met him — have none. They do know this saying of his, though, and it is always attributed to him.

Scene: Trying to get out of the house instead of not getting out of the house.

“What would Opa say?”

“You sit here, you sit there.”

The most recent episode of the podcast Israel Story was about a man who came up with the idea to offer juice by the pitcher, instead of by the glass, at one specific hummus restaurant in Israel. He worked to make sure his picture was on the wall and his legacy was properly commemorated.

A legacy doesn’t have to be something big; it’s just something that’s yours.

This week’s Torah portion is B’rayshit – Genesis. This portion has so much to talk about! I mean, really, probably near infinite possibilities. From the creation of the universe to the creation of the world and the creation of people…. Plus there’s the whole Garden of Eden drama, Cain and Abel, Divine Beings on Earth then God regretting creating humans at all…. and more.

It’s quite a lot to squeeze into one Torah portion. Today I want to talk about one line that sometimes might get overlooked because there’s so much going on. There are ten generations of names in this portion, taking us from Adam to Noah (of the ark fame – more on that next week). One of those names stands out for me: Yuval.

Adah bore… Yuval. He was the ancestor of all who play the lyre and pipe.

How awesome is that for a legacy?! The ancestor of all who play the lyre and pipe! Not everyone can claim such fame, only Yuval. But we all have many things that we contribute to those around us now, and by extension, to generations to come.

Two years ago I published a book that was a piece of my heart. That book was Hypatia Academy. In it, there’s a character named Kornelius. He’s my favorite character, to be honest. He’s such a funny little guy. A few hundred people have read Hypatia Academy, and though those people have really liked it, I don’t mind if the number of readers stays low. I wrote that book because it was in me and ready to come out.

But there are things in there that live beyond the book, and one of those things is the word bashers. It’s a word that Kornelius exclaims often, and that I’ve adopted as well. I mean, he did get it from me, originally, lol. So, it’s not uncommon to hear the word bashers in my house. And I like to think that someday, I’ll have grandchildren and great grandchildren who might say things like, “Bashers, dude! What are you doing? Didn’t you see you had a red light?”

Unlike my values or habits or genes or even love, bashers is something can be attributed to me long into the future by people who will have never met me. It is my “You sit here, you sit there.” It is my pitcher in the hummus restaurant. Maybe it’s not a lyre or pipe, but it is a little piece of me. It may be my legacy. And I’m cool with that.

What’s your legacy?