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Insuring Life in Elul

Lev Avos Blog

Exploring Tanach while reflecting on parenthood

Insuring Life in Elul

Yechiel Shaffer


  Life-InsuranceWhen applying for Life Insurance the companies insist that one has a light medical examination. Before they commit to the value of your life, the companies want a general sense of your health. An experience that necessitates both humor and humility - this examination does its very best to remind you of how fragile life is while ensuring you are insured.

There isn't anything complicated or overly taxing about the medical; answering a slew of invasive inquiries, offering up a little blood (test) at the alter of one of hundreds of insurance company, and the measurement ones' height, weight and blood pressure. All of these factors determine the price of insuring a life.

That being said, it isn't all to dissimilar to a yearly physical. The check of one's general health can only neccesitate certain tests that are indicators.

There is one gaping difference between the yearly physical and the life insurance medical exam.

life-insuranceWhen measuring your blood pressure it is enough for your Doctor to determine your health by performing the measurement a single time. The insurance companies requires three separate measurements of your blood pressure. At three moments through the conversation with the insurance medical rep. you pause to take the customers blood pressure. Ignoring the obvious raise in pressure because of this process, I was shocked by the need to triple check one's work. When it is to ensure we are in fine physical health, one check is satisfactory but when it is to insure our lives, one must triple check one's work.

The Torah states, not once but three times (Shemos 23:18, 34:25 & Devarim 14:21) the following:

לא־תבשל גדי בחלב אמו

Do not cook a kid (baby goat) in its mother's milk

Rabbi Yosef Karo, in the Shulchan Aruch (שולחן ערוך יורה דעה הלכות בשר בחלב סימן פז), informs us that the Torah mentions this restriction on three separate occasion to teach us three different Halachik parameters (see the above source for further detail).

When the Torah repeats a phrase it is to teach us a very practical lesson. Repetition in life perhaps can also teach us invaluable lessons. Just as halacha responds to the thrice repeated restriction of cooking a baby goat in its mothers milk, perhaps, we as parents should respond to the repetitions of our lives.

life-picEntering the month of Elul offers moments of reflection. As we grow older, each year we seem to repeat the process. Regret, repentance and repeat of the offense.

This year let us pray that we can ensure our lives and the lives of our loved ones by transforming the repetitious nature of our annual experiences into a transformative one.

The Torah (and life insurance companies) teach that only the most impactful and valuable things are worth checking thrice!