This time of year, I hear my own inner skeptic say, “Why bother?” Isn’t this idea of starting the new year over a bit outdated? After all, we are Jews. There’s no Times Square fanfare or a ball to drop. Yes, there are apples and honey, but frankly, I’d rather eat a brownie.
Shalom, Rabbi, I have a question. Why is it that when I experience true beauty, a mama lion serenely cradling her cub, a cub fully vulnerable and relaxed into her mama’s embrace, do I experience a pain in my heart? I immediately feel a pain and a fear that someone will harm either of them or that bad things will happen to them? What in me needs healing to let go of this fear and despair that beauty is under attack, that vulnerability and love will be destroyed?
Our world is becoming an increasingly scary place.
We need to strengthen our resolve to seek tov, to seek goodness.
One way: seek peace by looking in each other's eyes.
Click here to listen to me preach about this man as I look into his eyes.
Picture this: In rabbinic times, after the destruction of the Temples, Jews lived throughout the Middle East and North Africa. In order to synchronize the calendars, long before Iphones or satellites, a rabbinic court in Jerusalem waited for two witnesses to come and testify that they had seen the New Moon crescent.
Upon hearing from each witness, the judges scrupulously compared their testimonies to make sure they were identical. Once the New Moon was confirmed, the news had to spread immediately to people living far and wide. How, you ask?
Bonfires. Want in? Click to learn more.
When you walk on the beach, where do your eyes rest? A VIDEO teaching inspired by Hassidut, Judaism's mystical wild-side. An opportunity to train in spiritual warriorship, to notice our mind's patterns to cultivate choice and empowered self expression.
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הִזדַמְנוּת - OPPORTUNITY.
At the root of the the Hebrew word for opportunity is the word for time, or moment.
What does opportunity look like and sound like, in your life? What is the potential of one moment to alter our lives? Here's a peak into Moses' life and just one of those tiny, GIANT, moments.
Each day we light fires and put them out. We break things and build. We plant and harvest, tear and smooth. Six days a week we effort, tirelessly to create. In the year 200 C.E., the rabbis of the Mishna got radical. They took a list of 39 artisan techniques -- threshing, winnowing, sowing, skinning, weaving and tearing -- and transformed it from a checklist to create into an invitation to be created. Shabbat is one of these nights.
A Rosh Hashana invites us to press reset. When the New Year begins its tempting to feel apathy upon arrival, disillusioned to begin again, fatigued by our futile resolutions made last year. That’s where community, ritual and a good kick in the tush can really count. Hope to hear from you! Where are you this year and where do you want to go?