29 Elul, 5773

A New Year’s Prayer by Rabbi Naomi Levy
I’m good at making resolutions, but not always good at keeping them. There are so many goals I’d like to achieve, so many changes I’d like to make. I pray to You, God, for strength. Teach me how to live a meaningful life, to comprehend my true promise, to understand why You have put me here. Let this be a good year, God. A year of health, blessings, love and peace. Amen.

Published in: on September 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm  Comments (1)  

28 Elul, 5773

The New Year is a time to reflect and to make goals/resolutions for a better tomorrow. Reflection is hard; resolutions are often abandoned. So, here is an exercise Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen once suggested to a patient of hers that I believe we can all learn from; review the events of the day for 15 minutes each night and ask the following questions: What surprised me today? What moved or touched me today? What inspired me today? By doing this, we begin the practice, not only of reflecting, but of finding life’s blessings. As we practice, finding those blessings becomes easier and easier until we actually live lives in which we notice blessings as they happen. . . let reflection bring us all to a place of awareness of just how blessed we are.

Published in: on September 3, 2013 at 7:35 pm  Comments (1)  

27 Elul, 5773

From Rabbi Harold Kushner
“A non-Jewish friend once asked me, ‘Harold, what do Jews pray for?’ I answered, ‘Jewish prayer is less a matter of praying for, and more a matter of praying with and praying to.’ As the theologian Martin Buber put it, when we pray, we don’t ask God for anything. We ask God for God. We invite God into our lives, so that the actions we take will be guided by a sense of God’s presence.”

Many of us will gather for Rosh Hashanah in just a few days. May we remember these words when we open the Machzor… and hopefully find God waiting for us to finish the sentence.

Published in: on September 2, 2013 at 7:35 pm  Comments (1)  

26 Elul, 5773

A young man speaks with his rabbi. Rabbi, I’m depressed because I have made so many mistakes and committed so many sins. I feel very far from God.
After hearing this, the rabbi shows the man two identical pieces of rope. The rabbi starts cutting the first rope. When we make a mistake, we do shorten the distance between ourselves and God. Like you, I’ve also made many mistakes.
The man says, But you’re the rabbi! Surely you are close to God!
At this point, the rabbi takes the cut pieces of rope and ties them together. He places the two ropes next to each other and says, When we do t’shuvah, we repair the damage we did. Son, look at these two ropes. The one that was cut is now shorter. This is how t’shuvah works. When we successfully perform acts of t’shuvah, we shorten the distance between ourselves and God.

Published in: on September 1, 2013 at 2:45 pm  Leave a Comment