January 2019

The fall Jewish holidays may seem only a memory now, but as I write this article, the last of these special days, Sukkot and Simchat Torah, just ended.  As I look back, I want to give special thanks to Evan Fuhrer for his amazing accompaniment of our new song, “A New Year,” which was so well received.  And his special knack of adding quiet music to our Yizkor service was equally appreciated.  We are blessed to have such talent in our midst.    
   This past Rosh Hashanah, since it was our New Year, I spoke about new year’s resolutions.  Some of you asked if I would share my thoughts in this venue, so I will give you a synopsis of my message here.  I made 6 suggestions:
1) Engage with people more than pixels.  This year, make a promise of presence – look into someone’s eyes when you communicate with them.  Pick up the phone instead of texting!
2) Take your soul seriously.  Don’t bombard it with negativity.  We are continually shaping our souls and we only have one of them, so let’s not  squander it with things undignified or unworthy of its majesty.
3) Increase your kindness.  The world stands on 3 things:  Torah, worship, and deeds of lovingkindness.  If you wish to feel kind, do something good.
4) Choose someone to forgive.  Start with the easiest one.  The more you forgive, the less the world can injure you.  Forgiveness is a soft shield for the soul.
5) In forgiving, include yourself.  I tell myself, perfectionist that I am, not to be so.  As somebody once said, have expectations but don’t enforce them with a hammer!
6) Observe the holiday that we have every week, Shabbat.  Slow down, unwind, and let’s hit the reset button to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.  Sometimes we get caught up in the minutiae of daily life and need to remind ourselves of the big picture.  Now we can re-examine and course correct, by listening to that “still, small voice” inside.
   The New Year is here and we have not yet wasted a single day of the future.  Here is our chance to live with purpose.  Will we achieve it every day?  Of course not.  The idea is not to succeed ALWAYS, but rather to grow.  May this be a year of hope and blessing for all. 

L’hitra’ot, until next time!