I know of several people who are terribly ill right now. This week’s TT is dedicated to them all. Please consider printing this page to share at the dinner table tonight.
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There is this story, it’s a little hard to believe it’s true, but still a good story for the season….
So this couple are going on vacation to Florida. George and Louise. Only Louise has a crisis at work and has to delay her trip by a day. George goes down as scheduled and that evening sends her a quick email from the hotel computer.
The problem is that in his haste, he mistyped her address. Instead of firstname.lastname@example.org he wrote email@example.com.
By an amazing coincidence, louise43 ALSO had a husband named George, who had passed away just the day before. When she received the email from a “George” she was shocked but when she read the email she fainted. Out cold.
His email read:
“My darling wife – Arrived safely, everything fine and prepared for your arrival tomorrow. xoxo George. PS – sure is hot down here!”
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Why is this a Rosh Hashana / Yom Kippur story?
Because it’s healthy for us to remind ourselves once a year that the end could be at any time. Literally. We all know people who passed away suddenly. Could happen to anyone.
Once a year, justify why you deserve another year of life.
The fasting on Yom Kippur is supposed to help us concentrate.
Q for your table: How do you concentrate when you’re hungry?
My answer: you can’t, until about 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. At that point, you get beyond the huger and thirst. You transcend your body, as it were.
Then you can truly get in touch with that inner self that we call “soul.”
My recommendation, for a Yom Kippur that will really stick….The 1-2-3 method:
1, Get in the mood by saying “sorry” to everyone especially your family, forgiving everyone else, and giving tzedaka. (The idea of tzedaka is generosity. This includes, but is not limited to, giving money.)
2, Before Sunday night, identify a single personality trait that you know you could fix if you really tried – impatience, lateness, laziness, anger, jealousy, you know which one.
3, On YK afternoon, close to sunset, make a commitment to work on it for 5 minutes a day. That’s all it takes. But you have to put in the 5 minutes. That means really really really committing to it. Really.
1: Apologies and tzedaka
2. ID the personality trait
3. Make the 5 min/day commitment. (you can email me for suggested readings)
If you want it, you can get it. But you have to really want it.
And how do you tell if you had a good Yom Kippur? By how you behave the next day.
It’s hard work. Really hard. But it’s the best way to break out of our shells and to start living on a higher plane.
“If Not Higher” is a classic Yiddish story by I L Peretz. Worth printing and sharing with anyone, young or old, who enjoys being inspired. Here’s the link.
Also includes an audio link there if you prefer to listen or download to your ipod.
Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential. - Churchill