I was also concerned about being able to write a meaningful piece as I knew I would be missing the monthly meeting of the Tikkun Middot group. Studying in pairs, as we know, enhances learning, and that enrichment is multiplied when working with a group, especially one as respectful, intelligent, and safe as the mindful spirituality group of which I am so fortunate to be a part. How could I possibly impart wisdom to others before I had learned from this group and processed it? Moreover, we are only halfway through the Middot; and I am far from being enlightened.
This week our Tikkun Middot group met to reflect upon the middah for the month of Tevet (Dec 23rd to Jan 20th): chesed, or kindness. I can’t think of a more fitting middah (“soul-trait”) for these winter months, where we find ourselves going inside for warmth, light, and comfort. Chesed breaks us out of our isolation and self-absorption, out of the stillness of hibernation, as we take action to understand, pay attention and give to one another.
NOT A DAY GOES BY when we don’t face some sort of frustrating delay or obstacle, and too often our response is to strain against how things are. That tends to happen to me when I’m rushing somewhere in my car, but those feelings may suddenly sneak up on you while the water fills the tub ever so slowly, or as your child struggles with clumsy fingers to master the complexity of a shoelace, or on those days when nothing—not your Internet server, not your spouse, not the postman, nobody!!—does things when or how you want.
We’re excited to be amongst the first synagogues in the country to launch this new on-line platform to help build relationships that strengthen our community.
In this month of Cheshvan, we practice cultivating anavah–humility. A Jewish perspective* helps us recognize that true humility lies in the sweet spot on the continuum between self-deprecation on the one hand and arrogance on the other.
Temple Sholom has been awarded a grant to integrate the study of Tikkun Middot, also known as Mussar, into our congregation. This ancient Jewish spiritual practice facilitates the mindful exploration and deep cultivation of “soul traits” such as humility, patience, and kindness.
Eighteen parents of Religious School students enjoyed a very informative and interactive lunch with Temple Sholom’s new Director of Lifelong Learning, Jay Rapoport on Thursday, July 31st at HUB 51.
I did not expect to become a target of missile fire this summer — that was never on my intended agenda of tanning, shopping and padding the resume. Yet, during the middle of my Jerusalem summer program’s potluck dinner, our shrieks of delight at the watermelon and feta salad succumbed to deadening silence as a siren suddenly blared over the loudspeaker.
I once had the pleasure of learning from Harry Kraemer, of the Kellogg School of Management. He taught that leadership is not something one waits for until an invitation arrives. Leaders start leading by the choices they make, the actions they take and the ones they refuse to take. Even a five year old can be a leader, finding a ball and asking his or her friends to start playing.
What a complicated word this is – “ineffable.” If something has a quality that is ineffable, it is not possible to express it in words. Often, this is because the quality is too beautiful, too grand, too exalted.
One set of metaphors we found in our Adult Ed class was those attempts to describe something that was indescribable. (Put aside the fact that calling something indescribable is, in fact, describing it.) God is Alone, the Eternal, the Answer to all of the “why” questions. We know the letters of God’s name, but not how to actually say them out loud.