Today is November 18, 2017 -
Monday, October 23, 2017
Dear TBT Family,
This past week has been a full one, now that the Jewish holidays are finally over. I had a very nice work-lunch with some of the other Holliston Clergy. We talked about the heroin epidemic (to which neither Holliston, nor Jews are immune), diversity, xenophobia (anti-Semitism, racism, etc.) and how we might address these issues working together in the coming year. I’ve also had more time to meet with some of you one on one and Jews in the broader communities, talking about Bar Mitzvahs, conversion and intermarriage as well as divorce, health and illness, etc. I feel very fortunate to be having these important conversations with all of you. If there’s something on your mind that you would like to talk about, please continue to reach out! If I don’t know how to be helpful, I will find someone else who does. The Adult Education classes have also started to come to life, and I now have access to the TBT Facebook page, so you’ll see more updates there in addition to my Rabbi’s page.
Jason Stokes, as all of the other Bat and Bar Mitzvah students, did a fantastic job in leading prayer, chanting Torah and Haftorah! In His Dvar Torah (teaching), reflecting on Parshat Noah, he challenged us to think about what it really means to be righteous. Jason pointed out that it’s not enough to act righteously on any ONE particular day, and that the work of Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) is a daily task. I want to add one more dimension to Jason’s question via a Hasidic parable.
The Torah of Reb Zusha
A classic story tells about the great Reb Zusha, who was found agitated and upset as he lay on deathbed. His students asked, “Rebbe, why are you so sad? After all the great things you have accomplished, your place in heaven is assured!” “I’m afraid!” Zusha replied, “Because when I get to heaven, God won’t ask me ‘Why weren’t you more like Moses?’ or ‘Why weren’t you more like King David?’ God will ask ‘Zusha, why weren’t you more like Zusha?’ And then what will I say!?”
The ultimate question we must all ask ourselves is, “why am I not more like myself? Why am I not more like the person I was born to be?” Our souls are equally a spark of G-d, but each spark is unique. It shines in a way no other soul can, and gives us the ability to bring goodness, holiness, righteousness, and healing in specific ways and to specific people and situations which no one else can.
This week’s challenge: What are your soul’s specific gifts? If G-d asked you, today, why are you not living up to your soul’s potential, what would you say, and what can you do to grow more fully into them?