Give A Little Bit… And Let Go Of A Lot


Rabbi O hits the nail on the head: “How do we blot out the memory but not forget it? During the Hebrew month of Elul, we are encouraged to admit our mistakes, repent, and start fresh as a changed person and individual. We begin anew. In order to do that, we must let go of the past. We let go of the pain and heartache that the past has caused us and that we have previously caused others. But we do not forget. If we forget it, then we repeat the past. If we forget it, then we never change; we just end up returning back to our previous state. We remember such painful memories because they made us who we are – and who we strive to become. But we also have the courage to let go, and to begin again.”

Originally posted on The Pop Elul Project:

After over twenty years, one of the most popular Young Adult science fiction novels finally made it to the big screen. The Giver was published in 1993 and in the years and decades that followed, it seemed that Lois Lowry’s dystopian novel was required reading for almost every student in the country. It became so popular as a young adult novel that many adults chose to read it as well. With the successful transition of many young adult dystopian futuristic tales to the big screen (like The Hunger Games and Divergent), The Giver seemed like a natural hit. It would have a whole generation of new fans. Those who read it in school twenty years ago would flock to the theaters as adults to see it as well!

TheGiverThe film of the same name, starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, and Brenton Thwaites, was released on August…

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#BlogElul – Forgive Me


Coffee Shop Rabbi says: “Forgive me,” is a start. The next step is the real kicker. “For” —

Originally posted on Coffee Shop Rabbi:

"Sorry" on Survival / Australia Day,...

Photo credit: butupa

“Forgive me.”

It’s hard to say, especially without an “if.”

The best apology is like an egg: simple, bald, fragile.  If I fumble it, I’ll really make a mess.

“Forgive me,” is a start.

The next step is the real kicker.  “For” — for failing to acknowledge you, for failing to remember your name, for failing to think, for failing.  Or for doing: for saying cruel words, for acting out, for lying, for stealing, for betraying.

A good apology takes responsibility. It says, “I did it.” It does not shift blame, it says, “I’m sorry” and “I did it.”

Then sit back. Wait. See what happens.

There may be anger. There may be sorrow. There may be fake forgiveness or self-serving forgiveness, as the Gingeet Rabbi has described in her blog. Or there may be a really good conversation in which you will learn something…

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The 10 Minute Ride


The ride no one wants. Sadly, this is the most accurate description of grief that I have ever read.

Originally posted on A Working Grief:

Imagine yourself standing on the platform of the world’s largest roller coaster. Stop and really imagine the sensation. It’s a beautiful sunny day as you stare out to the mountains in the distance. To one side of you are lakes and forests and to the other is a bustling city. From below you hear the soft murmur of voices and happy noises. The sun is shining, birds are singing and the breeze is gentle. You are nervous, excited, and a little afraid as you anticipate the ride, but you are certain it will be a good one; all the others have been.

As you step into the front cart with the world at your feet, someone wraps a blindfold around your head. You have no idea what’s going on or why this is happening, but before you can say anything, the cart jerks into motion and you are now holding…

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Leap of Faith


“Leap of Faith” by alphageeek: An incredible piece of writing.

Originally posted on alfageeek:

I’m falling.

I’ve been falling for a while now.

It’s what happens after you leap.

When you are young and stupid, you leap easily.
Without thought.

And then it happens. You land. Ungracefully.
You smash into pieces.
And it hurts.

But you pull your pieces back together.
You stitch yourself back up.
Get a few scars.

Some places still hurt.

And then it happens again.
You leap.

And then it happens again.
You crash into the rocks.

Your friends shout, “Enough!”
They don’t want you to leap, because it hurts them to see you hurt.
They don’t want you to leap, because they know how it feels to hurt.

And then what?
Well if you are me, you leap. Again.

But you try to learn.
You learn where the rocks are.
You are leaping in your mind—your mind makes the rocks.

And that’s important.

Things can go well.
You can fall…

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Guilt vs Shame


Insightful words from Coffee Shop Rabbi: “Shame requires healing. Part of that healing may be to deal with guilt over things that we have actually done. “

Originally posted on Coffee Shop Rabbi:

Rodin's Eve after the Fall.

Eve after the Fall, by Rodin

The soul-searching of Elul can be healthy and productive. It helps us to get back on track. It can provide the push we need to resolve unfinished business. It can allow us to start the new year with a clean slate and a clean conscience.

One way to get off track, though, is to get confused about the difference between guilt and shame.

Guilt is the fact or state of having committed an offense. The feeling of guilt is useful: it’s a feeling of responsibility for having done (or failed to do) the deed in question. It might include remorse at the behavior in question. Guilt says “I did something” or “I neglected to do something.” 

Guilt is redeemable. It is fixable. The way to cure guilt is to make teshuvah. I wrote a post a while back called The Jewish Cure for Guilt

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