Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Elul Day 4-15

Elul Day 4 and 5

In the kiddush on Friday night we recite the words, B'ahavah U'vratzon -with love and intention, God gave us Shabbat with love and will/intention/desire. How do you understand this pair? How do you give and receive gifts in your life? How about during moments of frustration, disappointment or sadness?
Shabbat Shalom U'mevorach - A peaceful and blessed Shabbat.

Elul Day 7

Rabbi David Wolpe once wrote/spoke "sometimes our relationship with money is ugly, is distasteful, it is extravagance without goodness." Judaism sees money not as entitlement but as an obligation - when you look back at this year how would you characterize your relationship to money? Are you greedy? Are you giving? Do you view your relationship to money as a religious obligation? Do you give enough?

Elul Day 8: 1 person. 1 encounter. 1 moment. This month of preparation offers the possibility we can change, our lives can be different. Change comes from others & from our own inner compass.

Who changed your life this year? 
Was it because of something positive/negative they did? Share with them. 
How has your life changed? 
How are you different? 
Do you think you changed anyone else's life?

Elul Day 9 - How do you define what it means to live Jewishly? Is it based on actions? Beliefs? 

- In what ways have you lived up to those expectations of living a meaningful Jewish life?
- In what ways have you fallen short?
- Have you thought about how you might change that for the coming year?

Elul 10:

What is your most memorable day from this past year since Rosh Hashanah 5770? 

Who do you remember most when you think of this year?

Elul 11 and 12
“We boil at different degrees” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Day 1 – what is the temperature of your anger today? This year? How do you deal with it when you boil, in a productive or hurtful way? Do you know how to let go and forgive? What is hard about this act? Why is it easier to remain angry?

Day 2- does anyone get angry with you? When do they boil? How do they deal with their anger towards you? Have you ever expressed how hurtful that is? Have you ever thought they are right? Has anyone’s anger ever helped you to change for the better? If so how?

Elul 13 Cheshbon Ha-Nefesh: An Accounting of Our Essential Self! This is the title of the work we are to be doing during these days in advance of RH. Today's questions focus on our relationship to God. Do you reach out to communicate with God-how? If not, why not? Do we hold anger/disappointment at God? What do you think is God's perception of you? Have you held up your end of the relationship, how so? If not, why not?

Elul Day 14 - Finally, David Brooks returns from vacation & does not disappoint. See this

And then ponder this quote from his column "Very few in public life habitually step back and think about the weakness in their own thinking and what they should do to compensate" - what are the weaknesses in your thinking? As we approach RH what are you doing to compensate or in other words adjusting, shifting, changing toward strength and away from weakness?

Elul Day 15 - Are you a religious pluralist? Do you value as authentic other views of your traditions or religious beliefs?? Can you see things from another persons' perspective and see its truth - or is your truth the only one?
 How can you live this year as a passionate advocate for your strongly held beliefs while not only respecting but understanding as authentic the views of others in your religious community?

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