The Fastest Runner

Perhaps you know the thrice-told tale of Yameel – the fastest runner and most reliable messenger in all the African jungle. His swiftness, sense of direction and memory of specific locations were legendary. On any given day, he could be seen sprinting through the bush – from one village to another … his long, muscular legs safely and quickly conveying him and an urgent message to their destination.

One day he was observed standing motionless – statue-like, staring straight ahead. A passer-by was amazed to see the agile messenger in such an uncharacteristic pose and asked him why he was standing so still in the middle of a mission. Yameel responded, “I have been running so fast that I have left my soul behind, and I am waiting for it to catch up to me.”

Too often, during the week we run from one task to another. Only on the Sabbath are we privileged – indeed, commanded – to let up and let go, to turn towards ourselves and those we love, towards our God.

So I urge you:  Try it – you’ll like it! Invite your soul to catch up to you. It can positively change your life.

With much affection,
Rabbi Sally

 

Reflections

First Aid Kit Components:

A toothpick, a rubber band, a mirror, a stone, a band-aid, a pencil, an eraser, gum, a “Kiss” chocolate, and a tea bag.

1. A Toothpick: To help you remember to “dig” deep and find positive qualities in others.

2. A Rubber Band: To help you remember to be flexible, since people and things aren’t always what you want them to be.

3. A Mirror: To remind you to look at yourself first before criticizing or judging someone else.

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God's Love

What do you think God’s love is?

Answer:  “A dog’s love is the same as God’s love.  That’s why ‘dog’ is “god’ spelled backwards.”

The similarity between what we hope for from God, and what we get without question from dogs, is too striking to be ignored.  Isn’t God’s love that which makes us feel less alone and a little less afraid?  And can we not say the same about the devotion of dogs?  Doesn’t God love us no matter what?  And can we not say the same about dogs?

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Counting Your Blessings

The message I want to convey to you as we begin this New Year is to make sure you notice what is beautiful, what is blessed around you and within you.  It is a choice that is always open to us.  We can choose to begin each day thanking God for the gift of life, the gift of breath and the spirit that is with us at every moment.

We can notice God’s presence in a sip of water, a slice of bread, a piece of fruit.  In this way of thanking God, we stop and notice many times a day – that we are awake, that we are alive, that there are wonders everywhere around us, and that God is revealed to us through these everyday miracles whenever we choose to take notice.  This is a choice we are given:  the choice to notice – i.e. to notice our blessings.

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5 Important Thoughts

  1. When you know you are doing your very best within the circumstances of your existence, applaud yourself.
  1. You are not a Xerox of anyone else. Each life is an original work of art. When are you going to start signing autographs?
  1. Our immune system is only as strong as the dosage of self-love, self-acceptance, and self-care that we administer to ourselves daily.

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We are the ones God sends

I see your pain
And want to banish it
With the wave of a star,
But I have no star.

I see your tears
And want to dry them
With the hem of an angel’s gown,
But I have no angel.

I see your heart
Fall to the ground
And want to return it
Wrapped in clothes of rainbow,
But I have no rainbow.

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Light and Holiness

It is said that which is holy is filled with light; and that which is not holy is cast in darkness.  The charge of living is to fill life with holiness and light.

Admittedly, it is sometimes difficult to find light in this world.  We open the newspaper in the morning, listen to the radio during the day, turn on the television at night, and surf the net morning, noon and night; and we are witness to a world that seems to be plunging more deeply into darkness.  News reports are filled with stories of murder and kidnapping, graft and political maneuvering, people who second-guess others and ascribe motives so that the good work of society cannot be done.

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Growth

We come into the world as infants who must go through various stages of growth before we become adults.

At birth, we are candidates for maturity; and our growth into maturity is not merely a physical process. It is NOT automatic. It involves every aspect of our mind, spirit and personality. We must want to grow, and this takes great personal effort.

Greatness may not be within the reach of every one of us, but growth is. We are each capable of being a more mature person today than we were yesterday . . . and tomorrow can find us further along than we are today. And when we forget this vital truth, we lose sight of the essential meaning of life and the source of its deepest fulfillment.

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I've Learned

I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved.

I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life, but who you have that counts.

I’ve learned that you can get by on charm for about 15 minutes, after that you’d better know something.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do, but to the best you can do.

I’ve learned that no matter how you slice it, there are always two sides.

I’ve learned that you can keep going, long after you think you can’t.

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Rabbi Sally - The People's Rabbi