From Where I Am To Where I Want To Be

Elul 23 5774

Lately I’ve been overswamped and underprepared for the things that have been thrown my way. Between the oven catching on fire (twice!) last Friday and thus denying me a real Shabbat for the second week in a row, my kids not being able to come over because one of them was sick, having to explain to the former rabbi in e-mail that I’d chosen a different (though still Jewish) path, having to exchange my High Holy Days tickets at the synagogue offices for later services because there was a miscommunication about which services I planned to attend, and yesterday just being a day of being pecked to death by ducks, it’s been a rough couple of weeks. I didn’t even manage to make the Friday Feature happen here last Friday.

It’s Elul. It’s the time when we’re supposed to be thinking of what we’ve done wrong and how to correct it, when we’re supposed to think about the 13 Attributes and how to put them into action in our lives. And I’ve felt pretty guilty about not keeping up with my blog as I ought to have done (never mind all the other things I have been feeling guilty about, and trying to decide who I need to reach out to and make amends with).

But I have been reading a lot around the Jewniverse online. I get emails from various blogs written by Jews of various stripes beyond what I read on my WordPress reading page. I’ve also been listening to music that sustains me. So I still have a foot in the mikveh (so to speak). I’ll just share some of the best writing and best music I’ve recently come across before I run off to work for another day, and I’ll try to write about Elul in the next day or so (while we’re scraping carbon out of our oven and restoring it to useful status, so I can actually bake challah for the first time in, oh, three weeks).

Rabbi Josh Bolton muses on how, After All That’s Happened, I Meet God Halfway over at jewschool.com. This is a powerful piece, especially for someone like me, who loves rules because they make decisions easier. I may write one of my own as I weigh which rules are meaningful to me and which ones really aren’t.

Rabbi Bradley Artson at MyJewishLearning.com explains that Judaism is not about being wrapped up in How We’ve Always Done Things. Instead, he says, we should remember that On This Day God Calls To You.

Jenn, at Spark of a Jewish Soul, muses on her second day of Intro to Judaism conversion classes with A Little Jewish Humor.

Finally, I want to share (again) the Maccabeats’ amazing song for the New Year, because it has helped me understand what’s actually expected in this run-up to the Days of Awe.

The Book of Good Life 

The Maccabeats (Lyrics By: Immanuel Shalev and David Block)

Woke up and realized yesterday
Think it’s a bummer end of the summer
Kinda nervous that we’re almost there
At the days of awe

Prayers in a language that I don’t know
Standing for hours and hours more
I wish that someone would please tell me-e-e-e
What it is we’re praying for

Oh put me in the book of good life
I just wanna live the good life
This could really be a good life, good life

Say oh, we’ve got feelings that we should fight
Make sure that we’re choosing right
Gotta earn my own place in
The book of good life

Time for reflection on the past year
Time to figure out what we’re doing here
Replace the guilt with inspiration
And everything is clear

Life in the present, the here and now
Easier than regret and planning out
Living in the moment, lasts for a moment
Got my future to think about

When you’re sitting there in shul
Wishing it was over
You gotta take a beat
And let it all sink in

Oh put me in the book of good life
I just wanna live the good life
This could really be a good life, good life

Say oh, we’ve got feelings that we should fight
Make sure that we’re choosing right
Gotta earn my own place in
The book of good life

Hopefully
This year will bring us happiness and peace
Hopefully
Sensitivity to others will increase
Hopefully
We’ll open our eyes and think more consciously
Cuz Hopefully
We’ll go from where we are to where we want to be

Oh put me in the book of good life
I just wanna live the good life
This could really be a good life, good life

Say oh, we’ve got feelings that we should fight
Make sure that we’re choosing right
Gotta earn my own place in
The book of good life

Oh yeah
Book of Good life
Ooh

Listen
Time for reflection on the past year
Time to figure out what we’re doing here
Replace the guilt with inspiration
And everything is clear

Life in the present seems more fun
Easier than regret, what’s done is done
Living in the moment, lasts for a moment
Shana Tova to everyone!

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1 Comment

Filed under Judaism

One response to “From Where I Am To Where I Want To Be

  1. OldCutterJohn

    Quit feeling guilty!

    Good piece of work by Rabbi Bradley!

    Liked by 1 person

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