Yom Kippur

28 09 2009

Today Jews all over are celebrating Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism. Because it is a day of reflection, I’ve tried to do my fair share of it. Recently, events surrounding me have given me a sort of a wake up call. See, the thing is, I fell in love with Judaism when I was 5 years old. I studied Hebrew, and we celebrated some of the holidays. But my mother, well, she got bored, or maybe wanted to explore something new, and since there was no encouragement for me anymore, I didn’t continue. Later on I moved to Los Angeles, where everyone is jewish. I started studying again, picking up more Hebrew, learning more about the culture, and surrounding myself with jewish friends. Then Lucy decided to convert. It was such an amazing experience, she took me with her to the classes. At that point in my life I wasn’t ready. I wanted to do it for the right reasons, for me, and because it was something I wanted to be a part of for the rest of my life. And it is hard for people to see that this desire is real, that it comes from me and not from the need to please anyone.. or anyone’s parents 😉

Last summer I got the opportunity to go to Israel. Suddenly, it was real. All those times I spent thinking about how I would love to live there now had an experience to reinforce it. I fell in love all over again. And I know, I know, unless I get a kickass job, for now moving there seems difficult, but I’d rather be ready…

The Holy Land

The Holy Land

So I’m taking action… Lately I had been evaluating my options for doing the conversion,  And a few conversations I had over the weekend reinforced what I was thinking, that the best time to do it would be now. Because, after all, why wait? The program begins next month, and I am uber excited… I know it will be hard, that the driving to L A may become exhausting, and that I might find it impossible at times. But I know that I have a team of friends on my side, to help me if I get stuck, to inspire me to continue, to let me spend the night if I have to… and in the end, it will all be worth it. It will be the completion of a journey I began a lifetime ago. Because since I was a little girl, this always felt like the place where I belonged.

jewish wisdom…

3 10 2008

“When faced with the choice of first healing ourselves or first healing the world, the answer is that we must do both simultaneously”
-Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan

As I have been studying more about religions that attract me, their interconnectedness is astounding. well, I am not what you would consider a “religious person” in any way.. But, in my constant quest for understanding, I’ve become very interested in Buddhism.. and as I have been learning, it has been surprising how much it relates to Judaism, to science, to psychology.. thus further supporting my way of life, where I try to learn as much as I can about a subject, incorporate what feels right and move on to the next one.. The other day I was reading an interview with a Buddhist monk, where he establishes the same principle… We do not function as individuals, we are part of a whole.. and this quote summarizes my current way of life at its best.. We can not reach a state of fulfillment if we only care for ourselves, we must care for the world at the same time..
Somehow, this view creates a bigger sense of purpose.. I am not here just for me, but for everything else.. I belong to the world, therefore I must care for it as much as I care for myself.. Little things, like eating organic local produce, make me feel better, because I am caring for my body and the environment in equal measure… In my job, I encounter situations everyday where people can chose to do the right thing for the world, thus also benefiting themselves, or they can chose to make those decisions from a selfish standpoint.. looking how they would benefit THEMSELVES, paying little attention to how this hurts their surroundings.. and it saddens me, in a way.. but it also empowers me, to try harder, to use the tools I have to educate them..

When I began developing my company, creating green education program ideas, developing an eco-friendly product from scratch.. people laughed at me.. saying things like, you are so smart, do you think you should invest your energy in something that will make you rich?? well, in the end, I am the one laughing.. even if I never make a dollar out of my projects, I am so so happy I got to do this.. because, in my world, every little thing we can do to help the environment, our communities, our neighbors, our enemies, counts.. if everyone just did a little, can yo imagine how powerful we could be??

However much time you invest in healing yourself, is pointless if you don’t work on healing the world, because, seriously, how well can you sleep at night, when you know there are kids DYING everyday because of corrupt governments and bureaucracies?? For how long can yo meditate, when you have seen the pictures of dead soldiers, sick kids, desperate mothers??

So let’s try to make our goal this month to, at least, think a bit about the current situation of the world.. about all the damage we have created.. about how we, while we take care of ourselves, can also heal the world..


16 09 2008

I was reading a book this weekend, about Kabbalah, relationships and learning.. This is a summary of what I learned..

The only way to fulfillment, according to Kabbalah, is when we have a chance to transform the Desire to Receive for the Self alone, into the Desire to Receive for the Sake of Sharing. Everytime you receive energy for yourself alone, you will find negativity and chaos in your life. Being spiritual means you are there for other human beings when they need you. You are prepared to leave your comfort zone to help them.

To achieve this balance you have to be proactive. That means taking responsibility rather than living in a victim mentality or you expect things. But taking responsibility can be scary, so you say “ You know what, there is nothing I can do”. Then you are being reactive, and in that situation, fulfillment, and happiness, seems like a far off dream.

When you worry only about yourself, when you do things thinking about you and not the others, the energy of the universe can not come in to help. After all, “someone” is already looking after you.

We are the ONLY ones that limit ourselves. EVERYTHING in your life happens for a reason. Challenges are intended to help us grow and change. The more arduous the difficulty, the greater the opportunity it offers to grow.

We are on a Spiritual journey. The purpose of our relationships is to help us get to our destination. EFFORT is an expression of a deep desire in the soul. It takes hard work to get emotional and spiritual growth right.

From your soul’s perspective, you are fortunate when a driving force appears that removes you from your comfort zone.. when separation occurs, it is much easy to find fault in something else, rather than being thankful for the opportunity. What you should ask your self is: What should I learn? How am I responsible for what is happening?

It is amazing how very different religious practices have so much in common. Just the other day, I was talking about how your reaction to a situation can turn it from a bad experience, to an opportunity for growth.
The important thing is to not lose perspective… to cultivate awareness… and patience…

May you all have peace.