Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2019

What is our underlying concept of Thankfulness?

                                       What is our underlying concept of Thankfulness?   Tomorrow, in our society here in the United States, we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. This break in our usual life routines has many layers of meaning for us. Indeed, on one level, we can take stock of where we are in our lives and what we have accumulated and feel a sense of gratitude. This level of reflection, of course, usually means we are comparing our state in life with others – leading to the typically unsaid, but thought – “I am glad I am in better shape then ….” (fill in the blank with several others you know). This thankful attitude tends to keep our competitive juices flowing. On another level, we can approach this Thanksgiving Day, from a more relational perspective. We feel a sense of gratitude for the many people in our life - family, friends, co-workers – who have given something of themselves to us, improving our sense of well-being. Of course, this level continues to remain on
As Thanksgiving Day approaches, I am once again drawn to one of the cores of Spiritualism, the religion I follow in my church as its Lay Minister.   This core concept is Natural Law, a collection of many natural laws.   Spiritualists believe in natural laws that have been created by God/Source.   When we follow these natural laws, life runs along smoothly, directing us to develop fully on our spiritual paths.   When we do not follow these natural laws, problems arise that will thwart our spiritual progression.      Natural laws can be found easily in nature itself: the change of seasons, the cycle of day and night, the erosion of mountains and the courses run by rivers.   Disturbances in the health of our planet may be attributed to the consequences of ill-advised human activity.      There are many natural laws involving human relationships.   The “Golden Rule” tells us to treat others as we would like to be treated.   The greatest of the natural laws is the natural law of

Time and Space

"We must not forget that it is not a thing that lends significance to a moment; it is a moment that lends significance to things." In his 1951 book, The Sabbath , Abraham Joshua Heschel  lays out the two worlds in which humans operate, space and time. Neither space nor time is "bad" in Heschel's thinking.  But when we think of reality as only be the world of space, then "reality to us is thinghood" and "the result of our thinginess is our blindness to all reality that fails to identify itself as a thing."  Stop and think about whether or not this is true in the way you live.  Is there "poetry" in your life or only "prose?"  Is there beauty or only utility?  Is there sharing or only acquiring? Those things that are often most important to us are not "things" in the sense we can touch or see or smell them.  It is true about love, about happiness or contentment, or even something like family.  Yet our lives ar

The Real Me- Lessons From a 13 Year Old

I had a blog post all ready to go.  And then I went onto Facebook and saw this posting. After reading this post, I changed my blog entry completely.  The Facebook post was made by a colleague who works as an inclusion specialist at a large Jewish congregation in Westchester.  This woman is my mentor and my friend, and every time we interact, which is not as often as I would like, I learn something hugely valuable from her.  She passed on the beautiful poem (below) from a family that she has gotten to know over the years.  The son has Tourette's Syndrome and is celebrating his Bar Mitzvah this weekend.  In honor of his (becoming a) Bar Mitzvah, her son has dedicated himself to informing the public about Tourette's syndrome and becoming an advocate for kids like him. The mom has written this poem about her son's daily struggles and asked that synagogues read the poem from the pulpit this Shabbat. So far, 21 synagogues from around the country have signed on! I thought it was