The waning of Elul



One day after the August Supermoon, the moon has already begun to wane. And as goes the moon so goes the month of Elul and our opportunity to prepare for the New Year.  

It’s never fun to look at our mistakes, our missteps, our “failures” . . . but only by owning our responsibility and striving to understand where we went wrong can we hope to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Only then can we enter the New Year expecting to be sealed in the Book of Life for a year of health and happiness. 

The moon, the month, the year –all these must slip away in accordance with G-d’s Will. 

 Our chance to grow — it only slips away if we let it.  

shavua tov, jen

Prayer or Meditation?

A woman came to Reb Yerachmiel and said, “I have been studying with a Buddhist teacher who has given me clear instructions as to how to meditate.   I find it very helpful.  I told this to my rabbi, and he got angry with me, claiming I am abandoning my faith.  He said I should cease my meditation and learn to pray.  Rebbe, what do you think I should do?”
  Reb Yerachmiel replied, “Your rabbi is half right.  You should learn to pray.  And what should you pray?   Just this: Dear God, grant me the courage to stick with my meditation.”  

Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro, The Teaching and Practice of Reb Yerachmiel Ben Yisrael, included in Meditation from the Heart of Judaism: Today’s Teachers Share Their Practices, Techniques, and Faith, edited by Avram Davis, Jewish Lights Publishing (1997). 

Shavua tov, jen  😄

in the Unity of all opposites


What is this thing, this place, this Love, this garden so filled with Light, where laughing is crying, and living is dying, and day is no different from night??

Safe and snug in a blanket, yet I’m flying free, from this place I could go anywhere, but I’ve all that I need, and I’m happy and loved, so where I end up I don’t care. 

Until I’d been here, in the Unity of all opposites, couldn’t imagine what I’m saying is true, but, my G-d, left is right, and inside is out, so I’m writing all this down for You.