Tuesday, December 11, 2007
A new beginning
I begin this website with some trepidation. I have always been somewhat shy, and to put my ideas out into the public domain is somewhat daunting. I guess that the timing is significant in a symbolic way. We celebrate Hannukah, a time of "Pirsuma Nisah"- publicizing the miracle of the occasion by placing lights in the public domain. Perhaps for me the stepping out into the domain of the internet is an act of personal miracle.
My spiritual focus has been and will continue to be the centrality of gratefulness in one's life and the need to cultivate awareness of that experience and perspective to not only gain happiness but to better our lives and the lives of others. In Jewish tradition, each day is bracketed by the first word uttered upon awakening - Modeh - I thank - and the last word - Shema - Hear O Israel which according to some opinions is not only an assertion of God's uniqueness but also an articulation of God's praise. Thus, we begin and end each day with a response of gratefulness and in between we recite, according to tradition, a minimum of 100 blessings saturating our consciousness with gratefulness and wonder.
I hope to share these reflections frequently not only to invite responses which I warmly welcome but to engage in a meditation on gratefulness by placing thoughts and feelings in the public domain.
Let me add that I have written two books on gratefulness, neither one published as yet, and am currently involved in trying to cobble together commentaries on the Jewish prayer book which will serve as a text for a more spiritually meaningful prayer experience. I hope to share with you excerpts of those works along with on-going reflections on gratefulness as they become available to my heart each day.
The Grateful Rabbi