Tuesday, September 7, 2010


It is the tradition of the Jewish people to mark the beginning of a New Year by engaging in a process of conscious introspection about the year that has passed and consider ways by which to enhance and improve our lives spiritually in the year ahead. This is no easy task and most of us can only pay lip service to this opportunity for change in our lives. So much happens, there seems to be so much that requires change, so much that we are unhappy about! Where do we start? What kind of steps can we take that allow for success and not create the inevitable sense of failure because of being overwhelmed by the enormity of the task? Rabbis and preachers around the world will be addressing this question in the hope of offering guidance to our people to take at least some necessary steps toward a life of greater fulfillment and joy in the New Year.
Allow me to add a modest recommendation and clear-sighted direction as we hopefully move forward along the path of greater spiritual growth in the days ahead.
Each one of us has his/her bundle of hopes and desires, and each "peckel" is unique . I believe however that there are directions that can be followed by all which will bring us closer to our desired destinations of spiritual fullness and peace.You can probably guess what it is that I am going to suggest as a guidline by which to measure your internal movement and growth! For me, a clear barometer that takes the pulse of my spiritual movement is my experience of gratefulness at any given moment of my life. The compass of gratitude points me in the direction
of my journey toward greater meaning, wonder and compassion in life.When feelings of anger, disappointment, envy and discontent fill my heart, I know it is time to introspect, re-evaluate and meditate on the richness of gratefulness as a source of my personal joy and fulfillment. It is time to refocus my spiritual lens and gain a clarity about my life that is perceived only through the prism of gratefulness , thankfulness and the ability to praise.
Again I have no illusions about life's harshness and the myriad problems that confront all of us;
rather than becoming mired in guilt, self-doubt , and cynical rage, my urging for all of us-myself included-is to pursue the path of gratitude in the New Year, and with a sense of gratefulness for all of life's gifts and blessings be energized to respond to all of life with more generosity and kindness, more compassion and love.
May we all be inscribed in the book of life; may we all author best sellers on the theme of gratefulness and goodness, so that the world be rewarded with its most cherished of all prizes, the prize of peace. Amen.

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