Friday, September 14, 2018

Yom Kippur....

If you're anything like me, you might be wondering what you are supposed to be working on exactly.  There are so many areas and details in a day, that when I think back over the year I am completely at a loss as to what specifically I should work on.  Everything?! And anyway...aren't we new creations as of Rosh Hashana?...

Before the anxiety grows too great, I breathe deeply, recall that with this breath Hashem is giving me another chance at life and the I can turn/ and return- teshuva to Him.  The first clarity I need is that He loves me and is waiting for me- forever.

Next, I look at who I am in this minute and notice what I love about myself and thank Hashem for those.  Then, I notice the things that I am not proud of :( and that's where my work lies.  I can't remember all the things I've done wrong this year but the result of them is sitting with me right now- as a part of me. 

 Now, I observe the thoughts, feelings and actions that I don't want to hold onto.  I admit to them, I regret them.  I say "I am sorry Hashem for doing, thinking, feeling...(fill in the blank with your own- trust me you don't want mine;).  I don't want to do/feel/think these things in the future. Please help me to be true to who I really am."

I've returned.

Your turn.

(If you want more clarity with this, our phone chaburah will IY'H be meeting at 11:00 am NY time this Monday- what can be better than group teshuva...or more embarrassing... therefore, there will be no recording.:)))

Wishing you a beautiful Shabbos and a Gmar Chasima Tova, 

Love, Aviva Ruth


By Tzvi Freeman

Teshuvah doesn’t mean repentance. Repentance means regretting who you’ve become. 

Teshuvah means returning to who you truly are.

Teshuvah, in English, is recovery.

 Recovering a lost inner self.

On Yom Kippur, we are all in recovery.

For any body still feeling anxious....

Thank you, Ilana Yehudis for sending this:
Adapted from a newsletter article by Rebbetzin Heller
Keep in mind that Hashem accepts you with all of your faults and broken pieces, you needn’t act as if they don’t exist.
Review the viduy before Yom Kippur in the machzor. 
Don’t fall into any of the usual traps when you read the list of potential sins that you may have done:

1. What a great list. It’s even alphabetical. How interesting. I think I did everything.
2. I am doomed. I think I’ll go out for pizza. This is too heavy.
3. My life is a mess. It can’t be fixed. No one who had a childhood like mine will ever be clean on the inside.
4. This is extreme. I’m basically a good person. What’s all this breast-beating good for?
5. I hate myself.
Instead, come to grips with the reality of imperfection. If you’re human, you’re imperfect. You have the chance now to open yourself up to greater and higher movement towards being the person you want to be. Every breath you take is a gift from the One who wants to (and can!) understand you totally. Read the list with the same sort of feeling you would have if you were discussing a heartbreaking issue with your therapist. You want to change, that’s why you’re there.
There is one critical difference. Your therapist can only help you hear yourself. Hashem can help you discover a self that you may never have encountered (or may have thought was lost). If you open yourself even a little bit, He will open His Heart to you beyond your greatest hope.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Shavua Tov!
In a few hours Rosh Hashana is starting.!!! 
Aside from the fact that I’m waiting for my challahs to come out of the oven, I can’t sleep. 
I’m excited! It’s our opportunity to express our absolute love and awe of Hashem - to express our desire to be close to Hashem - to return to our most profound relationship.  We don’t know what the future will bring- some of us have lost a loved one this year- and our lives are irrevocably changed.   Yet, one thing remains steady and only grows with life each moment and that is His love for us.  Chazal say that Hashem brings us back to life every moment by giving us breath. He is showing us that He believes in us. 
Take a deep breath. Feel His love and belief in YOU. Now, believe in yourself and the power He is giving you to choose a relationship with Him. 
As we discussed in the last chaburah, at the time of the shofar He is re-blowing our purified neshama into us and we are offering back our primal will- see Rabbi Freeman’s picture and explanation below for a clearer understanding. 
Thank you for learning with me this year. Thank you -Shira - for the administrative job you handle for us- even as you have family members who are ill- Refuah shlaima to them.  
I’ve enjoyed every minute of our time together. Thank You Hashem for allowing us to learn and grow closer to You. 
May your year be filled with deveikus to Hashem through ways you perceive as good. May it be a healthy, peaceful, prosperous year with the geulah from within and without=for all of Klal Yisrael! 
❤️ ,
Aviva Rus

On Rosh Hashanah, we cry out from our very essence with the call of the shofar; He echoes back, throwing His very essence inward towards His creation.
Together, man and G‑d rebuild creation.
By Tzvi Freeman