The good is already there. Practicing gratitude means being fully aware of the good that is already yours. ~ Alan Morinis
Seeing the Good / Hakarat HaTov / Gratitude
Download Journal Jots for ADAR
I form light and create darkness. I make shalom (peace) and create ra (evil).
I Adonai, do these things. (Isaiah 45:7) Woe unto him that strives with his Maker….
Shall the clay say to him that fashions it, “What are you making?” (Isaiah 45:9).
CHOSHECH – DARKNESS
Download – Journal Jots – TEVET
* Frank LaLou, Creation
“The soul of man is the lamp of G-d,” the Book of Proverbs tell us (20:27). What this means is that ultimately, our task is not to light candles, but to be candles. We have the potential to be the bits of light that help bring G-d back into a world gone dark. As the Sefas Emes puts it in discussing Hanukkah, “A human being is created to light up this world.” Rabbi Shai Held, Hanukkah, 1874
Download – Journal Jots – KISLEV
Like a father who stoops to play with his toddler, laughing with the child, excited over those silly things that excite a small child, yet always remaining an adult who is beyond all these games–so, too, He creates within Himself a place where in love and laughter, in compassion and awe and beauty, Man and G-d could find one another, and neither would be alone. ~ Tzvi Freeman
RACHAMIM / Compassion
Download here: JOURNAL JOTS – CHESHVAN
* artwork by Cindy Lou Elliott
Every person has both a body and a soul,” said the Rebbe. “It is like a bird and its wings. Imagine if a bird were unaware that its wings enabled it to fly, they would only add an extra burden of weight. But once it flaps its wings, it lifts itself skyward.
We all have wings – our souls – All we have to do is learn to use them.
~Rebbe Menachem Schneerson
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
To begin living a life of Mussar, you must start by developing an awareness of who you really are. [How?] Acquire a diary. ~ Rabbi Micha Berger
It can be a challenge to get into a rhythm of daily journaling – not just the setting apart of time, but the finding of words to write. Keren and I are offering 29 Journal Jots for Tammuz to get you started.
Each day rewrite each Journal Jot in your own hand. As these Journal Jots speak to you – speak back.
If you are already a staunch journaler, these Journal Jots are also for you.
Each will act as a reminder of why we are making this climb.
We are so excited to be on this journey with you!
Keren and Cindy
Wherever the river flows…there is life.
HEALING AND ORDER
I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord G-d Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of G-d illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. …Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of G-d and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.
Revelation 21:22-23, 22:1-2
During this month of Iyyar may this future promise of tikkun be realized in our lives even now!
Yakriv Mikem / Sacrifice “Of You”
“Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: when one of you offers a sacrifice to the Lord, the sacrifice must be taken from the cattle, sheep or goats” (Lev. 1:2).
Or so the verse would read if it were constructed according to the normal rules of grammar. However, in Hebrew the word order of the sentence is strange and unexpected. We would expect to read: Adam mikem ki yakriv, “When one of you offers a sacrifice.” Instead what it says is Adam ki yakriv mikem, “When one offers a sacrifice of you”.
“The essence of sacrifice,” said R. Schneur Zalman, “is that we offer ourselves. We bring to G-d our faculties, our energies, our thoughts and emotions. The physical form of sacrifice – an animal offered on the altar, is only an external manifestation of an inner act. The real sacrifice is mikem, “of you”. We give G-d something of ourselves.
~ Rabbi Sacks, Self and Sacrifice
* Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces, Facebook
* Image by Raja Selvaraj, released under Creative Commons license.
B’Ohrchah Nireh Ohr
In Your Light we see Light
It’s like a light going through a prism and being broken out into different colors. If it’s coming through a holiday, a mitzvah, or lighting candles, it’s the same light bouncing into the world and being refracted through a different means. We pick it up and experience it in different ways. But it’s really all the same light.*
* Simon Apisdorf, Get A Glow, 12-19-2016 (speaking of the light of G-d)
CHASHA / HUSH
To Be Silent
The strength of faith is in silence, in words that hibernate and wait. Uttered faith must come out as surplus of silence, as the fruit of lived faith, of enduring intimacy.*
* Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays