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"God would prefer that we come home. She is waiting for us, ever patiently until we are ready. God will not sleep. She will leave the door open and the candles burning waiting patiently for us to come home." 

Rabbi Margaret Wenig, High Holy Day sermon, 1997

SAVE THE DATE
September 5
“You Are Forgiven”

Slichot Study & Service
8 pm study
10 pm service

with Rabbi Jill Berkson Zimmerman  
and the talented clergy of Leo Baeck Temple 

(more info in this newsletter)


 
You know the High Holidays are coming when the black-eyed susans burst into seemingly non-stop bloom.
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The Jewish Mindfulness Network
http://www.ravjill.com/

 Dear <<First Name>>,

For many of us, our work during this season of reflection before the High Holy Days is about being brave enough to love ourselves just where we are. Just as we are.

At this time of year, we are asked to brush off our souls, repair relationships, and get re-connected to Wholeness.   

So many ways we have gotten off track.  There are so many people we “should” have called/written/reached out to.  So many ways we could have been better.   


The list is so long, endless and often overwhelming.

I’d like to suggest that for those of us "perfectionists" out there, perhaps our very first step is cultivating compassion towards our own selves. And taking the radical step of self-compassion.

For whatever reason, an awful lot of us are very hard on ourselves: "I could have said that better.  I should have…What’s wrong with me? When will I learn?"

We are often the harshest judgers of ourselves - by a long shot.

Psalm 27 suggests that there is one thing we might seek at this time of year: to dwell in the house of Adonai/God/Holiness/Wholeness.

What if we imagine that in that House of Wholeness, we are totally accepted and loved and taken in….just
exactly as we are, along with all our foibles and issues and missteps.  

Because that’s what the love story of Elul offers us. This Hebrew month is named after the acronym from our tradition's most profound Love Song:  “I am your beloved and my beloved is mine” (Ani l’dodi v’dodi li.)

And this time of spiritual preparation is also about the idea that the Holy One accepts us back with love - just as we are, despite our imperfection.  

Does this mean that we don’t have to repair relationships, forgive others, make things right?  Of course we need to do that as well. 

But it does mean that we begin with ourselves.  As we are instructed in the airplane, put our own (compassion) masks on first.  It’s an act of courage to begin each day saying:  I was given this day to be my most authentic self, to share my unique gifts, and to just BE me.  

And to end each day loving ourselves just as we are.   In the words of Brené Brown:  “Yes I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”  

Yes.  Perhaps the ONE thing this Elul can be about is finding ways to love ourselves first. Bringing compassion to our own wounded souls longing for perfection.  

We are all worthy of love and belonging.  Just exactly as we are.

Shabbat Peace to you and many blessings

Rabbi Jill

Selichot:  "You Are Forgiven"

Saturday September 5
Study:  8 pm
Service: 10:00 pm
Leo Baeck Temple
1300 North Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90049

 

In preparation for the upcoming High Holy Days, Leo Baeck Temple is graciously inviting us for Selichot.

With Selichot, our spiritual preparation for the High Holy Days comes into full swing.  Whether or not we’ve been doing soul work during this past month, Selichot is an opportunity to deeply explore what our tradition believes about forgiveness and how to return to our best selves.  On this night, we not only turn our Torah scrolls to the High Holy Day covers, but we turn ourselves in the direction of coming home.

We will discuss together the core stories and metaphors from our tradition that inform the entire cycle of the Holy Days.  And we will have the opportunity to delve into how those themes can support us in our own spiritual accounting.  No experience or Hebrew necessary.  Dialogue, study, and some alone time to dig deeper.

Study at 8:00 pm with Rabbi Zimmerman

Service at 10:00 pm with Rabbis Ken Chasen, Lisa Berney and Cantor Linda Kates

PLEASE RSVP to:  
rsvp@leobaecktemple.org 

http://www.leobaecktemple.org/

Many blessings,
 

Rabbi Jill Berkson Zimmerman


Every blade of grass has an angel bending over it saying, "Grow, grow."  Midrash Rabba, Bereshit 10:6.

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