Recognizing Our Blessings
Rabbi’s Message – July 14, 2020
It’s mid-July and we are tired of social distancing. It has cramped our styles. Birthdays, anniversaries, special celebrations… none of them feel quite right in isolation. But this time apart has not just kept us safe, it has brought unacknowledged gifts and even clarity.
Personally, my family and I have established new traditions, renewed old traditions, and grown as individuals and a unit. Educationally, I have a much clearer understanding of my children’s skills and growth areas – and my own. Emotionally, I feel greater appreciation for most everything, especially my health. Culturally, I’ve found the online arts world amazing. One word – Hamilton! Socially, I have reconnected with long-time friends through the expansion of the “Zoom–iverse.” Spiritually, I continue to expand my understanding of what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century. Pastorally, I have learned that technology can play a role in “I-Thou” relationships. Communally, there is a new sense of unity with non-Jewish clergy and leaders in Dayton. And of course, a new sense of purpose and urgency.
Our Judaism teaches us to recognize our blessings – at least 100 a day! I encourage you to take a moment today to sit and reflect on what this year has brought for you. Even in trying and painful times, we must try to focus on the good. We can begin by offering Modeh Ani, thanking God for returning our soul to us after our slumber, and then take a moment to acknowledge the everyday miracles we encounter.