Okay, I’ll admit it – that was a really bad pun. I’ll also happily admit that I am a Gleek. I love the music and dancing and I think the Glee actors are incredibly talented. I especially love the way it speaks to a generation of teens growing up in a really difficult world. I find its positive messages about friendship, diversity, sexuality, and embracing and loving who you are inspiring. Although it can be preachy at times, more often than not, I find something meaningful and thought-provoking that helps me to understand a little better how to help our kids navigate through challenging times.
Take last night’s episode, for example. “Tough love feels a lot like mean,” Brittany told Cheerios coach, Sue Sylvester. I thought about that statement throughout the episode, in terms of Brittany’s situation as well as the “tough love” Rachel’s dance instructor lavished upon her.
Tough love probably does feel like mean. I have often wondered who it is meant to help, the giver or the receiver. Does tough love have the desired effect on the recipient? Or is it meant to release the one enacting it from the pain and responsibility of the poor choices made by another? Sometimes tough love is the right and necessary choice at least for one party, hopefully for both.
At the end of the episode someone said, “God made you and God doesn’t make mistakes.” (I wish I could remember which character said it…!) In Jewish terms, we are created b’tselem Elohim,” in God’s image, endowed with the God-like qualities of intelligence, compassion, creativity, and more. As Yom Kippur approaches, it behooves us to remember that God created us and God doesn’t make mistakes. No matter how far we stray, no matter how many bad choices we make, God makes no mistakes. Each one of us is worthy of God’s forgiveness – and our own – and God awaits our return.
G’mar chatima tova – May we all be sealed for goodness and blessing in the coming year. Ken yehi ratzon, Be this God’s will.
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