Musings on Jewish Education and Jewish Living

#blogElul – 3 Bless

Random thoughts on blessings:

Our Rabbis have taught: It is forbiddent to enjoy anything of this world without a blessing…                                                            Babylonian Talmud, B’rachot 35a

  • Whenever Maury and I sit down to a meal together at home, we always say HaMotzi.  It bothers me that we don’t do so when we eat out, enough so that I usually say it silently.  We often see other families or groups joining hands to say Grace; why are we so self-conscious about offering our own blessings in public?  Why does it not bother me when I eat alone?  Another goal for the coming year….
  • Living in the South – previously in Jacksonville, FL and now in Texas, we typically hear “Have a blessed day” on a regular basis, in the checkout line at the grocery store, at the end of a phone conversation, at the doctor’s office, and so on.  What a beautiful way to always be cognizant of the blessings that make up our lives.
  • In December 2011, my parents were in a serious car accident, the injuries from which eventually claimed my mother’s life.  I’m so thankful for the blessings of my employers and colleagues, which allowed me to spend significant time with my parents during my mother’s final weeks.  I’m grateful for the blessing of that time, and knowing that my mother knew how much I loved her.
  • I’m grateful for wonderful in-laws whom I love dearly, for extended family and dear friends.
  • These are my greatest blessings:

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The Jewish month of Elul leading up to the High Holy Days provides an opportunity for spiritual preparation. It is a time for cheshbon ha-nefesh – looking inward and reflecting on the past year.  The daily sounding of the shofar calls us to examine our words and our actions, and the words of Selichot (prayers of forgiveness) inspire us to seek forgiveness and to forgive others.  We look ahead to the new year when we can begin anew, striving to be the best version of ourselves.  Each day, I plan to blog on a thought related to this period preparation for the Days of Awe, along with many others in the Jewish blogosphere.  For further inspiration, search #blogElul on Twitter or Facebook.

I invite you to add your own thoughts on the daily topic.  Feel free to add your comments below or write your own blog, following the daily topics indicated or any others that call out to you.

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