Being Present and Grateful for this Moment.

This quote reminds me of the importance of living in the moment. It is tiring to constantly be fully present in moments in life. Sometime you need to watch t.v., eat, and write a paper all at the same time for time purposes, but also so you can “check out” for a while. Never the less, it is important to try and recognize each moment for its own meaning and not just a bridge to whatever is next.

Right now, I am standing on the edge of a moment- waiting for Shabbat and waiting for my graduation. Both moments are highly anticipated, but I will remember that this moment also have its own meaning. Who knows if I will live to see the next moment? I am grateful for this moment- sitting at my desk typing these thoughts out.

Let the moment live its life to its fullest, and when the time comes, let the moment pass peacefully away.

Emuna Daily

“Every moment has two faces: It is a moment defined by the past from which it extends and by the future to which it leads.  And it is a moment for itself, with its own meaning, purpose and life. Don’t kill a moment.” – Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman

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Tu B’shvat- The New Year of the Trees

Hag Sameach!

Tu B’shvat, the New Year of the Trees, just began a few hours ago. This is the first year I celebrate Tu B’shvat, and I was lucky enough to attend a seder for the holiday at my synagogue.

I spend my work week studying Judaism with my academic hat on and especially lately, have been analyzing liturgy. Of course, there is some intersection and overlap between my personal religious life and the material I read and write academically, but it is easy to get distracted by the academic questions.

Tonight, with the beautiful poetry and symbolism in the Hagaddah, I was able to let the visions of peaceful trees and nature take over me. More than once, I got caught up in the beautiful feelings and lost track of what was going on around me as I focused on one word or idea that had significance for me in that moment.

It is those moments, when I just lose myself, that I know I am in love. I know I love Hashem. I know I love Torah. I know I love Judaism. And I know I love all the people of Israel and cannot wait to be one of them.

The intensity of the feeling, like all feelings, passes or fades, sometimes even as quickly as it came. That does not mean that the love is no longer there or that I can never have it back. Our relationship with religion is like any relationship. We have cycles with highs and lows. We have days we want to give it our all and days we just want to hide in bed. That is okay. It is more realistic, and healthy, to not ignore any emotion but feel them for what they are and honestly acknowledge their presence in the moment. Judaism teaches that each new moment is full of new potential. Do not dwell on moments past, but be fully present in this moment so that it too can pass and you will be given a brand new moment, a brand new breath full of possibilty.

In this moment, I want to thank Hashem, the Source of all, for giving us the wonderful trees and plants of the earth to shelter and nourish us. May we continue to be inspired by the ever changing seasons and renewal of the trees that show us that new seasons, new days, and new moments bring new possibilities for renewing our whole selves.

Ready or Not, Shabbat is Coming

Shabbat is only a few hours away, and I do not feel ready. I am axiously trying to prepare meals, send out emails and run last minute errands before I step outside time to breathe, pause and enter the transcendent.  It is stressful to feel my control over the work week slowly slipping away as we approach the sacred time of Shabbat.

At the same time I appreciate the reality check. Shabbat comes every week, whether we are ready or not, to show us that the world can get along without us for a day. I feel like I have control over things, but Shabbat reminds me that things are ultimately out of my hands, not only on Shabbat when I can not answer emails or do work but everyday of life. For that reason, I will take a deep breath, let go of any control I feel I have, and embrace Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom.