LIVING WITH PURPOSE

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Tazria-Metzora: Highlighting The Strengths Of Others

The world is changing in a profound way. We are all being compelled to adapt to a ‘new normal’. The ramifications are huge and still playing out. The future has rarely been so uncertain. Social distancing goes against our human nature. After all, we are ‘social animals.’ We all crave to connect with others, as the Talmud puts it succinctly, “Either friendship or death”. (Taanit 23a). Community is a fundamental component in Jewish life. Many rituals and practices are limited when being observed alone. Spiritually, we attract infinitely greater divine energy when Jews come together in their masses. The mystics go one step deeper. They teach us that “Whoever separates one from another it is con

Shemini: Fight, Flight or Freeze?

We have just concluded four weeks of lockdown. Yesterday they extended it for ‘at least’ a further three weeks. How are you coping? What plans do we make for the future? Our bodies have an automatic, built-in system designed to protect us from threat or danger. It is called the “Fight-Flight-Freeze” response. When confronted with a problem, we all have a choice to make. Either we run or hide, because we are afraid. Or we stay put, maintaining the status quo to the best of our abilities, due to being overwhelmed. Or we dig deeper into ourselves and discover fresh strength enabling us to transform the challenge into an opportunity. We have just concluded celebrating the festival of Passover. T

Liberation Under Lockdown: A Unique Passover Experience

Isn’t it ironic that the festival of freedom is being celebrated whilst we are all under lockdown!? A moment in time when for thousands of years Jews have come together with friends and family to experience liberation. This year we are being compelled to observe Passover alone! Surly there is divine purpose interwoven throughout these extraordinary times. As Albert Einstein was fond of saying “Coincidence is G-d’s way of remaining anonymous”. The celebrated Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, summed up his life experience with the following words: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies

Parshat Tzav: Alone, Together

These are truly extraordinary times! In the words of the UN Secretary General “The current pandemic is the biggest challenge for the world since World War Two”. The impact is total. It is disrupting every part of our lives. The way we behave and interact with others. Many have become more anxious and fragile. Our perspective on life is being profoundly challenged. Hundreds of millions are living under lockdown. Social distancing has shattered the rhythm of our daily lives. Communal and religious gatherings in physical proximity of all types have been outlawed. Society is being compelled to live alone. The Baal Shem Tov teaches us that each and every thing we see or hear is a personal message

 

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