Relationships

Do you ever just need to give yourself a good talking-to? It’s actually quite amazing! This morning I spent some time analyzing my feelings. Why was I not feeling loving toward someone? Was there an underlying sense of resentment that I was not acknowledging? And if so, why? Was...
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Discipline

As most of you know, I treasure, protectively guard, my time with HaShem when I take my daily jog or walk while listening to Messianic Jewish music. It is a part of my day like daily grooming, or regular meals, but with obviously elevated purposes and unique aspects. Prioritizing...
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Here, there, everywhere

Last week at services I spoke about our goal to come back to worship together in person at Ruach. As we work to regroup, rebuild, and recommit, and as I reconnected with our virtual community after services as well, I was reminded of what a larger discussion this topic really is....
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A name to remember

I read a heartwarming news article this week about a retiring “cop”, a story of the type we typically don’t find covered in mainstream media. Teddy Floyd, an Indian River County Sheriff’s Office deputy, is required to take a year off to stay qualified for his pension. After that,...
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Faith – Part 3

The past couple weeks we have been digging into the concept of faith. Such a deep concept but we are given so many small, practical ways to practice strengthening our faith muscles. While we were in Florida this year I had wanted to buy a sun shirt, the kind that are long...
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Faith – Part 2

Last week we pondered Prince Philip’s crisis of faith alongside the historic landing of Apollo 11. We explored how our natural tendencies toward false realities and skewed perceptions were stumbling blocks in our relationship with HaShem. As I was telling my sister about this...
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Faith

I was recently watching “The Crown”, a miniseries primarily based on the life of Queen Elizabeth. The episode that gripped me highlighted Great Britain’s reaction to the launch of Apollo 11 which, as you know, led to Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. For many of us who...
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What’s in a word?

Have you noticed words become trendy in our vocabulary, sometimes to the point that personally, I go out of my way not to use them. For example, “navigate” is such a great word. Yet several years back so many people were navigating around so many different types of situations,...
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Circles of love

As you know, I’ve spent the past several years’ winter months in Florida, a situation that rather organically evolved rather than ever planned from the outset. As every year has brought the revival of new family relationships down there, we have tended to stay longer each time....
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Oh Jerusalem – Part 2

Last week we marveled at the omnipresence of HaShem, magnificently even in the inner city of Chicago with no fanfare of beaches and trees. He literally meets us where we are and seeks us constantly. The question is how often do we seek Him? Sometimes we may feel very connected to...
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Oh Jerusalem

So many of you noticed I did not send out a Shabbat encouragement last week. First, please remember they will be when they will be. Second, however, thank you for letting me know how much they mean to you. Yes, last week was beyond my capacity to stay in long enough, or even...
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Can you hear the beauty of the song?

The Brood X cicadas are returning. Every 17 years like clockwork. A beautifully orchestrated time of literal raising from the seemingly dead while in their nymph stage, to rebirth, redemption, renewal, regeneration, as their primary reason to emerge from the ground is to...
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The deeper sound of the conch shell

As I was again jogging on the beach this week, I was thinking about last Shabbat’s encouragement which reminded us that when we are fearful, busy, or distracted we often miss the bigger picture. At the very moment of that thought, I spotted a perfect conch shell, large and...
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Another lesson from the terns

It’s a beautiful Shabbat morning and I felt the call to spend deep time with HaShem even before our beautiful Shabbat services would start. The day is glorious! The beach is pristine. The ocean is calling. As I arrived, I marveled again at the beautiful movement of the terns at...
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Chess, anyone?

People who live on this particular barrier island in Florida call it a little piece of Paradise. And yet, as everywhere, it has its challenges. This season I’ve been troubled as I’ve watched the falling out of two best friends. As the season wore on, their interpersonal...
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Don’t pass over Passover

“Passover” – the word brings to mind the amazing saving of our people as the Angel of Death passed over the first born of the Israelites, not sparing those of the Egyptians. It was a seminal moment for our people, so defining, that we are to relive it annually, viscerally, as we...
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WWJD – Part 2 – with a little help from my friends

Last week we processed the senseless killings in Atlanta. This week we’ve experienced more such tragedy in Boulder. So many theories, inevitable exploitive agendas, inexplicable inconsistencies, such irrational actions, perhaps that last description the most challenging. One of...
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WWJD

As much as we try to live healthily and optimistically, at times it is so difficult. Sometimes we struggle with personal times of sorrow. Sometimes such as now it’s impossible to ignore troubling headlines as we read of the murders in Atlanta particularly, although clearly not...
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A poignant anniversary

I recently received a moving email from someone who reflected on the one year anniversary of the acknowledged start of the Covid-19 pandemic, at least as it began to most dramatically affect the United States. As I read her various revelations from the smallest (no make-up!) to...
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Another Jog on the Beach – Part 2

Last week as I was writing about the many messages from HaShem during a glorious jog on the beach, I was not unaware that writing this during the winter for many of my readers in New England could feel very unrelatable, not to mention during a week of horrific headlines from...
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Another jog on the beach

Perhaps nowhere other than in the sanctuary do I feel closer to HaShem than when I am near the ocean. My gaze is unending every day in Maine when I awake and look out the window at the ocean. I can do this for hours on end, praying, meditating, writing, expressing gratitude....
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For the love of our children

The parent/child stories of challenge seem everywhere. I do not know any families in my immediate circle who are having easy times with children, whether at home, grown up, or at home and grown up! As parents we learn how to handle the truth that we have no control over this...
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Gratitude

Although I have written on this subject numerous times already, we can never get enough reminders to be grateful. Today I realized what an amazing tool this is, one which always works. As many of you know, Sid and I have been planning to leave for Florida for the past several...
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If we could talk to the animals

This Shabbat encouragement, in large part, was written several years ago. I found the message timely given so many I know with plates overflowing with challenges, that a reminder about the importance of gratitude is always welcome. When we are dealing with unusual challenge...
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Unity

Regardless of our politics, this week’s quiet yet uplifting inauguration ceremony helped each of our psyches. Just as in the days of the Civil War, we may have differing opinions, very diverse ones at that. Yet a leader who is pledged to be a peacemaker may be just what we need...
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The devil’s in the details

It seems for quite some time now that even the simple things aren’t simple. Coincidental with the onset of Covid, or perhaps stealthily sneaking in even before then, life for so many of us has been more challenging than usual. I know I’ve talked about seasons in our lives, the...
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Relationships

As a new year starts, it brings a fresh opportunity to evaluate so many aspects of our lives. We start with hope of leaving behind that which holds us back – unhealthy eating, judgmental thinking, entrenched opinions, unhealthy lifestyle choices, and perhaps the one most...
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Out with a bang!

As 2020 comes to an end, at least for me, it is going out with a bang! We’ve shouldered together a year of challenges ranging from the quite personal to global. As we’ve processed together we’ve marveled at the universality of our experiences, be they history repeating itself or...
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Hope – Part 2

I doubt anyone can disagree with the statement that this has been an unusual year in so many ways. I do not want to put to words the many challenges, all of which made almost unbearable living in the grip of COVID-19. On the other hand (as Tevye would say), perhaps we are ending...
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Hope

This Shabbat encouragement was written a year ago and is as timely now as then as our first Nor’Easter of this season hits just as last year’s did at this time. Surprisingly also, this week’s headlines, though slightly different from last year’s, still cry with the challenges we...
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