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Monday Motivation: Using This Time to Make Amends

My friend Rabbi Davidovich shared a thought on the Torah portion for this coming week, and it triggered some thoughts of my own. I’ve included a few [explanations] for those who aren’t familiar with Jewish scriptural terms.

“Acharei Mos-Kedoshim[*]. The first Aliya [reading] of this week’s Parsha [portion] spells out the procedure of Yom Kippur in the Beis Hamikdash [Temple in Jerusalem]. Of all the unusual elements of the day, the most spectacular is the fact that the Cohen Gadol [high priest] could enter the Kodesh Kodoshim, The Holy of Holies. Think about what that means; a place that was off-limits all year round was now all of a sudden allowed to be entered, as atonement. The Torah is telling us that a relationship is stronger after the opposing sides have made up from a fight then it was when everything is just fine and good. Our relationship is stronger when it has been mended, just like a rope is stronger when its two broken pieces are tied together in a knot. Mull that over. Have a good night.”

* – We read the Torah/old testament sequentially through the year. Chapter and verse numbering was introduced MUCH later, and originally portions were known by their name (which was the first significant word in the portion). So this coming week we read 2 portions back-to-back – the one that starts with “Acharei mot” and the following one that starts with “Kedoshim”

(Leon here) So here are some thoughts that

I keep on wondering how many of us will take the opportunity to make up and fix the relationships around us:

  • With people we saw daily but disrespected;
  • with entire groups / classes of people we looked down on;
  • with communities we viewed with un-concealed mistrust, fear, or loathing;
  • with the earth itself.

And how many of us will take this time (alone or nearly so) to make up with ourselves.

  • With the ways we have not measured up to our own expectations,
  • or with the the impossible expectations we placed on ourselves and then berated ourselves for not living up to;
  • with the ways we continue to punish ourselves for past indiscretions,
  • or for simply being who we were at the time – whether that was young, or naieve, or unsophisticated, or undisciplined.

So many opportunities. And far more useful than that tweet about coming out of this quarantine with a skill, or a side hustle, or a knowledge.

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