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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Where I Am Going This Year?

Yom Kippur is only a few days away. We have 10 days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur to get in that really hard set frame of mind where you really set yourself up for success and change in the coming new year. For me, I have really seen that in the past couple of years, since I graduated from college, I have really let my spritual and Judaic intellectual side corrode a bit. It started out that I had gone to a Jewish college, where I continued learning a dual-curriculum of Judaic and regular studies. I had been learning Judaic studies since Kindergarten, so I felt that when I graduated, I was due for a break. So, that's how it started.

Of course, habit makes routine, and when you break a habit, you replace it without something else; good or bad. I relaced my habit of learning Judaic studies with embracing myself with secular studies. I began studying politics, military strategy, forensic psychology, etc. However, there was no yang to this ying. I didn't supplament the physical with the spiritual. I was all in one and none in the other. I feel spiritually depleted. I noticed it starting around the time of the Disengagement, and I noticed I was at rock bottom with my anger and desperation with the world over the past couple of months. It has gotten to the point where I've said to myself that if and when Iran decided to nuke Israel, G-d wouldn't stop it, and I just hope I'm in the initial impact zone, so I die quickly.

That's when I stopped dead cold. That's not ME!! I never used to be so pessimistic about life and the world. I have always been an optimistic believer. That's when I realized it. My spirtual strength, my spiritual gas tank is totally empty. I have just wasted it all and my reserves in the past 2 years. I know the normal New Year's Resolution is to lose weight, and I certainly have that, but I need to excercise my spiritual muscles as well. I mentioned this already, but I have become even more convinced of the fact that I have lost touch with G-d. I have developed this "I don't care" attitude about the normal things I do. That's just not ME! When I keep Shabbat, I'm thinking that "I'm not getting anything out of this. I really wish I could just turn on the TV already!" That's horrible. I feel terrible, because I know on the theoretical and logical side what I can and am supposed to get out of keeping Shabbat. However, on the spiritual and emotional side, it's just not there.

I have to fuel my spiritual car. Why do I say car? Because, one of my favorite Rabbis used to say that "G-d can't drive a parked car". If you're not willing to put the car into drive and start moving, then G-d can't help you get started. If you're not willing to put in even the minimum amount of work to get your life moving, then just sitting around and waiting for G-d to do it for is going to do nothing for you. I've noticed that that's what I've become. I've just parked the car, gotten out, and just left it in the parking lot. It's time to get restarted.

Where are you going this year???

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At 12:04 AM, Blogger Yoel.Ben-Avraham said...

You have an open invitation to come recharge your batteries (or gas tank) in Shilo! Although Shabbat in Jerusalem was always special, Shabbat out here is totally RESTFULL and yet there are plenty of opportunities for meaningful social / philosophical interaction!

Yoel Ben-Avraham
Shilo, Benyamin

At 2:52 AM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Well, I, too have some goals. I really want to get in good shape in all three respects - body (started slowly going back to the gym), mind - reorganize my thoughts, concentrate on my studies, but also pursue other interests), spiritual (I was never very observant, but now decided to at least start with the holidays), and social - develop social skills, get to know people better, work on personality issues. That's a huge number of longs, but I have a long year ahead of me! Good luck with accomplishing yours!

At 4:18 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Thank you, Yoel. I may just take you up on your offer.

Irina, I am trying not to look at it as a year thing. I'm trying to look at as something that is a life project that I get to do year by year. You know what I mean? That way, it doesn't seem so insurmountable.

At 2:34 AM, Blogger M. Simon said...

Military study is spiritual study. Because, the moral is predominant in war.

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

simon, that is very true, but I haven't opened a Jewish book in almost 2 years, so I feel deprived. You know what I mean?

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Shulila said...

On spirituality and filling up your car's tank:
Hi, from one Ola to another, I just fell into your blog, got caught on watching the trailers, and again, felt the fear I usually feel when I let my consciousness be bombarded by images of hatred, specially toward—potentially—me. I lived for 8 years in Tekoa (Gush Ezion) and used to physically feel surrounded by hatred, a hatred that no doubt seeps into the bone. I used to say: “This is no way to live”, just from the vibes I would sometimes feel surrounded me (us, who ever lived there). Now, Rosh Hashana in Yerushalayim, I wonder about the new cycle, the new project: the rest of my life. Can I be creative and still go on? Will my spirituality still hold me after all the changes? Should I just ignore all that horror around me? The change has been funny, actually, in a way. My sense of humor sits now behind in my eyes, a great philter for the way I perceive things. Is laughter related to spirituality? Of course it is!! I have been writing and laughing as I go along. Before Yom Kipur I discovered the Kaparot for the first time! Did my grandfather did that to a misken animal!!??? I can laugh along with everything, innocently, not making fun of but looking at the humorous side of things. I come from Mexico,you know, I lived in a little town, and we laugh about death there, you know? and sometimes the contrasts are just too funny not to stop and have a chuckle. Thank you for your information and depth.
Shulila, Lost in the wild wild East….


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