I want to talk about guilt vs. shame.  I have always understood shame to be ‘I am bad’, and guilt being ‘what I have done is bad or wrong’. When I am bad, I have nowhere to go, I have no way of repenting, because I, myself am useless. However, when I have done something…

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Sitting in judgement, jumping to conclusions, and giving the benefit of the doubt are all areas that in certain places I struggle with, and in certain circumstances I’m able to handle favorably.  When it comes to self-judgment, I’m extremely harsh. Yet when it comes to how I want others to judge me, I want them…

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I will not reject them, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly and to break my covenant with them: for I am the lord, their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I…

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The Sages went so far as to say that the Torah commands us in only one place to love our neighbor, but thirty-six times to love the stranger. Why is this so important?! Isn’t it more important to love those closest to you? Why so much emphasis on the stranger? I think the answer is…

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Next week, we celebrate a day known as Lag BaOmer which is the 33rd day of counting from Passover to the holiday celebration of the Torah called Shavuot. The celebration is because the 14,000 students of Rabbi Akiva stopped dying; these students perished because they weren’t kind to one another. My question is, I understand…

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“Don’t worry about the state of someone else’s soul and the needs of your body. Worry about the needs of someone else’s body and the state of your own soul.” – Rabbi Levi Yitzchok I look at this statement and it tells me everything I need to know about the intention of my religion and…

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I have suffered with anxiety for most of my life, which has been both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because anxiety motivates me and gets me going. It’s a curse because it can be debilitating, and provides me with a skewed perspective as my defenses are down. The ultimate negative is when…

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How can we come to see the similarities instead of the differences? How do we figure out a way to understand that we are all seeking the same thing—safety and connection—and that it’s possible for us to coexist and find similarities, even if we really are polar opposites in terms of world views, beliefs, etc.?…

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Expectations are resentments that are just waiting to come out. However, the truth is that we all have expectations, and it isn’t at all realistic not to have them. To take it a step further, extremes of any emotion aren’t healthy, and in fact they can be deadly; it’s all about the happy medium and…

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The greatest gift a teacher can give me is two-fold; first is saying, “I don’t know, let me see if I can find an answer”, second is to admit when they were wrong and say, “I’m sorry, I made a mistake”, and a close third is sharing their own humanity.  As a child, at times…

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