Thursday, January 28, 2010

What I had for breakfast

Had a bowl of cereal and a glass of orange juice. There was a considerable interruption between the two as I got a call from someone I needed to interview for an article. Interesting thing I noticed is I said the bracha for the OJ but not the cereal, which would have been fine - I'm a one-bracha-covers-the-whole-meal kind of guy - except I had the cereal first. This got me thinking a couple of things:

1. Why am I bothering saying these prayers at all? Why bother continuing my Jewish practice at such a high level of commitment when it's not getting me anywhere? It reminded me and reinforced that I do this for myself, not to please or impress anyone else. And ultimately, that's where religion needs to happen; if you do it to please your parents, or your friends, or your rabbi (or your rabbinical school), or even God then it will not be successful. It becomes a chore, an externally applied burden, rather than part of your internal support and strength.

2. It is not required of us to be perfect; it is required that we make the attempt. God does not expect perfection, but rather expects that we will fall short, which is why repentance, forgiveness, and t'shuvah are major themes in Judaism.

3. I could only go two days without going off on some rant about Jewish practice and it's application to my life. Clearly I'm not meant to be a rabbi. :)

1 comment:

  1. I question whether we are even supposed to make an attempt to be perfect. That is a bar that none of our ancestors achived. One can be mostly good, and that is still ok.

    Shofar analogy: "All shofar sounds are acceptable." (Talmud) What is important is the kavanah, one's attitude.

    I am glad the worst is over now for you.