Recently I asked you to believe me that anyone can make good on their past, remember … I am the Spiritual Gangster. I am the Holy Thief. I am an ordained Rabbi and I am flawed. This Blog is about Redemption and it is about Truth. This week was Yom Kippur, a time for true reflection - and it is as important to continue to take stock thereafter.
Without Truth, we can’t be redeemed. This is an Eternal Truth. Our Entire Bible points out the flaws and redemptions of our heroes. Beginning with Adam continuing on to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Samson, King David, all of them made errors and then redeemed themselves through T’Shuvah and Tzedakah and T’Fillah. They were confronted with the Truth of their actions and they could admit their errors.
The question for us, American Jews, Israeli Jews, is: How do I be more afraid of hiding than of looking bad? In our society we have tried to fit in, assimilate, acculturate and still look good. We have spent millions on being in the “In” group, the power people. Yet, we haven’t lived like our Ancestors, we have hidden from God, from others and from ourselves. Rabbi Hillel asks the question, IF NOT NOW, WHEN?
The world is in need of Redemption. Our country is need of Redemption. Israel is in need of Redemption. Our Jewish Communities are in need of Redemption. We, as individuals are in need of Redemption. The only way is to do a Chesbon HaNefesh, an accounting of the soul. This is an inventory of where we have missed the mark and where we have hit the mark. Where and when we have been Holy and where and when we have been profane.
In conclusion, for this month, I am challenging each of you as well as myself to make sure that these days after Yom Kippur are reflections of the work we did on Yom Kippur. This is the work of transparency, authenticity, openness and love for self and others. It is the work of building communities that help the needy be self-sufficient.
It is the work of being a Spiritual Gangster, going up against our toughest enemy, our own Ego’s. May all of us enjoy this year of being one grain of sand more of our true selves each day.