Posted by Rabba Sara Hurwitz
Today is the opening day of Yeshivat Mahara”t, a day I believe, that will go down in history. It is the first program open to Orthodox women that is willing not only to train, but to ordain women as spiritual leaders— as rabbinic leaders— in the Orthodox community. This is the message that I hope to impart to the inaugural class:
At the conferral ceremony just a few months ago, where I became a Mahara”t, almost everyone who rose to speak declared with joy, “zeh hayom asah Hashem, nagila v’nismacha vo.” This is the day God has made, let us rejoice and be glad on it. And it truly was an inspiring moment, a day to rejoice and be glad. But for me, this day, today, September 10, 2009, 21st day of Elul, 5769, carries far more import. This is the dream that I have been waiting to see come to fruition. It is the dream, to quote this week’s parsha, of “kulchem:” “Atem nizavim hayom kulchem lifnei Hashem.” You are standing today, ALL of you, before God.” Kulchem includes all people, elders, officers, men, women, and children all standing together to accept and be included in God’s covenant.
The Alshich, a Biblical commentator living in the 16th century in Safed, notes that everyone—kulchem, were standing “equally in the presence of the Lord, simultaneously.” What an idyllic image, where one’s gender or status was irrelevant; for men, women and children, old and young, rich and poor, alike were standing together, in partnership before God.
Women’s learning and leadership has made tremendous strides over the past century. This space, this place that we are sitting in now, Drisha Institute for women, has been on the forefront of fortifying and nourishing women with knowledge, courage and confidence to become Jewish scholars. But, we cannot stop there. The time has come, the day has come, for women to transform their knowledge into service, to be able to stand together, with our male counterparts, as spiritual leaders of our community. And not because women should have the same opportunities as men – although they should – and not because women can learn and achieve on par with men – although they can. But because women, as Jewish leaders, have so many singular and unique gifts to offer, so much to contribute to the larger Jewish community.
So let us not let this day pass by without taking a moment to acknowledge and celebrate how much we have actually achieved, and to look forward to the achievements and milestones to come.
4.24.13 at 9:29 am | Over the past two weeks, I received many. . .
3.23.13 at 10:19 pm | Are things perfect? No. Could things be better?. . .
3.7.13 at 7:29 pm | Further argument in favor of the importance of. . .
3.1.13 at 9:48 am | In fact men and women are very different and we. . .
2.28.13 at 1:13 pm | This one is in our hands.
2.26.13 at 11:56 pm | Is the moment that we've been awaiting for 300. . .
12.3.09 at 12:12 am | (14)
1.18.12 at 3:33 pm | It was suggested that I put the entire letter I. . . (7)
1.2.13 at 10:01 am | (7)
September 9, 2009 | 3:17 am
Posted by Rav Yosef Kanefsky
When we conjure up the typical profile of a “religious person”, one of the qualities that leaps to mind is temperance. In some religious traditions – not ours – this quality dictates the severe discouragement or outright prohibition of any alcoholic consumption at all. In many other traditions – including ours – temperance means careful moderation in consumption, as the state of drunkenness that would otherwise result is incompatible with the state of Godliness. Beginning when Aharon and his sons were forbidden to drink while on duty in the Temple, and continuing through Nachmanides’ oft-quoted characterization of drunkenness as the antithesis of holiness (see his commentary on “You Shall be Holy”, Leviticus 19:2), our religious tradition presents us with the assertion that we may enjoy the presence of God, or the buzz of inebriation - but not both. They simply can’t occupy the same mind simultaneously. And since we are told to stand in God’s presence at all times (shiviti Hashem l’negdi tamid), drunkenness at any time is a sacrilege. Ibn Ezra likened habitual drunkenness to heresy (see his commentary to Deuteronomy 21:20). Rabbi Yosef Karo, writing in his Bet Yosef, ruled that drunkenness is prohibited even on Purim, for “drunkenness is an absolute prohibition, and there is no greater sin that it…” (Siman 695)
Tragically though, drinking, well beyond the simple “l’chaim”, has become something of a pastime among many males in the Orthodox community. Contributing to the nature of the tragedy is the fact that much of the drinking is specifically taking place under the guise of religious activity. The OU’s highly publicized recent campaign against shul-based “Kiddush clubs” provides ample testimony to the wide-spread nature of the phenomenon. Simchat Torah has somehow become synonymous with excessive alcohol consumption, in willful ignorance of what is allegedly being celebrated. And the drinkers seem to get younger and younger with each passing year.
This is tragic for many reasons. It disfigures and distorts religious life. It introduces the high statistical likelihood that the children of these men will also begin to drink. And it testifies to the troubling reality that many of our community’s men are enjoying little to nothing in the way of authentic religious experience. When davening itself (or learning, or acts of chesed) makes you feel good, it doesn’t occur to you to supplement your experience artificially.
While the Hasidic movement has contributed many great things to mainstream Orthodoxy, the contribution of “religious drinking” – rightly condemned by non-Hasidic scholars as thoroughly foreign to us – has been a disaster.
For the sake of the children, for the sake of the families, for the sake of God and the Torah, don’t smile and pretend that somehow it’s all harmless. Don’t wait till God forbid, something unspeakably terrible happens.
September 8, 2009 | 8:29 am
Posted by Rabbi Barry Gelman
There have been a number of interesting reactions to my call of orthodox Jewish groups to support universal health care. Two themes have emerged: 1. Most people are covered by insurance they pay for, other enjoy Medicare or Medicaid coverage and those who are not in these categories do not deserve coverage. The logic goes something like this. If one cannot afford coverage it is because they have made bad life choices and therefore should not be bailed out by the Government. 2. Religious groups need not enter this discussion, as it is a political issue and not a religious/moral issue.
As for #1, I put this under the category of cruel and misinformed. There are millions of people (growing in this economic recession) without health insurance simply because they cannot afford it and are still not covered by any Government plan.
I wish, however to focus on reason #2; the claim that the health care debate is a political issue and not a religious/moral issue. Nothing could be further form the truth. Put simply, when human life is at stake and when the less fortunate are at a disadvantage and when there are ways to make it better – it is a religious/moral issue. This is the very definition of a religious/moral issue and our tradition is full of calls to make sure that the most vulnerable are cared for.
One of the highlights of my week is the teaching I do for the Florence Melton Adult Mini School. THE FMAMS is the world leader in adult Jewish education and they have created a powerful model of adult Jewish education across the country.
In preparing for my teaching I came across the phrase “citing God against God”, coined by Emil Fackenheim.
One very good example of this is when Abraham challenge God about His decision to destroy Sdom. After hearing God’s plan, Avraham cries out: “Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked….shall the judge of the whole earth not do justice?”
Another popular reason given as to why Jews need not come out in favor of universal heath care is based on the complexity of the issue in terms of the ultimate cost of universal care. After all, what will become of research since so much funding is generated based on the current system. “Won’t small business be burdened by crippling costs?”
These are important questions and they should not be ignored, but they should not be the cause for the end of the discussion. After al, the Torah does not record Avraham weighing the “costs” of saving Sdom. He could have hesitated to argue with god, reasoning that saving Sdom for the sake of a few tzaddikim would mean the continued existence of evil in the world and a reprieve for those who did not deserve it…but he did none of that. It is not that the details are unimportant; it is that it is the duty of the religious person to make sure the world keeps their eyes o the ideal.
The willingness to challenge God has become part and parcel of Jewish tradition.
In his book, Arguing with God: A Jewish Tradition, Rabbi Anson Laytner highlights this idea that appears frequently in Chassidic literature.
One of the best-known practitioners of this is Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev, one of the early Chasidic leaders.
Rabbi Levi Yitzchak once summoned a tailor and asked him about an argument he had with God. The tailor said: “I declared to God, ‘You wish me to repent my sins, but I have committed only minor offenses.” I may have kept leftover cloth, or I may have eaten non-kosher food, or not blessed my meal. But You, O God, have committed great sins: You have taken babies from their mothers and mothers from their babies. Let’s call it even; may You forgive me, and I will forgive You.’”
After listening intently, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak rose in anger and said, “Why did you let God off so easily? You might have forced God to redeem the whole world!”
Perhaps more well known in is the kaddish of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak:
Good morning to You, Lord of the world.
I, Levi Yitzchak, son of Sarah of Berditchev, am coming to You in a legal manner concerning Your people of Israel.
What do you want of Israel?
It is always, “Command the children of Israel.”
It is always, “Speak to the children of Israel.”
Merciful Father! How many people are there in the world?
Persians, Babylonians, Edomites!
The Russians, what do they say?
Our emperor is the emperor.
The Germans, what do they say?
Our kingdom is the kingdom.
But I, Levi Yitzchak son of Sarah of Berditchev say:
Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name.
And I, Levi Yitzchak son of Sarah of Berditchev say: I shall not go hence, nor budge from my place until there be a finish
until there be an end of exile—
Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name.
Judaism has never accepted the position that we could sit back and let events unfold without a struggle to make things better. Any act of chessed that one person does for another is essentially a rebellion against God. After all, God made it one way and we, with out kindness and good will, desire to change the reality. Surely, if we can speak out against God’s plan we can speak out about social injustice.
This is why it is so important for Orthodox Jewish groups to enter the discussions about heath care. Not doing so is “un-Abrahamic” and ignores a tradition of speaking out on moral issues.
September 6, 2009 | 10:16 pm
Posted by Rabbi Asher Lopatin
Many of you know that my wife and I, and our four kids, plan to make aliya in the summer of 2011 to a new town being built 20 minutes north of Beer Sheva, Carmit. The vision for Carmit is that it should be a diverse, pluralistic town eventually growing to over 10,000 people, with affordable, quality, environmentally sensitive housing. We want to attract Americans, Anglos and Israelis, datti’im of all stripes and chilonim of all stripes – just as long as people are willing to live happily in an open-minded and non-judgmental community.
My plan is to be a community rabbi in this town, to be a Rav Kehilati of a shul that reaches out to all Jews, and believes in actively programming for the community and creating an environment of togetherness and growth. There is a new appreciation in Israel, especially amongst rabbanei Tzohar, that the shul has to be a welcoming place for everyone in the community, not just the regulars or those who feel that have to come to find a minyan or a place to hear Torah reading. I want to be part of that new trend. A group of us in Chicago, including a wonderful couple Dan and Rosie Mattio – and their young baby – have formed a non-for-profit called CIPF (Chicago Israel Philanthropic Fund) whose mission it is to bring Americans to Israel by creating diverse and pluralistic communities. If you want more information see the web site: CIPF.org.
Already, without even starting any official publicity, we have over 35 families – from just out of college to retirement age – who have expressed strong interest in moving to Carmit. We hope that Carmit becomes a cultural, educational and religious destination in Israel – perhaps the pluralism capital of the Holy Land. I sincerely hope that the environmental groups in Israel welcome Carmit because the type of people moving to Carmit are excited about sustainable, green living and will be the best advocates Israel has for caring for the environment. Likewise, I hope that Carmit is seen as a friend of the Jewish and Arab population – especially the Bedouins – of the Negev, because we truly will be: we will be the advocates for all populations of the Negev, and we have already had ideas about how to reach out to Bedouins nearby, to Ethiopian Jews not too far away, and to the students who are part of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, who are eager to engage in social action.
Carmit, just one hour from Tel Aviv (by train) and a bit over an hour from Jerusalem, will God willing be a town representing the best of Avraham and Sarah’s open, welcoming tent and will provide a model for Jews and human beings all over the world of how to live together in harmony, learning from each other, respecting each other and benefiting from diversity and different ways of being descent human beings.
September 4, 2009 | 1:28 pm
Posted by Rabbi Hyim Shafner
The Rambam writes in the Laws of Tishuvah (return) about this season before the holidays that, “All people should see themselves as half guilty and half meritorious, if they do one sin now they tip themselves and the entire world with them to the side of guilt and cause destruction, if they do one mitzvah they will tip themselves and the whole world with them to the side of merit and will cause for themselves and the world return and saving…Because of this the Jewish people are accustomed during this time of year to give much charity, and increase their kind deeds and mitzvoth. (3:4)” I have always felt that this expressed a beautiful tension within Judaism. On one side this notion puts a great deal of pressure on each individual, on the other hand each individual is infinitely significant.
In contrast around this time of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we may be inclined to see ourselves as sinful and lowly, as nothing. As we say on Yom Kippur in the viduy (confession), “Dirt am I while alive, certainly in death…” My favorite High Holiday piut (liturgical poem), which is said on Yom Kippur at the musaf service speaks I think to this dilemma and conflict.
“Vi’avitah Tihilah” -“You Desire Praise”
“Your awe is upon the angels, who are mighty and exalted, who dwell in beautiful heights.
And You desire praise from those stained with sin, passing shadows who dwell below — and that is Your praise.”
The human is both, a combination of Godly spirit and dirt (Genesis 2:7); the highest and the lowest. In infinite irony, what God-the-Highest truly desires is the praise of the lowest — humans; and not from our Divine image identity but from our sinful, fleeting, creaturely selves. Precisely on Yom Kippur, the day on which we are most prone to feeling like sullied failures, do we have the most potential, precisely from our lowness, to meaningfully praise the Highest.
September 2, 2009 | 10:26 pm
Posted by Rabba Sara Hurwitz
Elul is not only the season of teshuvah. It’s also the season of love! Ani l’dodi v’dodi li. I am my beloved and my beloved is for me ( אֲנִי לְדוֹדִי וְדוֹדִי לִי). It is the season of weddings. I spend quite some time each summer preparing couples, the chattan and the kallah for the wedding day. The focus, of course is on the laws of niddah—the code of laws of “separation” between husband and wife while she is menstruating, and for seven days following.
But, over the years, I have come to realize that focusing solely on the 2 weeks where a couple are restricted, sends a negative message about Judaism’s view on marriage and sexuality. And so, after carefully going through the halakha, (Jewish law) with each couple, I spend one session on “envisioning a healthy Jewish sex ethic.”
Let me begin with 2 images of a marital relationship in the Torah: Adam and Eve, and Moses and Tzipporah.
The Torah in Genesis 1:24 says:
על כן יעזב איש את אביו ואת אמו ודבק באשתו והיו לבשר אחד
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall be one flesh.
“basar echad—one flesh,” according to Ramban means that a couple becomes one flesh, in both a physical and emotional realm. This places sex at the center of the marital relationship.
The other image, of course, is Moses and Tzipporah. After starting a family, Moses chose to separate from his wife to achieve greater spiritual heights. As the only person who would see God face to face, he could not imagine remaining married.
So which model prevails?
Both mentalities—the Adam and Eve model on one hand, and the Moses and Tzippora model on the other hand, found their way into Jewish practice. There is a strand of rabbinic literature that teaches that sexuality is central to a healthy, committed relationship, and a strand that teaches that sex should not be the focal point of ones relationship.
The Talmud (Nedarim 20a) teaches that Rabbi Yochanan ben Dahabai, preached that married couples should limit their sexual practices, and value asceticism. Marital relations should not be for the enjoyment of the couple, but rather solely for procreative purposes.
But, the Talmud in Nedarim (20b) continues. After quoting the lone ascetic opinion of Rabbi Yohanan ben Dahabai, the gemara quotes the majority, common held position that places no sexual restrictions on a couple in a committed loving relationship.
And yet, not all communities could embrace this open view on sexuality. The Ger Chassidic community, for example, believed that being meticulous in the keeping the laws of nidadah as well as limiting ones sexual practices would usher in the messiah. So, the community became entirely insular, creating schools, yeshivot, and social opportunities, so that their community members would not have to step into the real world. But, women had no interest in marrying Ger men, for their marriages tended to be void of love and compassion.
In response to this crises, in 1973, Rav Yosef Kanievsky (the Steipler) wrote quite a lengthy and explicit letter as a polemic response to the Ger Chassidic community’s ascetic sexual practices. He writes:
If as a result of this (ascetic approach) he does not fulfill (lit. nullifies) the tiniest bit of his Biblical obligation, then his actions go to the Other Side, God forbid, and he will not achieve the paths of life. Although he might think that he is rising to great heights, but in truth deep inside of him is buried a desire to consider himself a person of spiritual heights, while in fact he damages others and is himself damaged, and frequently his actions lead him to shame….”, but God forbid for one to act in an ascetic manner when it pains his wife, who is dependant on him and who has not given a remission with a full heart on what is her due.
He goes on, on the other hand,
One who engages in physical intimacy and touching and the like for the sake of heaven, because he is compassionate and does not want her to be in pain and miserable, this does not bring him in any way to a weakening of his fear of heaven or to a descent into pleasures (hedonism). To the contrary! It brings him to holiness, and he fulfils a Biblical mitzvah of “You shall walk in His paths” – just as He is compassionate, you too must be compassionate.
Rav Kanievsky is merely emphasizing that sexual fulfillment when consensual, is central to a healthy and happy marriage.
Now, you may be wondering how I can so freely write about such a sensitive and intimate topic. The truth is, I speak to many women and couples who are struggling in this realm. And very often there is so much pain and embarrassment revolving around their marriage, that I realized how important and central talking about the importance of sex within marriage is. I began dedicating a session to teaching couples about sex as part of the curriculum for preparing them for marriage. And the Modern Orthodox community in general is beginning to see the importance of teaching and helping couples deal with very intimate aspects of their lives.
Two years ago, I helped organize a conference, sponsored by Drisha, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, and JOFA, where we brought together 15 kallah teachers from around the country and Isreal. We spent four days teaching these women how to strike a balance between teaching halakha, teaching the laws of niddah, as well as emphasizing the importance of enhancing their marital relationships. The women were floored by the frankness and openness with which the topic was dealt with, and I think we helped break down some of the taboo associated with talking about, in the appropriate context, the centrality of sexuality within marriage.
In recent years Tzelem, has been formed; created by YU alumni Jennie Rosenfeld and Koby Frances, who identified a need for an honest examination of sexuality and gender relationships in the Orthodox community.
And, I hope in my own small way, with the help of specialists in the field, I have give couples permission to explore and ensure that their marriage is not void of physical and emotional fulfillment.
September 2, 2009 | 12:39 am
Posted by Rav Yosef Kanefsky
Reading the book of D’varim (Deuteronomy) can be a tumultuous experience. These last few Shabbat mornings have been roller coaster rides, as the sacred text has repeatedly ascended to lofty ethical heights, and then without any particular warning, has seemingly plunged into territory that is ethically jaw-dropping.
On one Shabbat morning we were urged to cleave to God who “upholds the cause of the orphan and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him bread and clothing”, and on the next week we were commanded to completely obliterate any town in our midst whose inhabitants are discovered to be engaged in idolatry, “destroy it, and everyone who is in it.” Minutes later we were enjoined to “open [our] hand to the one who is in need”, were forbidden to harden our hearts toward the needy, and were even required to extend loans that will likely be canceled by the Sabbatical year before we have a chance to recoup them. But when we came back to shul a couple of weeks after that we were told that – within certain parameters – it is permissible to seize a woman captured in war, and take her to wife without her consent. We then held on tight as we scaled the inspiring twin peaks of the command to treat even our animals with sensitivity, and God’s declaration that dishonesty in commerce is an abomination. These in turn were followed immediately by the command to kill any and every Amalekite, now and forever, wherever we may chance upon them.
Not surprisingly (I hope), the Torah’s ethical “highs” continue to shape our practice of Judaism to this day, while the jaw-droppers have uniformly all fallen out of practice. The Rabbis of the Talmud in fact insisted that the law of the idolatrous town (as well as the command to stone a rebellious child) were never intended for implementation at any point, and are recorded in the Torah as hypotheticals, recorded for academic purposes only.
Yet, the lingering questions are large and unavoidable. Do we, or do we not, consider the Torah our ethical code? Do we, or do we not, regard God as the source and paradigm of moral behavior? If we have been ethically cherry-picking for the last couple of millennia, what are we really saying about the moral integrity of the Torah - and of our God?
I’ll here offer three thoughts that admittedly only serve to get the conversation started. One, is that as tempting as it may be to simply ignore these questions, we would be doing so at our considerable peril. To have no response at all is either to implicitly concede that we are no longer actually practicing Judaism, or, at the other extreme, to have to accept the propriety of practices that are beyond the pale of widely accepted moral behavior (Other examples would include the holding of slaves, and the possession of concubines.)
The second thought is that the Torah itself presents conflicting sentiments about some of the jaw-droppers. Our father Avraham distinguished himself as righteous precisely when he objected to the collective punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah. The apex of Moshe’s heroism comes when he does the same (twice) on behalf of the children of Israel in the desert. God Himself seems to do this after the flood. To seize and attempt to marry a women against her will would place one in the company of Pharaoh and Shechem, who respectively took Sara and Dinah, are who are not remembered well for this. In the narratives of Tanach, polygamy and concubinage are invariable presented as troubled situations, best avoided. The legal sections of the Torah spend much more time discussing the laws of how and when to free Hebrew slaves than it does on the laws of maintaining them. In short, Tanach conveys multiple and sometimes contradictory messages as to the standard of acceptable moral behavior, presumably reflecting a genuine sense of internal conflict, and implicitly encouraging further discussion as the generations unfold.
And finally, a corollary of sorts to the previous thought, morality is a moving target, and we have always known this. (How long ago was inter-racial marriage considered immoral?) Talmudic sages severely limited the practices of arranged marriages for minor daughters, levirate marriage, and the use of capital punishment, all on moral grounds. They couldn’t have thought that the Torah, or God, were less moral than themselves. But they knew that as humanity develops and changes, so do moral standards. God spoke at one time. We live – and are commanded to live morally – at another. We turn to the Biblical mitzvah to “do the right and the good” as the North Star which guides our journey into and through times of intellectual and societal change.
These are broad, general thoughts about a set of questions that has an infinite number of particulars. They are questions that many would like to avoid altogether I know, and that some readers will wish I had never brought up. But in various ways, they are questions that we have been asking forever, because we know that these are the precisely the questions that have enabled us to continuously blaze our trail toward holiness and moral piety. To avoid them, or to offer apologetics in response, is a certain way to ascend to the perilous edge of a moral abyss.
September 1, 2009 | 11:31 am
Posted by Rabbi Barry Gelman
Sounds like strange advice. Let me explain.
According to Rabbi Solovetichik there are two kinds of Teshuva (return). One type of Teshuva calls for a complete obliteration of the past. “Certain situations leave no choice but the annihilation of evil and for completely uprooting it. If one takes pity and lets evil remain, one inexorably pays at a later date an awesome price…Repentance of the individual can also be the kind that requires a clean break, with all of man’s sins and evil deeds falling away into an abyss, fulfilling the prophecy, “An thou will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19). Not only are the sins cast into the depths of the sea, but, also, all the years of sin – ten or twenty or even thirty years of the sinner’s life. It is impossible to sift out only the sins and leave the years intact.
Many have experienced this feeling or the desire to erase parts of our life. We feel nothing good can come out of those particular experiences or memories. We blot out the memory completely. We may be so successful at this that we really cannot remember the event even if asked about it or reminded of it. This type of Teshuva is useful and neccesary in certain situations.
There is another type of Teshuva. Says Rabbi Soloveitchik: “…there is another way – not by annihilating evil but by rectifying and elevating it. This repentance does not entail making a clean break with the past or obliterating memories. It allows man, at one and the same time, to continue to identify with the past and still to return to God in repentance.”
On one level, this is very simple to understand as a person who sins is able to redirect the passion to sin in a positive direction. Sinning actually uncovers spiritual forces within a person. A repentant person has the ability to sanctify those forces and use them for good. Again, in Rabbi Soloveitchik’s words: “…I am not a different person, I am not starting anew; I am continuing onward, I am sanctifying evil and raising it to new heights.”
There is a more radical understanding of this idea. In Halachik man Rabbi Soloveitchik talks about a “living past”. Psychologically, the past can be kept alive and changed.
Rabbi Chaim Navon, in his book Ne’echaz B’Svach, offers an analogy of two people who were in a car accident. One of them may decide never to get back on the road, while the other becomes a driving teacher in order to rain a new generation of careful drivers. They had the same experience – but the affect of that experience differed greatly between them.
The person who swore off driving had a dead past – a past that set up the future.
The person who became a driving instructor has a live past – a past that is defined by the future. This person’s past is defined by decisions of the present.
Living a life of dead pasts is depressing as we look back on life and see it littered with mistakes, troubles and regret. Such a life is a fleeting moment as the past is gone, the future has not yet arrived and the present is like the blink of an eye.” Such a life feels feeble as we cannot get a grip on time.
A life with a “living past” is uplifting and exhilarating and allows us to control time – all of time. Such a life recognizes the inner strength of a person to redirect their life. Such a life empowers us with the joy of knowing that God believes in our ability to sanctify past deeds. Such a life makes us masters over our entire life, not just what we do now or in the future, but what we have done in the past.
So, I come back to where I started. Do not let a goo sin go to waste. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. The worst mistake of all is letting the past define our future instead of the other way around.