By way of preface:
The "Jewish Spirituality" mailing list is an outgrowth of several conversations in which people told me that they felt "alone" in their quest to develop their relationship with Gd. I knew they weren't alone, just from my own interactions with other people, and so I extended an invitation to the Jewish community of Rhode Island to join in a weekly mailing list exploring issues within their relationship with HaShem.
Many of the messages posted on the list reflect people's personal struggles and sensitivities. As a result, some of the people who post remarks on this list opt to do so anonymously; they send me the e-mail, and I drop their names. The list is "blind cc'd," as well, so that no one knows who else is on the list. Our goal is that the members of this list should draw strength and inspiration from the words of their peers, and thereby continue to develop as Jews.
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Jewish Spirituality - Volume 11 / 7 Iyyar / May 12
Re: Home is where the heart is?
Subject: Re: Home is where the heart is?
By: Elaine Saklad
>Subject: Home is where the heart is?
>Does anyone have advice on turning my home into a more "spiritual" place?
I think that this is what we're all struggling with on this list... I wish
I had a great answer, because then I wouldn't have this problem, either :)
I liked what Rabbi Torczyner wrote before Pesach:
>He [Rav Klonimus Kalman Schapiro] wrote that our spiritual sensitivity to
>Gd's presence, and to His relationship with us, is like a muscle - it must
>be exercised, or it atrophies.
Towards that end, I have a few suggestions that work for me, when I do them:
1. Keep listening to music and reading books that get you feeling "closer
to your soul". It seems that the more we do these things that affect us,
the easier it is to keep the feelings going.
2. Learn Torah and doven. I find that emotional things (such as music and
emotional books) will help get me started, but things like learning and
dovening will sustain me longer.
3. Surround yourself with other people that are interested in developing
their spirituality. The more you think and talk about spiritual matters -
learning, mitzvos, etc., the more you'll feel G-d's presence. There are
several people in town that I always like to speak to, because they seem to
be really in touch with spirituality (I wouldn't be surprised if at least
some of them are reading this!)
4. Try to involve your family - sing with them, learn together, make
Shabbos and Yomtov meals into spiritual occasions.
I think it's difficult work, but when it goes well, it's extremely
satisfying. No matter what else I'm doing, it feels important when I'm in
a spiritual frame of mind. This email list is really helpful to me,
because it gets me thinking about spirituality itself on a regular basis.
I'd love to hear other people's ideas on this topic...
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