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.
If you would like to join the list, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jewish Spirituality - Volume 25
The Spirituality List
The Spirituality List
By: Elaine Saklad
I was one of the people that had been posting, and then stopped. I felt uncomfortable being one of the only people posting - in the beginning, there were more of us, and it was great, but then it got down to a just a couple of people. I felt like I was talking too much... I'd love to give this another shot because I really got a lot out of it in the beginning. I really hope that this time more people participate, because everyone has something to contribute; it doesn't have to be long or involved, but the more people and viewpoints, the better.
I've been thinking a lot about spirituality, with Rosh Hashana coming up this week. I've been learning Mesilas Yesharim over the past few months (not something that I thought I'd ever do, but it was suggested to me that I learn with someone once a week, and the person I asked really wanted to do Mesilas Yesharim). It's going great... The thing that impresses me the most, I think, is that someone like Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato seems to have had some of the same concerns as we all have. He writes about things like keeping motivated to do mitzvos, not being lazy, but keeping the feelings of enthusiasm up. He also has a plan for how to get there - step by step, but keep working at it. We've only gotten through the first 2 steps (there are 12, I think), but it's already making a difference in my life.
I wish everyone a kesiva v'chasima tova, and hope that we can all continue to learn from each other, and grow together.
Subject: Keeping Focus
By: Scott Spiegler
A good and a sweet year and G'mar V'Chasimah Tovah to everyone on this list!
One question I have been working on is how to integrate what you learn prior to yuntif (really, any yuntif for that matter) into the experience of the day itself. In other words, I had spent time preparing for Rosh HaShanah during Elul. I was inspired by many things that I learned and wanted to have them in mind and comunicate certain specifics to G-d in my davening on those days.
But, I find with all the activity and tefillah and shofar blowing, I tend to lose sight of those things that were important to me, because I am focused on what is happening in the moment. And, it goes without saying that the overall themes of what I am wanting to recall are being addressed by the davening. However, I really would like to find ways to remember and bring up these things in my own personal way as well.
So, one problem is how to remember them all together on yuntif. The other problem is- if I can manage to remember them, where is the appropriate place(s) to talk about this with G-d and how?
I really would appreciate hearing specific, practical ideas on this.
Good Shabbos, Scott
Subject: The Spirituality List
By: Scott Spiegler
> A Discussion Group?
> Mordechai Torczyner
> The bottom line is that this list needs your thoughts. "Jewish
> Spirituality" shouldn't be about receiving an email translating a passage
> from a book every Friday morning.
Yes, I fully agree with you on this.
> Jewish Spirituality is about each person developing a relationship with
> HaShem, and using his/her own
> experiences to edify others in their own relationships with HaShem.
Yes, and even though each person will have a highly personal way of approaching and doing this- there are, as in any area of one's life, generalizable issues that we can all benefit from. And, even within a specific approach or technique, there are people whose makeup is similar enough to yours that they would benefit directly from hearing your thoughts.
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