Sunday, October 26, 2014
Teshuvah (Return), Tefila (prayer), Tzedaka (charity).
All month these words have been in our conversation, in our community and are a part of the centering that comes with the new year.
Teshuvah is a type of repentance, it is an act of returning to, going back to, and rediscovering.
I love this word. It is actually my son's middle name. When he was born, he ushered into our lives a time of returning and renewal, both spiritually and between my husband and I. We contemplated ending our marriage that year. We were sooo off kilter. We needed to be recentered, like pottery on a wheel. If the clay is off center, it spins wildly out of control.
My parents have a friend, Mike Rozell, he is a potter, he does this performance art thing with clay and wheels, while his wife sings. It is pretty cool. (many youtube videos). My favourite part of his routine is when the clay gets of center. It starts smal, and soon is wildly out of control, flailing about, can cause injury.
That was how we felt. We needed teshuvah, returning and repentance.
How we got there? Tefillah, prayer and fasting. Tefillah is more than just prayer as well, it is attaching or clinging to. I hate fasting. But there is something holy and like a deeper giving, a sacred seriousness...an act of letting go, changing focus, that comes with fasting. I TRY to Fast 1 day a week. I did this more faithfully when we were praying for Sean and Sarah as they battled his cancer. Since his death, I feel a little lost in it. Sean's death did shake certain aspects of my faith. Were those days of fasting wasted? Nope, not one. So I am trying to recommit to fasting, because those days I pray with more focus and less distraction. Less focused on ME.
Tzedaka- Giving back, like the other hebrew words layers of meaning. Righteousness, Justice... So giving and also not focusing on...ME!
This year we are not planting trees in Israel or doing some of the regular things, but as a family we try to give back, and I need to do more giving of myself. Not just the easy giving of things I don't want anymore. I read this article : America, stop giving your crap to the poor! Ok, it is funny and true! We do give the out of style, worn out and down right ugly stuff away to the "poor".
I want to give the good stuff away.