Friday, August 20, 2010

PREPENT5771 Day 11 8.20

High Holy Days Journey with Amichai Lau-Lavie: 40 ways in 40 days to find your focus


40 ways in 40 days to find your focus: High Holidays Virtual Journey with Amichai Lau-Lavie:

I used to pride myself on having no enemies, nobody on my merde-list. Sadly, that is no longer the case. I have no big enemies (that I know of!), no big fights, but there is some tension and distances where once was warmth and friendship, due to discord over this or that, ideological differences, money, love. The usual. Some cases I've been wrong. But where am I to blame? who should I apologize for? or request an apology or explanation from?

If I were to die on Yom Kippur, just 29 days away, what’s the unfinished business I want to deal with? Making peace with others, when possible, is one such item. Forget the ‘religious deadline manipulation’ - how much happier, lighter, can this make me? What’s the weight lost when old fights and grudges are dealt with? Ten days into the 40 days journey is time to step away from the deep looking in the mirror and look around. Sure, there’s plenty I need to improve in my own life – my body, mind, money matters, home and garden – in order to feel better, happier and more balanced, but what about my relationships? Where is the unfinished business in my ‘people’ file?

The Jewish tradition teaches that no Divine forgiveness is possible if one had not resolved the pending issues of strife, in some way, with the person/s involved. The dirty laundry has to be dealt with. It’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it – and nobody else can or will do it for me.

So, deep breath, it’s time for the address book. This exercise, starting today, is going to be the focus for the next few days. A-Z, family, friends and colleagues or co-workers – where should amends be made? Who gets a Happy Jew Year card with “Love” signature and who gets a ‘can we talk?’ note? What am I capable of dealing with? Any emails in your draft inbox that have sat there too long, waiting for the perfect pitch and courage to be sent? Or maybe it’s a phone call, or a visit. Today, day 11, I want to start small – and spend Shabbat thinking about this more.

Before going to the address book – make a list of 5 people with whom some check in is required. The first 5 that come up – off the top of my head. Just five. That’s all for today.

Emerson writes about this perfectly: “Count from yourself in order the persons that have near relation to you up to ten or fifteen, and see if you can consider your whole relation to each without squirming. That will be something. “ Shabbat Shalom

PS. I did my 20 min. workout last night at 1am, when the day’s work was done. I called C. to report, and E. responded also – took on the 20 minutes daily commitment and emailed me this morning to report her first jog since age 3. Human chain of commitment: It helps. Join?

Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas as we move forward and, as always, you may find more information about our High Holy Day services by visiting,


1 comment:

  1. Amichai, I am enjoying this daily encounter with you and, by extension, myself.

    Here's a metaphor to chew on: Truth & Reconciliation Commissions. What truths about myself (failings, ways I've let others down, shortcomings, insecurities) am I willing to own up to? And how do I go about the business of reconciling me to myself after confronting those (often uncomfortable)truths?