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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Lecha L'cha - Get going from within yourself...

We all know the verses from Genesis in which Abraham is instructed by God to "Lech L'cha," go from here, your land, your birthplace, the home of your parents and go to a land that I will show you.  When Abraham set out on the journey, he also took on great risk.  Ultimately, the "land" that God would show him wasn't just land like ground, but it was also that ability to look within and find trust and guidance.  

Abraham set out on this journey of self-discovery.  Simon Jacobson, in 60 Days: A Spiritual Guide to the High Holidays, writes: 
'Your land' represents the first level of subjectivity - the influence of society, community and peer pressure, which affect us in deep and profound ways.  We all want to be liked and accepted by others, and we adjust our behavior accordingly. 
The 'home of your parents' represents parental include, which can be so subtle that we don't even recognize it.  Often, we don't realize how deeply the attitudes of our parents permeate our own attitudes and behavior, for better and for worse. 
'Your birthplace' represents inherent self-love.  Each person is blinded by his or her selfish interests; no one is immune from that. 

Jacobson is not saying that we must ignore or reject the things that we've learned from our communities, our parents and ourselves - rather the opposite: to become aware of and in tune with these influences is the key to understanding their role in our lives in a conscious way.  

Jacobson suggests: 
Select one significant event of the past day and identify how your reactions and behaviors were shaped by the three levels of subjectivity named above.

We are all searching - for something.  Our searching is sacred, our discoveries are hopeful and healing. Elul is the time to take that sacredness and apply it to our hearts and minds. 

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