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Monday, August 24, 2015
Elul 10 - by Sam Silverstein
As I look towards the High Holidays I find it important to take some time to reflect on what it is I actually believe. It’s very easy to say, “I believe this,” or “I believe that,” but in looking at my actions this past year I find it critical to connect the dots between what I have done and what I say I believe. “Do my actions align with my beliefs?”
If I say that I believe in what is written in the Torah then how are those teachings showing up in my actions. If I say I believe one thing but my actions tell a different story then I must ask, “What do I really believe? Am I being honest with myself? Am I being honest with the people around me?” These can be tough questions and the answers may be unpleasant. It is in this process that I have the opportunity to really discover what I believe and how I am living my life.
The actions we take are always based on a belief. We treat people the way we treat them based on what we believe about them. If we see someone as “less than” or “different” because of the way they dress, if they have tattoos, body piercings or are educated more than or less than ourselves, then we will treat them differently. When we change what we believe, then we will change our actions. If you want a different result then it goes back to changing beliefs. That is the foundation.
Additional questions we can be asking are, “What do I believe about how my family should get along? What do I believe about my commitment to the community? And, the big one, “What do I believe about G-d?”
Spending time thinking about what we really believe helps us better understand our actions, puts us in a position to grow and allows us to continue on or change direction as we go into this most holy time of year.
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