Tuesday, August 18, 2015

#BlogElul 4: Seven Things I Understand About My Soul

Here are seven things I understand about my soul:
  1. My soul is pure. As we recite in the morning liturgy, Elohai, n'shaman shenatata bi t'horah hi. My God, the soul You have given me is pure.
  1. My lifelong eagerness to please and my aversion to risk live in my soul.
  1. Also rooted there is a reluctance to admit my true feelings -- sometimes even to myself.
  1. My fear of failure -- sometimes paralyzing -- also lives in my soul.
  1. My soul sings and dances to klezmer music and to Yiddish and Israeli folk songs.
  1. My soul gets bruised every time I miss the mark -- with gossip, impatience, indifference, laziness, stubbornness, untruths, and the many other Al Cheits with which I batter it throughout the year.
  1. It is a constant struggle to protect my own soul from battery -- by me and others -- while not bruising and abusing the souls of the people I love and hold most dear. Understanding this struggle -- and working year-round to maintain a balance -- may be what it means to be a good Jew.
Inspired by Ima on (and off) the Bima,this #BlogElul post is one in a series marking the days of the Hebrew month of Elul, which precedes the Jewish High Holidays and traditionally serves as a time of reflection and spiritual preparation for the new year.