Sunday, December 27, 2009

Will Tomorrow Ever Come? by Aliza Davidovit

The year 2009 is now being deferred to history as 2010 is about to be discovered. As with the first page of a school notebook, the first week of a new year, or the first day of a diet, we cannot help but be filled with optimism and the desire to reset our behaviors when the chance to be a “new you” presents itself. Yet it is not long into the week that our neat handwriting that marked an optimistic beginning yields to scribbling; it’s not long into the year that yogurt yields to cheesecake and that our gym card becomes as lazy to get off the couch as we do.

As we look through Time magazine’s lists of 2009 that reflect on everything from the people of the year to the worst gaffs, scandals, feuds and breakups, it’s hard not to wonder how things went so wrong. How could Governor Sanford disappear to Argentina with a mistress and think he’d get away with it? How could a clean-cut guy like Tiger Woods be such a yutz? How could no one see what Bernie Madoff was up to? How could uninvited guests gallivant right into the White House? How could it be decided that 9/11 terrorists will stand trial in a New York court? It would have taken a Disney stretch of the imagination at the onset of 2009 to predict all the troubles and trauma that kept us on our toes and out of jobs in the past year.

The question is why do we keep getting ourselves into trouble time and time again even as we try as individuals, as leaders, as pop icons, to turn a new leaf? The answer came to me both in this week’s Bible reading which marks the end of the book of Genesis and the beginning of the Jewish exodus. It also came to me with the kind wishes of someone who said, “Hope the New Year brings you great things.”

It is upon that wish that I realized how troubles brew. For what I noticed by going through Time magazine’s epic failures of the year, is not what 2009 brought to people, but rather what people brought to 2009. Einstein once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Is it any wonder, then, that if we brought to 2009 everything that we were in ’08 that nothing had a chance to get better but rather was condemned to failure? We are so gung-ho on attaching ourselves to the blank slate of what lays ahead simply because it is the easy way out: “Oh, let’s see what tomorrow brings.” But as we traverse that pristine white landscape of tomorrow we are still wearing yesterday’s filthy muddied boots. How do we then wonder how we’ve ruined this too and made such a mess?

It’s at this time of year, while making resolutions, that we should be looking to the past and scrutinizing our behaviors and cycles of weakness. I’m not suggesting we flog ourselves for our mistakes but rather we take an honest look at why they happened and set up flares and barbed wire around the things that led us astray. The new you that you desperately seek will not be found in the health club membership card, it will be found inside of you. We know academically that nations who forget their history are condemned to repeat it. The same logic applies to our personal lives.

In this week’s Bible reading, the last of the patriarchs, Jacob, dies. But before he passes away, he gathers all his sons, the future 12 tribes of Israel, to bless them. Jacob, however, knows that in order for his sons to have any chance at a healthy future they have to take a reckoning of their past. In his last breath Jacob scolds those who sinned and points out their faults, their flaws and their misbehavior, as well as their strengths—it’s hardly a touchy-feely Hollywood goodbye scene. He does not accommodate their weaknesses in one everything-will-be-okay- happy-go-lucky blessing. The custodians of the future need to know “what” and “why” they did things wrong in the past and then fix it. Yesterday is not something to run away from like a mugger wanting to take everything away from you, it is rather a guru, a teacher, with something great to give you.

So my dear friends, as we accelerate into 2010, don’t forget to take a look into the rear-view mirror once in awhile and to leave your muddied boots on the doormat that read “2009.”

This blog is dedicated to all my Facebook friends. May God be with you always and Happy New Year!

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tell Me Who Your Friends Are? by Aliza Davidovit

On a daily basis we are bombarded with an enormity of information. Facebook, Twitter, texting, emails, 24-hour-news cycles, etc. What we don’t realize, perhaps, is how this barrage of overfeed continually attempts to define and influence who we are. Each byte is competing to shape our thoughts, instigate our emotions, and capture our attention as did some over-possessive childhood friend who always tried to tell you what to do. He was the friend your parents advised you from hanging out with because in his company you always ended up in trouble.

In today’s information rage, we also obsessively cling to certain media and sites as an entertaining companion who is there for us day or night. Rarely do we stop and ask whether these are “friends” with whom I should be spending time? Do you ever find yourself posting something especially harsh and uncharacteristically “you” because the peer pressure on whatever side of the political blogosphere you’re on is rooting you on? Have you ever found yourself becoming too friendly online, as a married person, with someone of the opposite sex? Have you ever spent too much money shopping online because you’ve been lulled into a mindset of needing?

These unguarded moments can accumulate and soon that statement you posted gets you into trouble, maybe even costing your job. That woman at the end of the send button soon invites you for more than a chat. That online spending soon leads you into unsustainable debt. These are the ways of the Serpent, our evil inclination, who never comes dressed as a snake anymore. Today he comes dressed in a miniskirt, in an irresistible sale, in many subtle forms that tweak us ever imperceptibly out of Eden.

How many of us were deeply bothered by President Obama’s affiliation with Reverend Wright and other individuals. Were we just condemning the reverend’s anti-Americanism, or were we instinctually feeling that if you sit long enough in the pew, you’ll come to share the view.

Thus it is for good reason too that the Talmud cautions us to “keep away from a bad neighbor” even if your morals are antithetical to his and you think that you can withstand the influence of his evil ways. Remember that evil has been around a lot longer than we have and that it is an unabatable fire with the sole mission of scorching your soul. Remember always that when you play with fire you get burned. You cannot spend your days in a fish store and come out smelling like roses.

We learn in the Biblical story of Joseph, that day after day the wife of his Egyptian “boss” would make sexual advances to him. Reared in a pure home, he continually spurned her advances not wanting to sin against God. However, the Zohar teaches that Joseph almost yielded.

Thus it comes as little surprise in this week’s Torah reading that Joseph advises his father and brothers to tell Pharaoh that they were shepherds, a trade which was despicable to the Egyptians. As such, Pharaoh gave them a place to dwell outside of the city’s hubbub, where idol worship was rampant. Joseph wanted to keep his family far away from any possible bad influences.

No person is strong enough to flirt with a situation or environment over and over again and leave unscathed. Thus, it is essential that each person scrutinize his surroundings and friends, as well as the things he reads and the habits he feeds. For every single thing in your life is a like a sculptor’s chisel shaping the person you become. Stand vigilant so that the best of you is not being chipped away.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Lights of Faith by Aliza Davidovit

The Sun’s not coming out today.
Would you come out on a day like this?

The temperature has dropped. It’s freezing outside. The leaves have abandoned the trees once again. And the gray chilling skies make the outdoors evermore uninviting. The sun seems to have absconded as well like a fleeing accomplice to all that has brought darkness upon this great land: the flailing economy, the unemployment rate, the federal debt, the housing crisis, a divisive Congress and the unprecedented uncertainty about the future. It appears to be the winter of our greatest discontent. Doom and gloom has replaced the optimistic morning dew and is choking our spirits and setting us into further depression and despair. It becomes easier day by day to become apathetic and adjust our eyes to the darkness instead of searching for the light and creating new light.

Yet, I urge everyone, even if the sun is not coming out on a day like this, YOU MUST. Interestingly, it is at this time of year, in fact this week, that the nights are longest and darkness seems to prevail as the sun goes to bed early. But it is also the most precious time of year as both Jews and Christians celebrate their holidays of lights with brightly lit Christmas trees and the glow of the Chanuka menorah. Each is a symbolic lesson to us that in the blackest of times, we must be the ones responsible for bringing light to our world and our lives. These holidays of lights are a priceless metaphor that light triumphs over darkness (and it always will).

Orphan Annie was right, the sun will come out tomorrow, but today create your own sunlight. It takes just a single flame to dispel much darkness. If you’re feeling miserable, put on some makeup and make yourself look pretty, if you’re a woman. For a man, shave and go to the gym; you will feel better. If you’re feeling antisocial, go give a few dollars or a cup of coffee to a homeless person--your spirits will be lifted. If you’re feeling depressed, start singing the happiest song you know. Undoubtedly you will crack yourself up, and if your voice is as good as mine you make crack a few mirrors too. You cannot get out of a black hole by entertaining the darkness but rather by seeking the light.

In this week’s Bible portion we read about Joseph. One day he was the beloved favorite son of Jacob; the next day his brothers sold him into slavery; the next day he rose to great prominence in Egypt; the next day he was thrown into jail; the next day he was the most powerful man in Egypt under Pharaoh. The rollercoaster of his life had bigger highs and lows than the 456-foot high Kingda Ka joyride at Six Flags Great Adventure. Nonetheless, he rose from the snake-filled pit into which his brothers cast him to great power, prestige and prominence. And the Bible teaches us something very interesting about Joseph’s attitude throughout. The dungeon to which he is condemned is called in Hebrew “Beit Hasohar,” the “house of light.” Even in the depths of a dark dungeon, Joseph maintained his faith in God, he remained optimistic and hopeful and he created his own “light.”

Yet just as abruptly as Joseph’s problems came upon him, they left him with equal speed as he was beckoned to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams.

My friends, the trials and hardships inflicted on man are limited. Just when a person least expects salvation, it is just around the corner. There is a season for everything in our lives, even a winter of discontent. The things we want most usually hit us by surprise as if God is trying to remind us, again, that our blessings come from Him no matter what else we may think.

Indeed the world stage and our personal stages appear pretty bleak these days. Many people even feel it may be the end of time. I prefer to think in terms of a great new beginning. We can learn from Joseph and our beautiful holidays of lights to never yield to the darkness of despair but rather to have faith in almighty God and trust ALWAYS that the darkest hour is just before the dawn.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thou Shall Not Envy the Dude with a Hot Wife Or His Donkey by Aliza Davidovit

We all seem to know some lucky “undeserving” idiots who seem to have it all in life--that obnoxious brother-in-law, your sister, the neighbor, or that guy on TV. And as we compare our own lot in life to theirs, it’s hard not to be jealous when our assets are in bubkes and theirs are in billions or when they are so “hot” and we are just not. How often has the little green-eyed demon, jealousy, whispered in our ear? “If I only had what they have I’d be happy.” Unfortunately, jealousy is often not an inspirational coach that motivates us to improve ourselves as much as it inspires us to ruin others.

Interestingly, the tenth commandment--“You shall not covet”--is the only one that deals with our thoughts and desires, not our actions. As such, it is a commandment that if broken can only be known by God, He who can read hearts and surely knows if you are lusting after your neighbor’s ass[ets]. But this commandment is deemed the most important of all because it is the root of all evil. If jealousy and coveting are nurtured, they will lead to a violation of ALL the other commandments. In the name of jealousy all the ills of the world were born in Eden.

When I was a young girl and would tell my mother I wish I had this girl’s dollhouse or that one’s bicycle, even though we were not religious my mother would always say in Yiddish, even though she is French, “zindik nisht,” which means “Do not sin.” And then she would add, “You never know what another person’s luck is!” (Somehow wisdom spoken in other languages seems to have more gravitas.)

As always mother knows best. She was right. Up until last week everyone envied Tiger Woods. He had a picture-perfect life. But we always forget that life is 3D, not a flat picture. Then there was the double-D beautiful Marilyn Monroe who was so envied, yet all her blessings ended when she died at the age of 36. James Dean, too, had everything to live for and then died at 24. The same is true of Lady Diana, Elvis Presley, JFK and JFK Jr. And while they lived, how many of them were truly happy and how many had sunk to the depths of despair?

Millions of people once wished they could have changed places with the above individuals when it seemed their lives were dreams come true? But time has shed a truer light on their stories--which have proven to be more nightmarish than dreamy. Did you ever wonder what those people would have given to be you?

Before you start envying someone else, have you really accessed everything that God gave to you and developed it and worked on it and turned it into greatness? Or do you lazily watch life go by and envy everyone who has the temerity to get off the couch and be all they can be.

Indeed, there is nothing wrong with healthy competition or having role models-- that’s what leads to excellence and innovation. But each man has his own lot in life. It is said that on a person’s Day of Judgment before one’s Heavenly Maker, we will not be asked why we weren’t as great as others were but rather why we weren’t AS GOOD AS WE CAN BE!

In this week’s Bible portion, we read about Joseph and his brothers’ jealousy. That jealousy led to a plot to kill him (until they decided to throw him into a pit instead). His brothers were so busy looking at Joseph and hating him that they forgot to look at themselves and their own immense worth. They were the future 12 tribes of a blessed nation, of God’s chosen people. Each was destined for greatness and named at birth prophetically for his own unique qualities that he would bestow on humanity. Each tribe was ascribed his own month hence the 12 months of the year; each had his own influence corresponding to the 12 astrological signs. But instead of putting their focus and energy on how high they could go and how important they were individually, they decided to “dig” a pit for their brother which, in the end, THEY fell into.

Friends, there are two ways to augment yourself in life: one is by digging a diminishing ditch for others, the second is by building a meaningful platform for yourself. If you choose the former you become a coward, if you chose the latter you can become a king. You cannot rise by bringing others to their knees, but rather by getting off your own.
This blog is dedicated to:
Lev lalev girl's orphanage in Israel (help make their Chanukah special) AND to
The Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (help make their Christmas special)

Doesn't matter who you help, but please reach out and help someone during this holiday season of lights and candles and brighten somebody's life.

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

All About ME by Aliza Davidovit

“ME,” “MYSELF,” and “I” are popular words in this age of narcissism. Where as once pagans killed people to worship gods, today we’ve killed God to worship people--OURSELVES. Consistently, upon the altar of self-deification, we have sacrificed the better part of us: compassion, morality, integrity, courage, charity and family, our history, the present and the future. And it is not the sweet odor of incense that hovers in the air as decency burns, but the stench of corruption, greed and mercilessness. As congressmen and senators serve special interests for self-aggrandizement and political survival, as Wall Street cooks the books while trusting investors risk losing all they have, as the news media panders to power instead of holding it accountable, the building blocks of our civilization are crumbling. Every day it becomes evermore easy to say, “Who cares about anyone else? I have to look out for myself.”

For many years the media and our culture have been nurturing and marketing to narcissism. Every advertisement we see today seduces us with promises of how to glorify the self to find happiness. Use this toothpaste you’ll have the nicest teeth; buy this car and you’ll get all the girls; use this mascara and bat your lashes to success; drink this Red Bull and you’ll have more energy to be a narcissist. But the problem is, it is ALL bull. I don’t remember seeing an ad that said, “If you want to be beautiful, don’t just use Revlon, but be a kinder more charitable person, it will show on your face.”

And today’s new generation is worse than we are. They are growing up with a sense of entitlement and are being nurtured in a cocoon of self-interest that takes nothing and no one else into account. Their apathy is the brazen garb they so fashionably wear.

It is little wonder then that things are falling apart if people think the world revolves around them instead of realizing that the whole world depends upon them.

In this week’s reading of the Old Testament, we read about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, societies where people cared only for themselves and were heartless and callous toward others. Their profound egotism and lust for easy gratification led, as it always will, to self-destruction. It is written that they were so corrupt that even the earth cried up to God to step in which is ironic because the earth is the most selfish of creations as it is surrounded by a gravitational field that pulls all things toward itself. Yet even the earth is not so selfish that it begrudges the flower and the tree to grow upward and the seedlings to sprout. In the final analysis, the earth gives much more than it takes. Do we?

In the center of the biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah stands the Patriarch Abraham, who asks God to spare the city if even fifty righteous people could be found. God said he would. Abraham slowly tweaks the number down to ten in case fifty could not be found. God consents. But we learn here not only about the failings of Sodom and Gomorrah, but also about Abraham’s, and Noah’s too. When God told Noah he was going to destroy humanity, Noah didn’t say a peep, he just built an Ark. When God told Abraham he would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham’s best was to suggest that God should spare the righteous. But, when God told Moses that he was going to wipe out Israel because of the sin of the Golden Calf, Moses said, “Please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.” Moses does not separate his fate from those of his people. He didn’t build an “ark” for himself, but was ready to go down with the entire ship—his nation. That is why Moses is regarded as the greatest prophet in Jewish history. His ego was nowhere to be found.

As today’s crises escalate, we too cannot ask “Will it be okay for me?” The only question to ask is, “Will is be okay for US?” If you have checked off “no,” then it is imperative that right now, at this moment, you do something to make a difference. Fax your congressman, protest loudly, cry as loudly as did the earth so that God and everyone in between will hear you.

Commentator Glenn Beck from Fox News is correct in principle. It took 56 great men to found this country, and now he’s looking for another few good men to re-found it before it’s too late. Unfortunately, God won’t speak to us to validate how many are needed. What if we can’t find 56 good men, just as Abraham couldn’t find 50 righteous men? Let us say we can only find 40, or 30 or 10. Or just let’s say it takes more than 56 men and women to save this great land. Will you, my friends, be among them? Or has our narcissism already turned us into pillars of salt as we watch everything we love and lived for destroyed from sea to shining sea?
By Aliza Davidovit

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Measure of a Man by Aliza Davidovit

Who are you? Do you know? Are you the fancy car you drive? Are you the wealth you amassed? Are you the title on your business card? Are you the designer clothes you wear? The answers may seem simple, but they are not. If one by one all your status symbols are taken away, when do you stop being you? “I can’t live without my Blackberry,” “I can’t live without my laptop,” “I can’t live without my I-Pod,” “I can’t live without my plasma TV,” are all sentences we’ve heard from those we know. Or, get into a conversation with a stranger and within five seconds they ask you what you do for a living. We have all become so impressed by external trappings that we come to mistake those things for who we really are. By our affiliations, titles and possessions, we convince ourselves of our own greatness.

But buried under all these materialistic decorations, titles and idol worship, do we really know who we are without them? Perhaps not! Statistics show that when the economic collapse hit in 2008 therapists couches, as well as the National Suicide Hotline, were busier than ever. The housing crisis hit, the Nasdaq plummeted; Maddoff scammed people out of billions, and landmark financial institutions disappeared or crashed. And so, at the end of 2008, without their jobs and materialistic securities which had come to define them for so long, many found themselves facing an identity crisis. The time had come to ask the hard question, “Who am I?”

In this week’s Biblical reading, God tells the Patriarch Abraham “Lech Lecha” which translates as “Go to yourself.” The Almighty then gives him directions on how to get there: “Go FROM your country, your birthplace and your father’s home.” God’s roadmap to “self” seems odd. Aren’t the familiar backdrops such as country, birthplace, and home the very things that make up a person’s sense of self? Many of us in our own lives return to the place we grew up in order to get in touch with who we used to be. But God is telling Abraham the complete opposite here. If you want to “go to yourself” and to know who you really are, then you need to unbury yourself from all the fake things you’ve allowed to define you. Make no mistake, Abraham’s journey was not one to find God--he was already aware of God’s omnipresence. Abraham had to go find HIMSELF through the trials and tribulations of his journey on foreign terrain. He had to discover whether the pressures he encountered along the way would crush or corrupt him, or fortify him and show the measure of his moral mettle.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said that the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Yes, the economic crisis may have taken away much of what we have, but don’t ever think for one instance that it took away who you are. In the final analysis, we are not what we “collect” in this lifetime but rather what we give away. Our good deeds, our kindness, our charity, our compassion, our integrity, are still the greatest currency we have, and they are “market proof.”

A few days ago I asked my 2000 friends on Facebook if there is anything beneficial about what is currently going on in this country. My personal answer is, “In a way, yes!” For the first time in a very long time we are forced “to go to ourselves’ and rediscover what we stand for, who we are, and what we care about. In the age of plenty we were so busy giving Generation Next what we didn’t have growing up that we forgot to give them what we DID have: decency, appreciation, respect, a work ethic, patriotism and all the things that make a people and nation great, not on the surface but at the core.

Don’t forget, the greatest people in history left us not golden treasures but pearls of wisdom and a legacy of love. Moses, Mother Theresa, Jesus, and Gandhi bequeathed humanity much more than bank accounts. The patriarch Abraham ended up being a very rich man, yet the trust fund for his descendants has long expired but not his moral compass or the light and compassion he introduced to the world. As Abraham went on his journey “unto himself,” he realized it wasn’t about him at all but rather about all the others we encounter along the way. In giving instead of taking, you discover the true meaning of what is valuable and come to evaluate your own worth in much more meaningful terms.

My dear friends, I am not knocking ambition in life, but one’s title and net worth are not the true measure of a man. You have so much more to offer. If times are rough, do not be embarrassed or feel diminished. DO not be ashamed of your status in life, but rather, as Horace Mann once said, “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”
This week's blog is dedicated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the global leader of the fight against breast cancer.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Did God Have a Home Depot Card? by Aliza Davidovit

by Aliza Davidovit
How fascinating it would be to look through God’s tool belt to see what he used to create the world: a hammer? a screwdriver? a measuring tape? But it turns out that God didn’t have a Home Depot card or a power drill, but rather created this world with the most powerful tool of all, WORDS. “And God SAID ‘let there be light,’ and there was light (Genesis 1:3).” And each consecutive creation He called into existence through words.

The snake too used words—and convinced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit and basically smooth-talked mankind right out of Eden.

So from the very beginning, we see that words have the power to create and to destroy. We therefore have a tremendous responsibility right on the tips of our tongues.

In Judaism, talking bad about people, is regarded as a very serious sin which can ruin lives. It’s rationalized that if you steal someone’s watch (or goat) you can always pay him back but such is not possible for stealing one’s reputation. A Talmudic tale tells it best.

There was a man who regretted gossiping his whole life and went to his rabbi to see how to correct his sin. The rabbi advised him to take a bag of feathers to the top of a mountain and to throw them to the wind. The man did as he was told and then returned to the rabbi with a big smile. Upon greeting the man, the rabbi advised him that in order to fix all the damage he had done with his tongue he now had to go back and recollect all the feathers. “That’s impossible,” the man cried. “The feathers have blown in all directions and can never be collected.” The rabbi turned to him and said, “So, too, with your words.”

Thus half of our duty is to guard our tongues. But,the other half is to do the complete opposite. Talk as much as you can to get the truth out. We live in a world today where the snake has raised its poisonous head once more and is again spewing lies. And we, the children of Adam and Eve, cannot let the lies stick and must fight back word for word.

Thus, when we see wrong doings in our government or confront the likes of Ahmadinejad or rogue leaders and terrorists, know that our silence acts as the cement for their evil house of lies. If only the Israelis better resisted the WORD “occupied territories” maybe the reality on the ground would be different today. But their Palestinian opponents fought harder and won the word war.

We have only to look back to Hitler to see how powerful words really are. Hitler did not begin his war against the Jews by sending them to gas chambers. He began it with hateful talk, and then those words grew legs and the storm troopers went marching on.

We must bite back at every sound bite. The next time someone seduces us with slogans such as “change we need,” we better seek the definition of “change” so that we are the ones who choose the vocabulary which shapes our lives.

With blogs, diggs, twitter, texts, Facebook, and IM’s, we are evermore empowered, thus evermore duty bound to get the truth out there, not by gossiping, besmirching, and slandering, but by informing, educating, and illuminating--and passing the right words along.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

God and Partners, Ltd. by Aliza Davidovit

God and Partners, Ltd.

“I hope this new year brings me better luck”; “I hope this new year brings me peace”; “I hope this new year brings me the love of my life,” are all hopes I’ve heard from many close to me as the Jewish New Year is coming upon us. But as JKF once said: “It’s not what the new year can do for you, it’s what you can do for the new year.” Okay, he didn’t say that exactly but you get my point.

To begin with, in Judaism, the year is not referred to as a “new” year but rather the “head” of the year. It’s for a good reason. Just as the head of a person gives directives to the rest of the body, so does the energy, prayer, meditation, and repentance we infuse on the holidays give direction to the year ahead. It is like a time release capsule, and how we fill it will determine what is diffused throughout the rest of the year. That is why we are cautioned against sleeping too much on Rosh Hashana, because we don’t want to sleep away the entire year to come. That is why we eat sweet things as well, so that the year ahead will not be embittered but rather pleasing and savory. That’s why we pray, so that we will be granted mercy and blessings. But the better luck we seek for the New Year will not materialize if we allow our feet to lead the way instead of our HEADS. The Hebrew word for leg is “regel,” which is related to the Hebrew word ragil meaning “like usual.” If we conduct our lives “like usual,” by way of habit, letting our feet lead our heads instead of the other way around, then we can never effectuate the change we want to see.

Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting a different result. Indeed, praying to God and His participation is definitely necessary for any success we are to have. But long before corporate law came along to create legal partnerships, God made us partners in the creation of our own destinies. God named man “Adam,” which means “earth,” for a good reason. Each is replete with potential but needs to be cultivated to bring forth the fruit of their seed. Man is a participant in his own creation. In Genesis it is written that God said, “Let us make man.” Who’s the “us”? Did God need a partner? The answer is yes, and we are that partner. There are some of the more arrogant breed who try and dismiss God completely and say God helps those who help themselves believing their efforts alone bring success—but they, too, are wrong. With all the self-help in the world, if God does not bless your efforts, they will be for naught. Through repentance, prayer and charity we can earn God’s favor and find that He isn’t a silent partner after all.

So as you enter Rosh Hashana, I pray that you enter it with your head first, with clear decisive goals as to how you can change and be better and do better. It’s your future—BE THERE!

I dedicate this week’s blog to the Levlalev Orphanage in Israel.