Posted on Sep 14, 2017 | 0 comments

WHOSE SHOULDERS DO YOU STAND ON?

This is the final week of the month of Elul, the Hebrew month before the Fall Feast Days of the LORD begin… Can you feel the change of the weather? Can you sense the excitement in the air? I know I can!

prodigal-sonDuring this final week it is customary to begin reading the Selichot prayers. These are penitential prayers and poems that lead us further into examining our hearts and seeking forgiveness from those we have wronged, and seeking reconciliation from those who have wronged us. Whether reconciliation and forgiveness follows our attempts is not the only goal in sight.  It would be ideal and a perfect world if reconciliation and forgiveness always went hand in hand. However, that is not always a given. But it mandated by the scriptures for EACH OF US to go out of our way, get out of our comfort box and extend the olive branch to our brother/sister.  Then, we can rest assured that the Holy One Himself will deliver it into the hands that He knows will also be reaching forward. We are simply to take that first step. The ball is always in our own court!

What gives us the strength to do this? Why do we think we can do something that seems so difficult and so far out of our comfort zone?  It comes from the shoulders that we stand upon. Does that surprise you? Think about it for a few minutes. Whether you agree with your parents, your grandparents, or your great grandparents – or whether you even know them – it is because of their efforts that we are here today, able. It is because we stand on the shoulders of the generations that went before us, that we can see just a little bit further.

Those good deeds, those mitzvot, live on forever and become a part of us – you might even say it is our inheritance.  All of what has gone before us – the good, the bad and the ugly – is part of our upbringing. Some may call it generational curses … I don’t. To me, it is simply the journey of life that has gone on before me and that I am intimately connected with. The good, the bad and the ugly. It is my job, no – my obligation – to examine each one of those characteristics or traits that are attached and walk with me and determine which ones will continue to live with me.  It is up to me to choose whether to change, to modify, to eliminate some of those traits – or I can simply choose to blame someone else and go on my merry way.

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Most of us do not know our distant ancestors, nor have we been told their accomplishments or failures, but one thing for sure, one accomplishment that is totally obvious, is that YOU are living proof of that accomplishment. YOU ARE HERE and you can make a difference in the succeeding generations!

The Creator of you and I and all that there is – only asks us to do that which we are capable of. He asks us to do whatever we can that is in our power to do. Each of us have a part in this journey called life…it is called restoration of the body. By doing our small part in helping to heal and restore we bring the world a little bit closer to redemption. Don’t let this season fly past without you doing your part!

Ask yourself: Do you believe that you can extend an olive branch to someone you have wronged….or to someone that you feel has wronged you? Draw upon the strength of your ancestors – the ones who crossed oceans and took a leap of faith in the unknown.  That lives on within you.

Exercise for the day:   Determine to reach out to someone whom your heart is heavy for and needs to be repaired. Mediate on the good in that person and change your perspective so that you can view them as the Father in Heaven views each of you….as His children. Now, don’t let that moment escape – reach out!

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