Saturday, July 22, 2017

Av: Restoring Love

Dear Friends,

We mourn the loss of those who died in recent terror attacks in Israel, the most recent being this past Shabbat, when three family members were murdered during their Shabbat meal in the town of Halamish. We pray for the speedy recover of one of the family members who was seriously injured. 

Soon, will be Rosh Chodesh Av, which begins Sunday night, the 23rd of July, and lasts for one day.

On the 9th of this month – Tisha B’Av – we fast to commemorate the destruction of the First and Second Temples.

Last month, we focused on removing hatred. This month, we will focus on the next step: Restoring love by apologizing and helping others.

Consider if you may have caused someone distress, by what you said or did. If yes, commit to apologize to them as soon as possible.

In addition, each day of this month, consider checking off on your checklist if you did an act of kindness; it can be something small. If the day is coming to a close and you have not yet done an act of kindness, ask yourself if there is someone you can call or email, who would appreciate that you reached out to them. At the very least, put some money in a charity box. Do not let a day go by without doing something for someone else. As the Sages teach, (Ethics of the Fathers 1:14), “…If I am [only] for myself, what am I?”

The topic of not wronging others is discussed in, “What is Your Number One Spiritual Stumbling Block?” 

The topic of apologizing is discussed in, “Repairing Our Mistakes: How to Ask for Forgiveness.”

Questions for the month:

“Who can I apologize to?” (And make amends if applicable)

“Who can I help?” (Some examples: Giving emotional, financial or physical support, advice, or helping someone find a job, a spouse or a needed resource.)

May God bring the redemption soon and turn this month into one of rejoicing.

Yaakov

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