Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Thought on the Parasha

Feel free to download and print the Parashat Bereishit sheet and share it with your friends and family.

When the world was freshly minted and created, we heard the refrain with each act of creation, "And God saw that it was good," and that the world as a whole was "exceedingly good." Then, humans came and made a mess of everything, and a different refrain is heard: And God saw "massive was the evil of man on the earth, and all the thoughts of his heart were only evil the entire day" (Bereishit 6:5). How did we get to this stage? How did man bring evil - in his heart and in his actions - to the earth that God had made. Undoubtedly, this is the result of eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Man now knows evil, and as a result, evil has entered into the world. So God starts again. God wipes out the entire world and preserves only Noach, hoping that this time humans will choose the good. All of this, because of the tree.

What was the knowledge that the tree imparted and how did it introduce evil into the world? There are those that say that the eating from the tree gave humans free choice, gave them the ability to choose between good and evil. But if this is the case, if they did not have this ability prior, how could they have chosen to eat from the tree, and how could they have been held accountable? A more satisfying explanation is the one offered by Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch and, more recently, the philosopher Michael Wyschograd. Rav Hirsch explains that the tree did not give them the ability to choose, it gave them the ability to know, that is, to judge. Until they ate from the tree, they only knew of God's definition of right and wrong. They could violate God's commandment, but with the clear knowledge that they were doing something wrong. 

We, of course, make choices all the time that we know are wrong: Cheating on our diet, speaking lashon hara, and the like. These bad choices come from weakness of will, what Greek philosophy terms akrasiaThis is the source of much wrongdoing. But it is not the only source. For when humans ate from the tree, they began, for themselves, to determine what is good and what is bad. They gained not moral choice, but moral judgment, an ethical sensibility. Now, not only could they choose to disobey, but they might also decide that what God has determined to be bad is, in their eyes, good. They could do wrong, thinking that it was good. 

The Biblical verses bear out this interpretation. We are told, not only by the snake, but by God as well, that the tree will make the humans "like God." What is it that we know about God so far in the narrative? We know that God creates. We also know that God assesses and makes judgments. "And God saw that it was good." And what do we hear as soon as the woman chooses to eat from the tree, "And the woman saw that it was good..." (Bereishit 3:6). The tree has made them like God. Man and woman will from this day forward see, for themselves, whether something is good or evil. They will make their own moral decisions.

And what is wrong with that? According to Hirsch, what is wrong is that the moral decisions of humans will, oftentimes, be incorrect. We are not omniscient. We have our own drives, lusts, and self-interest. What about the tree did the woman see that was good? She saw "that it was good for eating, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and desirous for gaining wisdom." It is good from a self-interested perspective, from a perspective of satisfying desires, but not from a moral perspective. For Hirsch, the problem is that we might decide that something is good, when it is, in fact, bad. 

Wyschograd goes one step further. He states that even were we to judge correctly, there is a sin in making the judgment ourselves, in being independent moral agents. If we are to be in a truly faithful relationship with God, then only God should define what is good and what is bad. To judge other than God, even if we choose in the end to obey, is to have left the Garden of Eden, to have left a perfect relationship with God.

Read this way, the narrative of the first two parshiyot of the Torah is one of a fallen humankind. How much better would it have been had we never eaten from the tree, had we not known of good and evil, had we never become independent moral agents. But... really? Is this how we think of our own humanness? Don't we feel that in not having the ability to make moral judgments we are giving up a very central part of what it means to be human, of the value of being human? 

Rather than seeing the eating from the tree as a "fall," Nechama Leibowitz offers a different explanation of this newfound state. Isn't it odd, she asks, that God has placed such an irresistible temptation in front of Adam and Eve? Imagine a parent saying to a child: "I am leaving some delicious candies right here in the center of the table - you can't miss them - they are really delicious, and they will make you feel like an adult - but don't eat them. I'm only going to be gone 5 minutes. Bye." Is there really any question what the child will do? 

The sin of the first man and woman was inevitable. It was a necessary act of becoming independent, of growing up. Adam and Eve had been living like children - everything was provided, all decisions and rules were made for them, all they had to do was obey the rules. But this is not the life of an adult. And to become independent, to leave the home, inevitably some rebellion, rejection, statement of separateness will have to take place. The sin was an act of individuation, it was what allowed Adam and Eve to become adults, but it forced them to leave home, where everything was perfect and taken care of for them. Now they would have to go it on their own.

And when our children leave home, we want them to think for themselves. We want them to make their own judgments, their own decisions. Just one thing. We want those decisions to be the same ones we would have made. This will be the challenge for humans from here on in. As independent moral agents, we can make judgments, decisions, that are not as God would have us choose. But the other side of the coin is that as independent moral agents, we bring something important into our relationship with God. We bring our own thoughts, ideas, and judgments. Many of them may be bad and misguided, but some will be good, worthwhile suggestions and contributions.

The first generations after the sin tell the story of how easy it is for this independence to lead us astray. Left totally to our own devices, we will make one wrong decision after another, we will turn "good" into "bad." We continue to see, to judge, but to see wrongly, and to act wrongly. "The sons of elohim saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful; and they took as wives all those whom they chose" (Bereishit 6:2). We have what to contribute, but for this relationship to succeed, we will need more guidance. And thus, when God starts the world all over again, God formalizes our relationship and God gives us  the needed guidance. God makes a covenant, a brit, and God gives commandments. With these clear directives, with a relationship built on brit and mitzvot, it is hoped that humans, if they act like responsible adults, will be able to take a world that is good, and to build it. 

This is the complicated and complex reality in which we live as humans in a relationship with God. Even with a covenant, even with commandments, we can continue to see, to judge and to choose wrongly: "And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside" (Bereishit 9:22). Of course, because we can now think and make decisions for ourselves, it is also possible that we can introduce something new, something that God has not commanded, but that is nevertheless good: "And Noah built an altar to the Lord ...  And the Lord smelled the pleasing odor..." (Bereishit 8:20-21). 

Consider the greatest religious leader, Moshe. In the last verse of the Torah that we read just last week we are told that no prophet has ever arisen in Israel like Moshe, "for all that mighty hand, and in all the great and awesome deeds which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel" (Devarim 34:12). This verse extols Moshe as the faithful conduit of God's mighty hand and awesome deeds, as the perfect vessel for God's mission. Rashi, however, turns this verse on its head: "In the sight of all Israel - that his heart carried him to break the tablets... and God approved of this decision, as it says, "which you have broken," i.e., strength to you for having broken them!" The last image of Moshe that Rashi leaves us with is that of a leader who used his own judgment to act radically and decisively, not in violation of God's command, but certainly without God's explicit command. Here was a different type of seeing, a good type of seeing: "And Moshe saw the calf and the dancing... and he cast from his hands the tablets" (Shemot  32:19). And it was this act that was exactly what was needed at this moment. "Strength to you for having broken them."

We are adults. We can judge and choose, and we must face the responsibility of doing so wisely, with a commitment to God's covenant and God's mitzvot. And because we are adults, because we are able to think for ourselves, because we are able to innovate and contribute in the moral and religious realm as well, we have the ability not only to preserve the good of the world, but to increase the good within it.

Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Thought on Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah

Feel free to download and print the Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah sheet and share it with your friends and family.

Beginning the Torah Cycle Anew

In the coming week we will move from Simchat Torah, where we rejoice in the completion of another reading of the Torah, to beginning the cycle again with Parashat Bereshit. At this moment, it is worth reflecting on the significance of Simchat Torah, and of starting the year with a new cycle of Torah reading.

Simchat Torah is the second day of Shmini Atzeret. Indeed, in Israel the two are celebrated on the same day. In some Sefardic and Chassidic communities, the themes are also merged to a certain degree. For example, some shuls do hakafot on the night of Shmini Atzeret and on Simchat Torah. This may come as no surprise as there is certainly room for further definition of Shmini Atzeret.

The Torah makes a clear distinction between Shmini Atzeret and Sukkot - there is no lulav or sukkah - but it does not tell us anything about its historical or theological significance. All it tells us is, "On the eighth day, you shall have an 'atzeret,'" but what does this atzeret, or gathering, mean? The Targum Yonatan translates it as "an ingathering from the sukkah into the house." According to him, the nature of Shmini Atzeret is the leaving of the sukkah and the entering of the house. This is supported by the Mishna in Sukkah which states that one must start moving from the sukkah into the house on Hoshana Rabbah, just before the night of Shmini Atzeret. But why should we have a yom tov dedicated to moving out of the sukkah?

By this definition, Shmini Atzeret is a yom tov of transition. It tells us that we need to take time to focus on moving from one experience to another. We cannot simply leave one meaningful experience and abruptly put ourselves in another context. We must pause and be thoughtful about the critical moment of transition.

Sukkot concludes a profound period, one that begins in Elul and intensifies through Tishrei. By the end of Sukkot, we have gone through weeks of self-reflection, prayer, teshuva, and drawing closer to God. Our time living in the sukkah has reminded us of God's palpable protection in the wilderness, when we only had a flimsy hut for shelter. And we have realized that, even in our firm and stable homes, we only succeed in this world only because of God's help and God's protection ...

... And then it is time to move back into our homes. Will we take these messages with us, or will we soon get used to our comfortable routine and lose our sensitivity to God's presence? How will we ensure that the experiences of Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot are not quickly forgotten when the realities of day-to-day living take over? To ask ourselves this question - the first step in answering it - we need to focus on the moment of transition. We need the yom tov of Shmini Atzeret to make us realize that we are in a critical moment, and at this moment we must think seriously about how we can bring the lessons of the sukkah back with us into the house.

But what is the answer? How will we be successful in this transition? The answer is in the transition of Shmini Atzeret into Simchat Torah. What will keep us sensitive to God's presence as we enter the new year? The learning of Torah. And not just the learning of Torah, the joy of the Torah. The joy of connecting to the word of God through the learning of God's Torah. It is astounding how many psukim in Tanakh describe the joy of learning Torah: "How I love Your Torah, all the day it is my delight." Observance of halakha is the bedrock of our commitment, but if that is all that we have we can lose connection to the sense of God's presence, to the meaning of it all. Through the learning of Torah and the joy inherent in it, we can not only deepen our understanding of Torah and our commitment to religious life, but we can cultivate, sustain, and heighten our experienced connection to the Ribbono Shel Olam. It is through the simcha of the Torah that we can bring the lessons of the Yamim Noraim and Sukkot into the rest of the year.

As we begin again the reading of the Torah with Parashat Bereshit, let us all commit anew to increasing our learning of Torah this coming year. And let us devote ourselves to a learning of Torah that resonates with us, that connects us to the simchat Torah, so that we can continue to feel God's presence in our lives throughout the year.

Chag Sameach!

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Thought on Yom Kippur

Feel free to download and print the Yom Kippur sheet and share it with your friends and family: Click here: Yom Kippur

Cleansing the Temple, Cleansing our World 

"For on this day he shall atone for you to purify you; that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord." (Lev. 16:30)

This verse appears at the end of the Torah reading for Yom Kippur, when we leave all of our this-worldly pursuits behind, even food and drink, a day that is totally devoted to God, and a day we are promised atonement for our sins. The reading describes in great detail the service of the High Priest in the Temple on this day - the sacrifices, the ablutions, the burning of the incense, the sending of the scapegoat to the desert. Teshuvah, or repentance, is not mentioned as part of the service of the day. According to the verses, it is the sacrificial rites that cleanse the Temple and achieve atonement for the people.
But what is the significance of Yom Kippur when the Temple and these rituals are absent? The Rabbis of the Talmud, in their affirmation of the timeless relevance of the Torah after the destruction of the Temple, declared that in the absence of sacrifices, the day itself achieves atonement provided that it is accompanied by teshuvah (Bavli, Yoma 85b). The "he" of the verse who atones for us is no longer the High Priest offering the sacrifices, but God Himself, who provides atonement on this day to those who undertake the process of teshuvah. After the Temple, it is teshuvah which takes the place of the sacrificial rites of the day.
For the last two thousand years, the dominant theme of Yom Kippur has thus been teshuvah - the work of improving our behavior and transforming our character. And yet, the Torah reading remains Chapter 16 of Leviticus. Rather than hearing moral or religious exhortation - undeniably the theme of the haftarot of the day - we are treated to the minute details of the rites of the sacrifices. These Temple-based rites, while seemingly irrelevant to our contemporary concerns, can teach serious corrective lessons regarding sin and repentance.
It is widely believed that sin affects the spiritual well-being of the soul, and that teshuvah is a process devoted wholly to the repairing of the soul. This is only partly true. The sacrificial rites of Yom Kippur tell another story. "And he [the High Priest] shall make an atonement for the Holy Sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the Tent of Meeting, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation" (Lev. 16: 33). It is first and foremost the Temple that must be cleansed, and only afterwards is the atonement of the people achieved.
The Torah assumes a basic metaphysical reality - sin pollutes. When the Children of Israel have sinned, the Temple itself becomes impure. This understanding of sin holds for us even today. When we sin, we hurt not only ourselves, we pollute our environment as well. If we have not respected our parents or our spouse, if we have betrayed a trust, or hurt others physically or emotionally, then our sin has damaged others and injured our relationships. If we have not honored Shabbat or the holidays properly, then the sanctity that these times hold for us has been diminished. The process of teshuvah requires that we recognize that improving ourselves is insufficient; we must also cleanse the reality that we have polluted.
An understanding of teshuvah that is limited to the self minimizes the work that needs to be done to set things right. This can have an insidious effect not only on us as individuals, but on our behavior as a community as well. Often, an abusive teacher or someone who has betrayed the public trust states that he has repented and asks for forgiveness and reacceptance. If we understand repentance to be limited to self-improvement and repairing one's relationship with God, then such claims may have traction. But if we understand what the work of teshuvah truly entails, we will rightfully demand that such people first demonstrate how they have worked to restore the lives, the trust, and the relationships that they have broken.

While Yom Kippur is a day that we devote fully to God and leave our this-worldly concerns behind, our process of teshuvah, like the cleansing of the Temple, can only be accomplished through a focus on this-world realities, a cleansing of our relationships and the realities around us that we have created.  

Published in the Jerusalem Post on Sept. 28, 2008

... And Cleansing Ourselves
On Yom Kippur we strive, not only to purify the world and our relationships, but also to purify ourselves. Sin affects who we are and, like tumah, ritual impurity, stand in the way of us drawing closer to the holy, closer to God. The radical notion of Yom Kippur is that this tumah does not have to define us. We can transform and again become pure.

An insight into this process emerges from a discussion in the Talmud (Hullin 101a-b) which underscores the difference between the severity of impurity and its permanence. If a pure person eats the meat of a sacrifice that has become impure, the transgression is not severe. The meat, however, does have a permanent state of impurity. In contrast, when an impure person eats the meat of a sacrifice, the transgression is a severe one. And yet, the Talmud says, the situation is not a permanent one. The person can immerse and become pure, and thus his act, and certainly his state, is not as weighty as it may seem.

This touches on a key point of teshuva and Yom Kippur.  The difference between foods and people, between what can become pure and what will always remain impure, is this: Foods, such as the meat of sacrifices, are consumable, inanimate objects; they are static and fixed; they cannot change themselves and thus their status is permanent.  People, on the other hand, are dynamic, with new thoughts, passions, and feelings every day, and with the ability to transform themselves. Their status is never fixed. Change, even purity, is always possible.

There is a middle category: vessels.  Vessels are inanimate, but they also represent a certain dynamism due to their use and versatility.  Some vessels - wooden and metal ones - can become pure by immersion in a mikvah. This is only because they partake in the dynamic world of human activity, and they can therefore be purified as a result of a human action - being placed in the mikvah. Other vessels - pottery - cannot become pure. Pottery is both less versatile and also made of inferior material.  Such a vessel cannot be transformed - it is too rigid, and lacks the inner strength and quality to effect - or to allow for such transformation. 

The key, then, to becoming pure, to ridding oneself of ritual impurity or of sin, is the ability to transform, to free ourselves from past actions and to reassert, or redefine, our inner direction and our true self. A sin, even a light one, can be weighty if it becomes a permanent part of a person. On the other hand, even a very severe sin need not be seen as weighty if it does not become part of one's identity. If a person does not let him or herself be an object, be fixed, rigid, and only impacted by outside forces, but rather insists on his or her own personhood, the ability to define his or her own path, to change and to remake oneself, then, even a weighty sin, can become a light one. Such a person, a person with strong character, a person who believes in the possibility of change, can free herself of her sin, can immerse in a mikvah, and can undergo a transformation that will allow her to become a new person.

What is this mikvah? Rabbi Akiva answers this in the last mishna in the last chapter of Yoma, the tractate devoted to Yom Kippur:

R. Akiva said: Happy are you, Israel! Who is it before whom you become pure? And Who is it that makes you clean? Your Father Who is in Heaven, as it is said: "And I will sprinkle purifying water upon you and ye shall be clean." (Ezek. 36:25). And it further says: "The hope (mikvei) [read here as "immersion pool" (mikvah)] of Israel, the Lord." (Jer. 17:13). Just as an immersion pool renders the impure pure, so does the Holy One, Blessed be God, render Israel pure (Mishna Yoma 8:9).

God, not teshuva, is the mikvah. The Talmud speaks of a person who does teshuva without abandoning the sin, as one who immerses while holding on to an impure rodent in his hand. In this understanding, one cannot immerse in the mikvah until one has done teshuva. But sometimes we need to reverse the order. Sometimes real teshuva is not possible until we have first immersed in the mikvah, until God has washed us from our sins.

While teshuva gives us the ability to transform ourselves, we often don't believe that we can change. Our own sense that our past actions will always define us, that our state is a permanent one, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yom Kippur says: stop standing in your own way! On this day you present yourself before God, on this day you immerse yourself in a mikvah, and when this day is over, you will emerge pure. Change is always possible. Those stains you believe are indelible can be washed away. By cleansing our sins on this day, God is giving us a chance to make real transformation happen. When we believe that change is possible, it can become a reality.  "For on this day he shall atone for you to purify you; that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord." (Lev. 16:30).

 Gmar Chatimah Tova!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Thought on Rosh Hashanah

More Kingship, Less Judgment

Rosh Hashanah is a Yom HaDin, a Day of Judgment. We will stand before God, and God will take measure of our deeds of the past year. This characterization of the day opens and frames the Zikhronot of Musaf: "Atah zokher ma'aseh olam, u'foked kol yitzurei kedem," "You, God, remember the deeds of everyone in the world, and recall all those from previous times ... and regarding the countries it will be said which is for sword and which is for peace, which is for hunger and which for abundance, and all creatures are recalled, to be remembered for life or for death." We engage in the process of teshuvah because of this impending judgment, assessing our behavior, owning up to our wrongs, feeling true remorse for our sins and misdeeds, and making an honest commitment to act differently in the future.
But there is more to Rosh HaShanah. Rosh HaShanah is also a day of malkhut, of God's kingship. The Malkhiot precedes the Zikhronot in Musaf, and it might be seen as defining the essence of the day. Not only in Musaf but in every Shmoneh Esrei from Rosh HaShanah through Yom Kippur, our third blessing changes to "ha'Melekh ha'Kadosh," "Blessed are you, God, Holy King." Kingship is also part of the blessing recited over the sanctity of the day of Rosh Hashanah, in Kiddush as well as Shmoneh Esrei: "Blessed are you, God, King over the entire world, Who sanctifies Israel and this Day of Remembrance." Kingship may indeed be a more central theme of Rosh Hashanah than judgment.

It's taken me a while to realize this in a deep way. For many years, I viewed Rosh Hashanah as a Day of Judgment, using kingship merely to frame this conception: to stand before God in judgment can only take place after we recognize God's sovereignty over the world. The focus, however, was din, being judged by God and by oneself. This certainly allowed me to connect to the intensity of the day and to have a sense of eimat ha'din, fear and awe of the impending judgment. But in some years it led beyond healthy introspection to self-criticism and self-flagellation. This was unhealthy psychologically, religiously, and spiritually. Too much emphasis on din, on one's sins and faults, can lead to getting deeper in the muck rather than rising out of it. What would it mean to focus on the theme of kingship instead?

When we speak of God's kingship on Rosh Hashanah, we do so not only in terms of the past and the present, but most significantly in terms of the future: "Vi'khein tzadikim yiru v'yismachu," "And then the righteous will see and rejoice."; "Al kein n'kaveh," "therefore we will hope to quickly see in the glory of Your strength." Rosh Hashanah is a day when we imagine what a more perfect world - a more holy world, a more moral world - could look like. It is a day when we strive to envision a world in which God and God's presence can be truly seen and truly felt.

What would happen if our Rosh Hashanah prayers were infused with a yearning for such a world? The answer is obvious: We would be driven to work toward making our vision a reality. We would strive to model this imagined future in our own lives and in our interactions with others. We would seek out opportunities to make a real difference in the world, to bring our world just a little closer to that more perfect, more Godly vision.

Sefat Emet says this beautifully. On Rosh Hashanah, he says, we pray for God to be recognized by all of creation; we pray for a world in which the Divine is more fully realized. But then something amazing happens. When we pray for others, we are answered first. When we work to envision a more perfect world, we will start to see changes taking place in our own lives. Our vision will be, first and foremost, transformative not for others, but for ourselves.

This striving for a more perfect world and working to actualize it can itself be considered a form of teshuvah. The classic conception of teshuvah is associated with judgment. We are judged by God, and we judge ourselves: Are we living up to our standards? Are our standards high enough? Are they the right ones to have? Can we look at ourselves in the mirror each morning?

But there is also the teshuvah associated with kingship. This teshuvah says: Spend less time looking in the mirror. Spend more time looking out the window. If you want to change, you need a vision, and not just for yourself. A vision for a better you remains, ultimately, self-centered. The teshuvah of kingship requires a vision for the world.

In his famous work, Orot Hateshuvah, Lights of Repentance, Rav Kook describes this teshuvah in metaphysical terms, as a cosmic yearning of the entire world to achieve a more perfect state. This higher teshuvah preceded creation, and it infuses all of creation with an impetus to achieve its fullest potential. In a moving passage from chapter five, Rav Kook writes:

Every removal of sin resembles the removal of an obstruction from the seeing eye, and a whole new horizon of vision is revealed, the light of vast expanses of heaven and earth and all that is in them. The world must inevitably come to full repentance. The world is not static, but it continues to develop, and a truly full development must bring about the complete state of health, material and spiritual, and this will bring repentance along with it (Ben Zion Bokser, trans.).

Kingship calls on us to see differently, to refuse acceptance of all the problems in the world, our communities, and our personal lives as unfixable givens. It demands that we "remove the obstructions from our eyes," that we see new horizons, that we see the world not as it is, but as it can be.

This approach can give a new understanding to Zikhronot and to what it means to be remembered and to be inscribed.

Alfred Nobel made a fortune from inventing dynamite. A French newspaper mistook the death of Nobel's brother for his own and ran his obituary. The newspaper announced: "The merchant of death is dead." It continued, "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday." Nobel realized that were he to die at that moment, this was what people would write about him, this was how we would be remembered. He committed himself to redirecting his life and to reshaping his lasting legacy. When he is remembered today, people write about the Nobel Prize and above all, the Nobel Peace Prize.

Zikhronot calls upon us to ask ourselves how we want to be remembered. What do we want to be written about us when we are no longer here? Our vision for the larger world must translate into a vision for ourselves: What will I do to turn my vision for the world into a reality?  What must I do differently than I am doing now? What am I doing so that I will be remembered for having done good in my life? This is the work of Zikhronot.

And then we turn to Shofarot. The Rabbis tell us that God says, "Say the Malkhiot to make Me King over you. Say the Zikhronot so that you will be remembered for good. And through what? Through the shofar." The shofar is the kli, the vessel, which lets us achieve the vision of Malkhiot and of Zikhronot. When we finally have a vision for the world and for ourselves, we must find those vessels, those tools, that will allow us to turn our vision into reality. We must identify the things that we have the capacity to do, the skills that we can develop, and the changes that we can make. And we must know that we are not alone. The shofar is not just an individual mitzvah; it is a mitzvah done by the community. We cannot hesitate to turn to others for help, to say to a spouse, friend, or colleague, "I need your help. You can help provide me with the structure, the guidance, the assistance I need to realize my goals." This is the work of Shofarot.

Malkhiot, Zikhronot, Shofarot: a vision for the world, a vision for oneself and one's legacy, and the tools to get it done. Through these, we can start to move closer to that day when yi'hiyeh Hashem echad u'shmo echad.

Shana Tova!