May 29, 2014

60 Days of Growth – Take Inventory of Life (Day 31)

Today, after sundown, is Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the new Jewish month, and throughout the Jewish Mystical tradition today has been considered a “Yom Kippur Kattan – Mini-Yom Kippur”. No, I don’t expect you to fast, or go to shul (synagogue) or even go see your grandparents. What I want us to do today is get to the real core of Yom Kippur and take a small slice of that pie for today.

shutterstock_82249444Yom Kippur is all about looking back at our year and figuring out what went right and what went wrong, it is a time for you to look at yourself and the way you are living your life honestly and decide if it makes you happy. Being that Yom Kippur comes only once a year, this can be a daunting task. How can a person really be expected to remember everything they did all year? That is precisely the point of today.

Each month, if we take a small bit of time out of our day to evaluate what we are doing, it can make a big difference in how we live our lives and who we are and become.

Moshe Chayim Luzzato a 16th century Jewish Kabbalist wrote about how to properly evaluate our lives. He explained there are two stages:

  1. Figure out what is really good
  2. Decide if what you are doing is what you think is good

The first step is very important, a person has to be open to other viewpoints and new ideas and perspectives in order to to properly evaluate what they are doing. You have to be willing to change to make it real. Often times we are too busy to take the time out to re-evaluate things and are not open minded enough to see things as objectively as possible, this is what Pharoh tried to do to the Jews in egypt, ”תִּכְבַּד הָעֲבֹדָה עַל-הָאֲנָשִׁים, וְיַעֲשׂוּ-בָהּ; וְאַל-יִשְׁעוּ, בְּדִבְרֵי-שָׁקֶר – Let’s work them hard, so they won’t see the lies”. He tried to work the Jews so hard that they wouldn’t have time to stop and think about the work they were doing and about the fact that they had the power to break free. We all have the power to break free, it is just a matter of whether or not we take the time to realize it.

So if we take a little time each day to look at what we are doing, and little more time each month and a little more time each year, we will definitely be on the right track to making a difference.

Today’s Jewish mission is to take inventory of your life. Take some time tonight to sit down and go over how you are living your life, really think through the way you act, what motivates you, what you want to be and whether or not what you are doing reflects that. Put this down on a piece of paper and each month pull out that paper and re-check yourself and then once a year before Yom Kippur start the process over again. This way you will know for certain that the Jew you want to be is the Jew that you will become.