Beneath the Surface to the Heart

  
Lisa Goldstein
Rabbi Lisa Goldstein
  
My husband and I are almost finished with a course that is preparing us to be foster parents. Neither one of us has parented before, and we are eagerly learning the theories that will hopefully help us once we have been certified and can bring children into our home.
For example, we know that children who have been removed from their families of origin carry with them various levels of trauma. Traumatic experiences are written on our bodies and expressed through them, even in the youngest children. 
The destructive behaviors that foster children sometimes exhibit often stem from rage or grief. Our teacher emphasizes that in children behaviors are indicators of feelings, and it is part of our role (and our privilege) as the caregivers to them to help children name the difficult feelings and try to find other, more wholesome ways of express those feelings.
IN THIS LETTER...
Practices:

by Rabbi Shai Held

Questions for Growth
by Rabbi Nancy Flam

Webinar: Mindful Tochacha
by Rabbi Amy Eilberg

Ahavah Rabbah:
Interpretive Poem


Upcoming Programs:

practice1

The Spiritual Life Begins in Gratitude
and Culminates in Compassion

Rabbi Shai Held
כאשר ברא אלוהים את האדם , עשהו לנותן ונוטל . כח הנתינה הוא כח עליון ממדות יוצר הכל ברוך הוא ,
שהוא מרחם ומטיב ונותן מבלי קבל דבר בתמורה ; הן לא יחסר לו כלום , ככתוב : " אם צדקת מה תתן לו " ( איוב ל " ה ז ) רק שאנו מביעים את תודתנו , אשר זה שורש עבודתנו לו וככה עשה את האדם , ככתוב : " בצלם אלוהים עשה את האדם , כי יוכל לרחם ולהיטיב וליתן ".

When the Almighty created human beings He made them capable of both giving and taking. The faculty of giving is a sublime power; it is one of the attributes of the blessed Creator of all things.

Questions for Growth and Study
  
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Nancy Flam
Rabbi Nancy Flam
  1. 1.  Who would you name as the most (or one of the most) empathic persons in your own personal life? How did or does that person express empathy?
  2. 2.  Upon whom, if anyone, do you depend upon for an empathic response in your life now?  Are there specific people who rely upon you regularly for an empathic response?
 practice3

Webinar: Mindful Tochacha (Admonition): Disagreeing with Empathy and Compassion


Rabbi Amy Eilberg

Amy Eilberg - Mindful Tochacha
Amy Eilberg - Mindful Tochacha




What is a great love?
A love that reaches deep inside our hearts and minds and never departs.
An expanding, continually surpassing compassion that flows toward and within us.
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Guided Reflection: 
Communicating with Awareness


excerpted from  Radical Acceptance , by  Tara Brach
 
The following meditative practices are guidelines for being mindful and openhearted in communicating with each other...You can practice them yourself whenever you are engaged in conversation, or you can use them as formal guidelines for interpersonal meditation where two or more people are gathered for the purpose of mindful dialogue.