Word of the Day

Elul 2, 5779
September 2, 2019

Being mindful and attentive to our words, thoughts and deeds is an important part of the work of teshuvah (repentance). One cannot begin to make a change in behavioral patterns or habits without becoming aware of what those patterns and habits are. The practice of mindfulness helps us bring a non-judgmental awareness to our attitudes and actions, helping us to lessen the barriers of shame that often block our path to repentance and renewal. 

From our Sources

Mindfulness is a mode of careful attentiveness to the whole of one’s experience. It emphasizes telling the truth, respecting one’s experience, responding rather than reacting, and gently returning one’s attention again and again to the initial intention of the practice. It involves an awareness of impermanence, and the interconnection of all that is and a deep appreciation of the fact that every act has an intention and a consequence.
-Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg, IJS Tikkun Middot Project

A person should be watchful of her conduct. She should scrutinize and pass in review all her actions and habits to determine whether they are right or not, so that she may save her soul form the peril of destruction, and not grope about like a blind person.
-Moses Hayyim Luzzato (18 th century), The Path of the Upright, adapted


Reflections

When are you most able to act or speak mindfully? 
When are you more reactive? 
Looking back over the past year, are you aware of any destructive or unhealthy patterns or habits? 
How might bringing mindful attention to those habits help you to change them?