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Rabbi's Weekly Teaching
August 2, 2019
....The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep...
(Robert Frost)

Each of us, at times, makes a promise or vow.

The promise might be to God, others, or even to ourselves.

God also makes promises, for example, "I will give this land to you and your descendants", which is why we refer to the Land of Israel as the Promised Land.

In sacred relationships, the parameters of holiness is framed within the context of both explicit and implicit promises.

Marriage, family, friendship, community, etc., we often define our worthiness and another's worthiness by how well the promise or vow is kept.

One of the most annoying observations I make when watching a movie or television show is when one character says to another: "I promise..." and the character actually can't really promise the result they intend or don't intend.

The mark of human maturity is to be careful with what we promise because we intend to make sure that we fulfill our vow.

Sometimes, we think we can mitigate our promise: "I promise to try my best..."

But, still the question has to be asked, have we really tried our best?

Robert Frost wrote: "...I have promises to keep and miles to go..."

Each of us during our life journey will have many promises we wish to keep; however, we should try to be very careful in what we really promise.

Then there is the promise of each individual, to try to make our lives to be purposeful, meaningful and worthwhile, to try to heal the world and be a light in the world.

What promises might we wish to make to God, others, or ourselves?

And, with these intended promises, will we keep true to our intentions?

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Mitch
For an archive of past columns, click  here.