Letter from Rabbi Ezring 5/29/2014

Rabbi Sheldon EzringWow, now this is my type of weather. Ten degrees warmer would be fine too! I happen to have one potted tomato plant on my patio. Living in an apartment, one has to make do with those potted plants. I watch it develop everyday. I am amazed that there are actually already small tomatoes on the vine, and they grow bigger by the hour. I am so thankful for the small joy I find watching the plant transform from flowers to fruits. Find things in your life that give you similar small pleasures.

Services: Our next service is in a week. I assume someone else will be writing about it, as it is a special celebration, for you know whom.

Torah Study: Bible study this month will be on the 21st. It will be my final opportunity to study from our most important text with you. Consider joining us for my final Torah study at Beth Shalom.

Torah Time: We continue Torah this week with the second reading in the Book of Numbers, Naso (4:21-7:89), “Take a Census.”

In the portion we read the Priestly Benediction, “May God Bless you and keep you,” etc.

Do you want to feel blessed? I certainly do!

But do you want your blessing to be from God or from some place or someone else? You might be asking yourself right now: Is he saying that there are blessings that do not come from God? Is that not blasphemous?

Certainly, we feel our greatest blessings somehow derive from God. But let me ask you how often have you really felt that God laid one on you?

Ok, then from whom or from where did the blessing come?

Think about it. I am willing to bet there are times you have made a choice and the result has been very positive for you. Did you feel blessed? Going further, didn’t you think just a bit, that the blessing was self-given?

I know over the years people have asked me to bless them. Although I always believed that the blessing ultimately was a gift from God. I came to realize that many people felt it came from me.

Then I thought about it more. Over the years I have felt blessings from my children, from my friends, from my congregants. I feel blessed by my circumstances, my opportunities and my health.

I remember the many times that my father, may he rest in peace, blessed me. I felt, and I bet when your parents or grandparents blessed you, the blessing was from them.

Look around, you see a mother hug a child. It is a blessing.

Listen, you hear a bird chirping a beautiful note. It is a blessing.

Think, the Browns win a game. It is a blessing. (Ok I just went too far.) But many people do think that is a blessing. If the Browns win, does the win come from God or from the skills of the players?

And so it finally hit me, blessings come from where we find them. If you discover that your blessing is from a moment in time, a glorious sight, a relative or friend you love, a doctor’s good report, a teacher’s lesson or a loved one’s touch, etc. It is. If you think it is from God. It is.

What is important is that you discover the many blessings you have in your life. Why? Because then knowing your life is full of abundant blessings you will feel much more content.

Look around and see how many blessings you have and think about how they came about.

Give someone else your personal blessing this weekend. How? It is easy. Do something for someone else. They will feel good and that is a blessing.

Try every day to be a little bit better person than you were yesterday.

Dare to be Happy!

Shabbat Shalom,

Rab E