The month of Elul – which began 10 days ago – is the month before the High Holidays. It is a time for reflection…a time of growth…a time of change. For the next few weeks, we will offer “Elul Thoughts” gleaned from other sources. We hope they inspire.
Elul Thought #1
“On a recent trip to Israel I rented a car. Driving in Israel is harrowing. Driving in the Holy Land can be anything but holy.
One busy Friday afternoon, as I rushed to finish buying food for Shabbat, I turned a familiar corner and was cut off by another car, who narrowly missed plowing into the passenger side of my car. My heart raced. My blood began to boil. I felt my body begin to scream “you meshuganeh/crazy Israeli driver,” when all of a sudden, the face of the culprit came into view. It was my friend Dan. Foe to friend in an instant. Righteous rage to light laughter, in an instant with the instantaneous realization that this person didn’t ‘intend’ to harm me. Or at least, I naturally assumed he didn’t.
The great Chassidic master, Rabbi Nachman invites us to find the good point in every person, to be willing to judge them favorably. He implores us to seek it out, to rescue one another from harsh judgments and labels. To find the good in everyone.
What if we could give each other the benefit of the doubt? What if we judged ourselves and others favorably?”
by Rabbi David Ingber, in Jewels of Elul