Wednesday, August 23, 2017

#BlogElul 1: Act


I've always been a big believer in "fake it til you make it."
Actions speak louder than words...and if you're acting like you know what's going on, it usually comes true.

As we come into the month of Elul, maybe it's time to "drop the act" and see what happens...

The Jewish month of Elul, which precedes the High Holy Days, is traditionally a time of renewal and reflection. It offers a chance for spiritual preparation for the Days of Awe. It is traditional to begin one’s preparation for the High Holy Days during this month with prayers of forgiveness, but I like to think of it as a whole-person preparation activity. We look to begin the year with a clean slate, starting anew, refreshed. All month, along with others, I'll be blogging a thought or two for each day to help with the month of preparation... I will be blogging here, and sharing #Elulgram photos on the same themes at imabima.tumblr.com and on Instagram @imabima. Follow me on twitter @imabima for all the #BlogElul posts, not only mine but others' as well! Read more about #BlogElul here.

Monday, August 14, 2017

#BlogElul and #ElulGram 2017

For the last few years, I've embarked on a project, and invited the social media world to join with me.

#BlogElul and #Elulgram have inspired, informed, and offered a little bit of additional introspection across the internet for the last few years. I'm not sure that you're all exactly excited to see it, but just as the calendar makes its way around again towards Tishri...so too does #BlogElul come around again.

Elul -- that wonderful and terrifying month that precedes the High Holy Days.
Perfect for blogging and other social media...

A month of introspection and considering, a month of personal reflection and preparation.

So what's it all about? I have made a list of Elul-related topics, and I'm inviting you (yes, you! reader, colleague, friend...anyone with a desire to share ideas about the holidays) to join me.

But you don't have to stop with "blogging." Sure, it's called BlogElul but you can "blog" in any way you like. Maybe it's your daily Facebook update or tweet. Maybe it's your Instagram photos or SnapChat story? Now we have quick-video services -- perhaps a daily 6-second video? (Challenge: somehow use that cool Boomerang app…) Maybe you don't want to do it daily. Maybe you just want to dip your toe into the experience, or just read (and share?) what others write. It's totally up to you. I always love to see the creative things that the #BlogElul community comes up with.

Feel free to right-click and save this image to use in your own posts
There are no rules. I provide the topics (see graphic or below for text) for each of the days of the month. Just write a post of some kind about that topic on that day. Use the hashtag to share your post (I like to put it in my titles) and share other people's posts as well. This could be a way to revitalize your blog, kickstart a new project, or even just get yourself ready for the holidays! I know that lots of people use #BlogElul as a spiritual exercise each year, and I'm so proud to be a part of their yearly journey through Elul.

And what about #ElulGram? This one is even more interpretive. Photos, art, illustrations, quotes -- what kinds of images can you put together to explore and interpret these High Holy Day themes? You don't have to limit your picture-sharing to Instagram (even though I totally appropriated the name), you can use any image-sharing site you'd like, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Whatever you do, tag it with #ElulGram so we can call share and follow.

These themes and ideas are broad and open, and again -- there are NO RULES except the ones you make for yourself!

And yes, I know that the dates include Shabbat. I personally don't blog/tweet/Facebook on Shabbat, but I will post before and after Shabbat. You can do whatever you like!

Are you going to play along? Let me know! Leave me a comment here, send me a tweet, or send up a signal fire.... Feel free to grab my pretty badge to announce to the whole world that you're Blogging Elul. If you let me know that you're doing it, we can cross-post, or guest-post, or even just do some virtual hand-holding as the days grow closer to Tishrei. I'll try to link to as many posts and pics as I can - won't it be amazing to all share in the Elul journey together?

I'm looking forward to sharing this journey with you. Elul begins on August 23rd (it's always on time), so I wanted to give you a head start if you're going to pre-write some of your posts.

I hope that our shared preparation for 5778 brings meaning and hope, inspiration and enlightenment for all of us.

The list:
Elul 1: Act
Elul 2: Search
Elul 3: Prepare
Elul 4: Choose
Elul 5: Accept
Elul 6: Want
Elul 7: Understand
Elul 8: Hear
Elul 9: See
Elul 10: Forgive
Elul 11: Trust
Elul 12: Count
Elul 13: Remember
Elul 14: Learn
Elul 15: Intend
Elul 16: Pray
Elul 17: Awaken
Elul 18: Ask
Elul 19: Speak
Elul 20: Fill
Elul 21: Love
Elul 22: End
Elul 23: Begin
Elul 24: Hope
Elul 25: Change
Elul 26: Create
Elul 27: Bless
Elul 28: Give
Elul 29: Return

Sunday, April 2, 2017

#blogexodus 6: retell



This week, Solly watched Moana 6 times. Yes, you read that right.
It's his current favorite movie, and each day of Spring Break, he watched this movie.

It's a good one, and unlike some of the others, it does hold up.

It opens with the grandmother telling a story, one that she has clearly told many many times. It bears repeating, because she knows that its truth has been forgotten.

How is it that we can tell a story over and over again but forget to believe in it?

Is it like this with the Exodus? We tell the tale of slavery over and over again, and we tell of the joy of freedom -- but how many times in our history have we also forgotten it? Even today, how is it that we can be free when all are not?

We tell and retell, over and over. So we don't forget the tale.
It's also important to believe in it.

Want to join in? We're sharing #BlogExodus for the 2 weeks leading up to Passover. All you have to do is use the hashtag and there are suggested prompts on the graphic above (feel free to grab it). Maybe you just want to post on your Facebook or Twitter about these topics...or maybe you want to try #Exodusgram, posting photos related to these themes? I'll be posting my #blogExodus posts here, at this blog, my #Exodusgram pictures on my Instagram and also my tumblr site, imabima.tumblr.com, and who knows what else!? It's going to be a busy fortnight!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

#blogExodus 5: Seek


We search
hunt
seek out
the chametz
the fluff
the puff

We look for it
so we can
sweep
it
away

and
emerge
feeling
free...


Want to join in? We're sharing #BlogExodus for the 2 weeks leading up to Passover. All you have to do is use the hashtag and there are suggested prompts on the graphic above (feel free to grab it). Maybe you just want to post on your Facebook or Twitter about these topics...or maybe you want to try #Exodusgram, posting photos related to these themes? I'll be posting my #blogExodus posts here, at this blog, my #Exodusgram pictures on my Instagram and also my tumblr site, imabima.tumblr.com, and who knows what else!? It's going to be a busy fortnight!

Friday, March 31, 2017

#blogExodus 4: Rise


Rise up...
When you're living on your knees, you rise up
Tell your brother that he's got to rise up
Tell your sister that she's got to rise up
(Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton)

Revolutions and rebellions have always looked to our Exodus story for motivation.

It never fails to inspire.

Want to join in? We're sharing #BlogExodus for the 2 weeks leading up to Passover. All you have to do is use the hashtag and there are suggested prompts on the graphic above (feel free to grab it). Maybe you just want to post on your Facebook or Twitter about these topics...or maybe you want to try #Exodusgram, posting photos related to these themes? I'll be posting my #blogExodus posts here, at this blog, my #Exodusgram pictures on my Instagram and also my tumblr site, imabima.tumblr.com, and who knows what else!? It's going to be a busy fortnight!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

#blogExodus 3: Cleanse


We go through a lot of different kinds of cleaning for Passover.

Of course, there's the pre-holiday cleaning. Some of us take it verrrry seriously. Some of us less so. Some people go all out.

I recently read a suggestion for a personal, physical cleanse, like a cleansing diet, that one would go through before the Passover holiday. To be honest, I usually want one afterwards, when it feels like I've only eaten sugar and junk food for the whole week.

But there's something that feels incredibly holy about this period of cleansing. Much like the month preceding the High Holy Days, these days of preparation and cleaning, of cleansing both physically and spiritually, help to get us in the spirit of celebration, remind us what we're doing, and encourage us along the path toward freedom.

How are you getting ready for the holiday of Passover?


Want to join in? We're sharing #BlogExodus for the 2 weeks leading up to Passover. All you have to do is use the hashtag and there are suggested prompts on the graphic above (feel free to grab it). Maybe you just want to post on your Facebook or Twitter about these topics...or maybe you want to try #Exodusgram, posting photos related to these themes? I'll be posting my #blogExodus posts here, at this blog, my #Exodusgram pictures on my Instagram and also my tumblr site, imabima.tumblr.com, and who knows what else!? It's going to be a busy fortnight!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

#blogExodus 2: Exalt




To exalt:
-hold (someone or something) in very high regard; think or speak very highly of.
-raise to a higher rank or a position of greater power.


We exalt God for the miracles wrought at Passover, but we do so with the matzah, which is basically the opposite of exaltation. Instead of something that is uplifted and full of pride, matzah is flat and unassuming. It takes up so little space, it asks so little of us. God needs exaltation, but we need to be reminded to be humble.

The study in contrasts is a part of Pesach, isn't it? We temper each sense with another one. We eat the bitter herb with the sweet charoset. We take away our wine in sadness for the plagues. We remember the salty tears of slavery as we recline like royalty.

Exalt, yes. And always remember how we got here.

Want to join in? We're sharing #BlogExodus for the 2 weeks leading up to Passover. All you have to do is use the hashtag and there are suggested prompts on the graphic above (feel free to grab it). Maybe you just want to post on your Facebook or Twitter about these topics...or maybe you want to try #Exodusgram, posting photos related to these themes? I'll be posting my #blogExodus posts here, at this blog, my #Exodusgram pictures on my Instagram and also my tumblr site, imabima.tumblr.com, and who knows what else!? It's going to be a busy fortnight!