Friday, August 31, 2012

#BlogElul 13: Excuses {Guest Post}

I decided that I would invite friends to do a "guest post" here on Ima on and off the Bima during BlogElul. There were quite a few motivations - 1) writing daily posts on two blogs - whew! 2) encouraging non-bloggers or new bloggers to "get out there" and just do it and 3) to hear from other people! So I hope you enjoy them - there are a number of guest posts coming up in the next two weeks! Yay!

Today's guest post is from Rabbi Allison Vann, the spiritual leader of Suburban Temple-Kol Ami, in Beachwood, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio). She is married to Charlie Vann, and has the cutest little kindergartener, Isaac, and two dogs, Frankie and Zeke. Follow her tweets @rabbivann.

I’m great at excuses.

I blamed not getting my sermons done for the High Holy Days on the fact that my laptop was old. I ordered a new one. Now my excuse is that my son started kindergarten.

Our ancient rabbis had a deep understanding of our psyche. We often give credit to breakthrough thinkers such as Freud, or Jung- but credit is due, in large part, I believe, to them.   

The Rabbis knew we needed Elul. Elul is about preparing  for the High Holy Days. Elul helps make sure we don’t have so many excuses that we miss our chance. The rabbis knew we are prone to making excuses. That when the work is hard, or intimidating, or just plain old “have to”, it’s way easier to make excuses. So we do.

And so we have Elul. To “come clean”--and know that when we have work to do, and we’re not getting it done-then we’ve got even more work to do.

So, today-- if we’ve got so many excuses, let’s say ‘thank you’ to the rabbis--for the opportunity to figure them out. And stop making them.

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 the Selichot, the prayers of forgiveness. 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 Follow me on twitter @imabima for all the #BlogElul posts, not only mine but others' as well! 

Leave your blog Elul post in the linky below!


Leah Weiss Caruso said...

Excellent! Right on Allison! I'm very lucky that Allison can share her wisdom with me locally :)

rbarenblat said...

Beautiful, Allison! (And how lovely to see Allison -- who used to be one of my parents' rabbis -- here at Ima on/off the Bima.)