Making A Good, New Habit… Jewish Resolutions For The American New Year — By Marc

Aside from drinking champagne (Kosher champagne), making toasts, counting down as the ball drops in Times Square and trying to make it the BEST NIGHT EVER (Okay, I’ve never bought into that last part)… What do most of us do on New Year’s Eve, or towards the end of the year?UnknownWe make resolutions… promises… vows to do better at this or that… or simply to DO this or that.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing… to take stock in what we did or did not do… what we can improve upon… how we can be better…

But as Jews… Well, it’s a bit of been there, done that. We’ve already had our day of repentance and celebration of the New Year… we already have made a list and checked it twice and… Ooops, wrong song.

So maybe we can think of THIS New Year as a check-in… to see how we’re doing since Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. If you’re like me, it’s been a slow start. Not good.

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My posts talk a lot about what I am doing… or not doing. The path I am on, and the path I want to be on… and the overwhelming consensus… and a source of great support I must thank all of you for… is that as long as I or any of us are doing more than we were before… and moving forward, and up each and every year… or month… or week… or day… we are growing and learning, and that is a good thing… a great thing!

They say that it takes 6 weeks to develop a true habit. Well… they USED to say that.

According to a story from 2014 on Today.com:
“On average, it took people 66 days for a new healthy habit to feel automatic — things like eating a piece of fruit with lunch, or drinking a glass of water after breakfast, found the 2010 UK study, led by University College London research psychologist Pippa Lally. The data was self-reported, which means there’s a chance the people weren’t totally accurate, or honest. And the time it took for the habit to form varied widely: For some people, the healthy habits felt automatic after just 18 days — for others, it took 254 days.”

So what habits do I want to create for myself, at least in regards to my Judaism?

I want to make sure I am wrapping Tefillin rain or shine… in other words, not skipping the morning and making it up in the afternoon like I have a few times… today included because of some nasty cold or flu… The habit, I’ll admit, has slipped a little and I am not happy about that.

I want to be on schedule with the Parsha, so I am up-to-date each week… and yes, reading Ben’s post is always helpful there.

I want to explore more readings and teachings and go even more deeply… including books by David Aaron, Aryeh Kaplan, Abraham Twerski and more.

I want to attend more Shabbat services and dinners and start to do whole weekends where I am off the grid and the electronics and immerse myself into a true Good Shabbos.

So you’re probably thinking… great… okay… now what?

Well… I would like to include all of you in on this… to be held accountable to you… and to be able to share these things with you, on this blog…

Unknown-1And I would like very much to have you share what you want to add or change about your own Judaism. After all, one of the intentions of this blog was to have a real and true interaction… a give and take… a dialogue rather than just a monologue.

We ALL have gifts to give the world… to share with each other. Those gifts only have value and purpose when they are given away… put out there… used for good.

David Aaron talks about the importance of giving and sharing. He talks about the vessels of light… and says the Dead Sea is dead because it keeps all its water and shares nothing… Whereas the Sea of Galilee is alive because it feeds into the river Jordan… it shares the water it has… it “lives and gives.” (Not sure who said that…)

Let us all share our individual gifts… share what Hashem has given us… recognize we are all different for a reason… and we must let that reason shine… and flow…

Let our waters run deep and move into the rivers and tributaries… for then the land will be lush… crops will grow… and life for all of us will be much greener and brighter. Here’s to 2016!

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2 responses to “Making A Good, New Habit… Jewish Resolutions For The American New Year — By Marc

  1. Well said. I would also like to learn the parsha more, give a bit of charity each day( to develop the habit of becoming a giver) and be a more patient parent. Like you said, it’s a process, one tiny step at a time…

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  2. Well said. I would also like to learn the parsha more, give a bit of charity each day ( to develop the habit of becoming a giver) and be a more patient parent. Like you said, it’s about small steps, one glorious day at a time…

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