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An Excerpt from First Steps to a New Jewish Spirit by Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi

Reb Zalman, a leader of the Jewish Renewal movement, emphasizes everyday practices in this primer on Jewish spirituality. Here's one for those who work away from home.

"As you approach home, send out an early warning message. Let them know you're coming home and how you feel. 'My loved ones, I'm on my way home. Even if there should be some unresolved problem between us at this moment, I still send you the anticipation I feel in coming home to you. I want to be at home. I'm bringing home my love. I'm bringing you the fruits of my labor today. My hope for us is that we have some fun and get restored. I want us to find re-creation together.'

"This kind of message is a self-fulfilling prophecy. By sending it, you consciously commit yourself to the role of giver. When you walk through the door you will bring energy with you rather than needy complaints, self-pity, and kvetch. Of course you had a hard day. Life is difficult and work is not easy. But complaining never gets you very far. A person in a state of kvetch is an energy drain and usually does not get what he or she needs. But a person whose needs are coupled with contributions, one who can give as well as take energy, will most likely receive. By sending an early warning message to your loved ones at home, you make your intentions clear to yourself, and thus reinforce them. As for your loved ones, if they don't get the message long distance, they will certainly get it the moment you walk through the door.

 


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First Steps to a New Jewish Spiit

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