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A message from Rabbi burt on 9/12/2011

02/16/2013 05:24:00 PM


Our Shul of New York rests upon the spiritual and ethical teachings and principles of Judaism.  The emphasis of my talks on Shabbat, Havdala and the various holidays of the year is the exploration of these spiritual and ethical values and the exploration of how we can most honestly live by them to create a life that is a blessing to ourselves and a blessing to all the world.

I’d like to briefly share with you some thoughts about the important spiritual value of courage.  We all know that, at times, life can be very difficult and painful.  It seems that we have, most of the time, one challenge after another. To deal with the difficulties and challenges of life we need courage—-the capacity to not feel defeated, the capacity to believe that we can truly face, embrace and not flee the fear that difficulties bring.  Courage is saying “YES” to life; to our lives.  Without this quality of courage, our problems, our worries, our disappointments and losses would  sap our energy to live as fully as we can while we carry these burdens.

Think of Abraham, the first Hebrew.  The Biblical story tells us that Abraham was commanded by God to leave his land, his birthplace and his family and to go to the place that God will show him.  What amazing courage he must have had to leave behind everything that was familiar and known to him, and to begin a journey to an unknown land.  It was a courageous journey into the unknown that was to ultimately lead to our life as the Jewish people.  Out of courage we were born as a people.

I believe that we can’t really talk ourselves into having courage.  The courage we seek and need is already within us.  We find it in the deepest depths of our hearts and souls through prayer and meditation.  We find courage as we become deeply aware of the presence of God within us.  As we, little by little, experience God within the depth of our souls, we realize the greatness of our ability to live life courageously.

Experiencing God within is the ultimate purpose of our prayers and spiritual learning at the Shul of New York.

Thu, July 16 2020 24 Tammuz 5780