Rabbi's Blog

The Rabbi's thoughts culled from the "word from the Rabbi" in his weekly email

Live your Passion

Everyone has a passion. Everyone has something they do that they enjoy. When you love what you do life never feels like work.

There are many people who can help you find your passion etc. (one example is Ronnie Davis http://www.longstreamct.coma life coach and part of our Jewish community here in Harford County).

One thing about your passion is that it is part of your DNA, it is part of “who you are”. We may not know what it is because it is hidden, however, when taking the correct steps, we can access it. Many people never get that far, they live life but they don’t love life.

What will you do?

Every Jew has a Jewish soul which is part of who they are, for that matter ever human being has a human soul which was created in the image of G-d. That soul is our internal G-dly fire. When building a Home for G-d the Torah says: “Fire shall be kept burning upon the altar continually; it shall not go out”.

This fire on the altar was brought by a human doing his part in revealing G-dliness amongst himself and the Jewish people. It was required to remain on the altar even on Shabbat when a person has a higher spiritual sensitivity and during impurity when the person is insensitive to his G-dly soul. Most important though was that the fire was on the outer altar it was publicly displayed; It was external and wasn’t hidden.

This is a message that is relevant today. Live your passion! Everyone should be able to identify what your passion is; you should “wear it on your sleeve”. But don’t limit it to your career allow the spiritual side to be revealed also.

Every person has their own spiritual mission, the difference they can make in the world. There is even a Jewish guidebook for fulfilling my mission. You know what it’s called? It’s called Torah and Mitzvot. To do a mitzvah you don’t need to change, you need to tap into who you are, reveal your soul. Don’t become religious - do a mitzvah – and connect to your inner self. Don’t be shy about it – let the fire burn on the outer altar.

What will happen if you do this? The glory of G-d will appear to you as it says "Fire came forth from before G-d" and "the glory of G-d appeared to all the people”.

Hope to see you this Shabbos.

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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Humility - It’s a strange thing

 Humility - It’s a strange thing the minute you think you’ve got it, you’ve lost it.

The greatest leader of all time was Moses, at the same time the most humble man of all time was Moses. The Torah says “and the man Moses was very humble, more so than all the men that were upon the face of the earth” Numbers 12:3.

How do these two qualities go hand in hand? Leadership together with humility?

Wherever you look you can find a “leader” and an “expert”, from social media to email marketing, from printing to playing, from toys to toddlers. Everyone is an expert and they are not shy about it, actually they are usually a bit pompous about it.

If someone wants to be an expert and a leader the first step is to learn from Moses. The Jewish people didn’t refer to Moses as “our leader” or “the expert” they referred to him as Moshe Rabeinu - Moses our teacher.

Why? Because the Moses leadership style was inclusive. He was training people to share the message of G-d, to share the beauty of Torah and Mitzvos with the community. His humility shined in the same place as his greatness. He was a great general but a humble general. The way he saw things “If you would have my talents you would do a better job in my position”.

The message is it’s not about me. Rabbi Shais Taub says it like this “Humility doesn’t mean you think less of yourself, it just means you think of yourself less”

So the better question to ask is, can these qualities be separated?

If you want to have leadership you need humility. If you want to be humble you need to recognize your leadership qualities.

When a leader losses their humility they will fail, when we lose sight that it’s not all about us the downward spiral begins.

So ask yourself Am I a leader? Where can I be a leader? What examples of humility I seen in other leaders?

Have a good Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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Bills, Bumps and Me

Life is not always simple. We all know that sometimes in life there are complexities or bumps in the road that we need to work with in order to understand or to overcome them.

Sometimes these bumps feel like a roller coaster and seem to take our focus and our energy. But we need to keep re-focusing.

The bumps do not need to become our story and they should not cloud our mission. The bumps are not who we are. It's essential that we don't allow ourselves to identify ourselves with those times of drama. It's essential that we don’t let the bumps define us.

Over the past few weeks we have been reading in the Torah portions about building the Mishkan (Tabernacle), a home for G-d, the Torah makes it clear that we need to focus on what is important. We each have our part to contribute. We are all part of one people. We don't always realize that our committed participation is necessary for the good of the whole. When the Mishkan was erected and everything was in its place, then the whole became greater than the sum of its parts. Then each part was valued as part of the whole.

When we are building a home for G-d, it's important that we don't get side-tracked by life's bumps. We need to focus on the good and keep building. Our sense of purpose helps us to look at life optimistically, knowing that we are part of G-d's greater Plan.

When we wake up in the morning let us remember to say our mantra “I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great.” G-d, you gave me back my soul in order for me to continue doing the good that I am here to do. That’s my life.

Yes, we all have bills and bumps. Nevertheless, the real me, my real story is that I work in the construction business, building a home for G-d. We are in good company, among our people, gathering for a holy purpose.

Happy Building……Have a good Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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