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Life's Ups and Downs:

Thursday, 26 August, 2010 - 12:00 pm

 There is a time to weep; there is a time to laugh... The year is filled with its ups and downs, good days and bad days, easy moments and challenging ones.

Our own personal journey of return during this High Holiday season can also be filled with ups and downs.

Can we talk openly?

If we make an honest assessment of what the last 11 ½ months looked like and evaluated that against our true potential, it may not look all that pretty. I think you'll agree?

So if you have been taking stock of your relationship with the Master of the Universe and you aren't feeling all that good about yourself, I have some good news for you.

This Shabbat is Chai (18) Elul. The Chasidic adage says that Chai Elul infuses life into the spiritual service of Elul. This is the birthday of both the Ba'al Shem Tov (founder of the Chasidic movement) and the Alter Rebbe (founder of the Chabad Movement), and the day that the Ba'al Shem Tov began his efforts in spreading the teachings of Chasidus (Chasidic Philosophy).

With an understanding of our true purpose on this earth and a glimpse into G-d's master plan, we can be more at peace with ourselves and accepting of our shortcomings. But not in a manner that we become complacent but that we become empowered to do more. Put it in these terms: G-d finds us important enough and significant enough in His master plan that our actions both good and bad are relevant to Him.

So if you are feeling down, it's time to shift focus. The fact that you have been created and placed upon this earth is G-d's way of saying - YOU MATTER! That's an empowering thought!

Have a great week!

May you be inscribed and sealed in the book of life

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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