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better judgment

Thursday, 2 September, 2021 - 2:18 pm

Many of us wait until the last minute to file our taxes, give our charitable gifts for the year, as well as many other things.

We all know when Tax Day is and that donations postmarked by December 31st go toward that tax year, but alas we wait till the last minute.

To paraphrase a NY times article 

Etymologically, “procrastination” comes from two words:

"procrastinare" (Latin) - to put off until tomorrow and
"akrasia" (Greek) - doing something against our better judgment.

Procrastination is that I would prefer to feel good now rather than risk a negative feeling. For example: I will not make the donation now as I am afraid to lose the money. I know that giving the donation is the correct thing to do and I will be happy and feel good, in the long run, about helping others. However, pushing it off makes it easier to deal with the short-term feeling of loss.

As it says in the article "The particular nature of our aversion depends on the given task or situation. It may be due to something inherently unpleasant about the task itself — having to clean a dirty bathroom or organizing a long, boring spreadsheet for your boss. But it might also result from deeper feelings related to the task, such as self-doubt, low self-esteem, anxiety or insecurity. "

Rosh Hashanah begins Monday night. The king only has a few more days before He (G-d) goes back to His palace. Let us no longer procrastinate!  What we do to connect in preparation for the big day will help us remain connected long term.

During these last few days before Rosh Hashana, think about one or two things you can do to connect yourself to Hashem in a stronger way. Do what is in your better judgment and choose a path of connection with Hashem, connection with spirituality, connection with other people. Let us all be blessed with a year of revealed goodness, health and the ability to procrastinate less and do more good for ourselves, our families and for the community around us.

Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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