This week begins a 6-week period called SHOVAVIM...I've heard about it for years but it never called me...this word is made up of the first letters in Hebrew of the first 6 Torah portions in the book of Exodus. Rabbis of the Kabbalah describe this period as very auspicious and conducive to rectify sexual and other transgressions. Through intensified prayer, fasting, reciting of Psalms and other avenues, our working on our character and personality at this time can be met with great success. We work on avoiding anger and cynicism, arrogance and gossip. We give others the benefit of the doubt and let other be right once in a while. We renew more positive connections with God and others. Just as the Jews go from slavery to freedom during these 6 weeks, so too can we leave the bondage of behaviors that enslave us and break through to a new promised land of a polished character.
Also, I describe the joy of the engagement party we had for our daughter and her fiancé and how kind people were to come and stay and bless us so profoundly, and remind my audience of the importance of thanking behind-the-scenes people who make things work in our lives.
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Keep that derech eretz thing going, my friends, and have a terrific derech eretz week, shalom!