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In This Issue
As the song goes “Summertime, and the living is easy.” It’s a small step from “easy” to “lazy.” Where I live (in Florida) it is so hot and humid in the summer that it is tempting to slow down and sink into laziness. So, I have been thinking about the middah of laziness, or sloth. As I finished up the school year for both my kids and myself, and began to prepare for the next, it was good to slow down a bit and rejuvenate my soul and body.
Through A Mussar Lens
Another day, the sky falls again. A Wall Street firm fails, General Motors goes into bankruptcy, home foreclosures hit record levels, more people lose their jobs, and the fall-out shows up in rates of alcoholism, domestic abuse and suicide. Remember when people used to say (and believe): “What’s good for General Motors is good for America.” That doesn’t bode well for the future, does it?
We are living in such a difficult time, and as certain as the sun will rise tomorrow, it is sure that bad news will arrive on my porch with a thud.
By Shirah Bell, Director of Everyday Holiness Program
When I write about Mussar I like to emphasize what I think of as successes. But we all know that we learn more from our mistakes so I will share a recent one. A close friend lost something I had entrusted to him and then responded by saying it wasn’t his responsibility. I felt betrayed, but decided to put into practice what I had read from the Chazon Ish about the “ideal person”:
I put myself in my friend’s shoes, and understood what might have led him to deny responsibility. I told myself, I excuse him completely. I wrote him a brief email releasing him from responsibility. Then I attempted to go on with our friendship as if nothing had happened. It didn’t work. He brought up the incident each time we talked, and I found myself on edge, wanting to blame him, but reminding myself that I had excused him and therefore needed to keep quiet. I asked myself, “What is wrong here?”
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