Time has a way of moving forward, and before we know it, the High Holy Days will be upon us. Elul – 1 Av, is the month preceding the Days of Awe, and the entire month should be devoted to introspection, reflection, considering the Mitzvah/Mitzvot we have undertaken, and the kindnesses we have shown and shared. It is also a time for reviewing our spirituality and whether we have moved forward with it, and it is a time to pray and forgive. Forgiving does not mean we agree with the other person/persons, we are simply forgiving them for what we see or feel they have negatively done to us. It is a way of letting go of harbored anger or thoughts regarding another or others, and thus, by releasing the feelings and thoughts, we can move forward, using our energy towards positiveness.
There are several books that I recommend to those of you who might be seeking comfort and inspiration, and below I have listed two of them:
- If you like inspiring prose, stories that will illuminate your thoughts and emotions, then Jewish Stories from Heaven and Earth: Inspiring Tales to Nourish the Heart and Soul, by Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins is a book for you.
Each tale in this wonderful and radiant book is one that the reader can take away with them, hold on to, and browse through again, when they feel they need an uplift.
The stories are gleaned from newspaper articles, books, and many other sources. The book is formatted into nine sections, and each section has a different topic or subject, and each section contains stories that are pertinent to the particular topic. The subjects vary, but are mainly ones that deal with religious and life-affirming qualities and values, the Holocaust and Israel.
From the humorous to the poignant, the stories blend together with beautifully and powerfully written prose. Jewish Stories from Heaven and Earth gives the reader much food for contemplation, and gives the reader a strong sense of the various Jewish values that are important in the scheme of Jewish daily living.
- Life is a Test: How to Meet Life’s Challenges Successfully, by Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis is an excellent book. Using Torah, Talmud and other sources to demonstrate her thoughts and dictum, Jungreis gives the reader examples to follow, and paints a picture of how we can move towards the goals of changing our life style and our lives for a better cause and purpose. She guides the reader, step by step up the ladder of success in meeting our full potential.
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis’ book is a must have for those who feel they are floundering, and feel they are being tested by the struggles and adversity presented before them. Life is a Test is a building block to help one succeed in their goals, succeed in making correct choices, and succeed in understanding the illuminations that self-discovery brings them.
I will suggest more books in an upcoming post.
August 15, 2012 – 27 Av, 5772