Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Three Week Thoughts By Erica Brown

I highly recommend that you buy Erica Brown's In The Narrow Places. And think about her essays and suggested assignments. I also think that all Jewish libraries and schools should have this book. It would be very helpful for teachers and students and camps to have this book around and address the soul of the matter, as Brown so strongly implores us to do.

Here are a pieces of Brown's recommended "kavanot" for days one, two and three of The Three Weeks:

1. "Seeking is about discovery. Isaiah tells us to seek G-d where G-d is to be found. Think about where you might find G-d. People have a custom to pray and study in a makom kavua, a fixed location or place, every day. The idea is that we create spaces that are receptive to spiritual activities, where we have all that we need: the right light, the right balance of privacy and companionship, the right amount of noise or silence to induce spiritual behaviors. Think hard. Where does G-d seem most apparent in your life? What times and places seem more open and receptive to spiritual seeking and finding? Recreate those times and spaces and make your own makom kavua."

2. ‎"Think about a way you oppressed someone with your words. Just one incident. Now search for a way you can find a tikun, reparation for that hurt. Heal it by using words with that same individual today."

3. Make a list of ten principles through which you try to live your life. Now try to reduce it to five. Having done so, try to get the list down to three. How would you remind yourself of these three principles on a regular basis?


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