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Preparing for the High Holidays: Weighing the Good

Fri, 08/23/2013 - 12:00am -- Rabbi

In looking over the past year and thinking over our actions, we can often be filled with regret for what we have done wrong.  While regret is an important part of the process of repentance, it is equally important that we remember what we have done right in the past year. Focusing only on the negative can impede the process of repentance by making us lose hope for ourselves and the possibility of changing course in the new year. We cannot lose ourselves in the voice that whispers to us that we can never change.  Instead, we must look at all parts of ourselves and concentrate on the power we do have - that we have shown in the past - to enact our highest selves in our daily lives.  The ancient rabbis teach that when faced with a decision, we should imagine that the whole world is equally balanced between good and evil, and our next action can tip the balance either way. Similarly, when we look at ourselves in this time of introspection, we should think of ourselves as equally balanced between good and evil.  The choices we make and the direction we move in the year ahead can make all the difference.