I went to a Yom Kippur prayer service this year for the holiday. This was my first time attending these services since I lived at home with my parents. I felt that it was a very meaningful experience to attempt fasting for the day to repent my sins and pray with a community. This was much better than trying to fast alone at my home. I would participate in these services again because I feel that it is important to celebrate the holiday (to the best of my ability) and engage in a Jewish community even if it's only a couple of times a year.
Article: Sephardic, Ashkenazic, Mizrahi and Ethiopian Jews
Author: Rabbi Rachel M. Solomin
I learned that there are many different traditions within the Jewish culture based on where the Jews come from. Being apart of the Jewish community, I feel that it is important to accept everyone regardless of their background. On my trip, I would assume that most were Ashkenazic Jews but I am excited to explore the other Jewish cultures found in the tristate area.
Video: Balancing Time
This video gives me a better perspective on how to better balance my time. I am very busy in my current career and I would like to be more balanced with working hard and having a great social life. It's important to spend my time outside of work with those who I care for and I want to maintain quality relationships with.
This has changed my Jewish identity because I need to incorporate structure in both my work and my personal life.
Video: How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking?
Public speaking is definitely one of my biggest fears. This video made me realize that this fear is very, very normal. I need to focus my attention away from my performance and worrying about myself. If I create a pre-performance routine to trigger my mind to get into performance zone.
This has changed my Jewish identity because I need to focus less on myself and my flaws and more on how I can create change and make an impact.
Article: Interfaith Respect is Vital
Author: Rabbi Sacks
Given that I come from an Interfaith home, this article is very important to me. I feel that it is crucial to have a safe space for open dialogue about religion in my home. Religion was never forced upon me, but I am grateful to have been exposed to two religions in my home. Although I never really thought about my beliefs in God, I appreciate that this article emphasizes that God loves everyone coming from all religions. I can apply this to my every day life by having greater appreciation for myself and those around be, regardless of their religion.
Video: How to Resist Temptations?
I learned that the impulse of decision-making overtakes us. However, as we go further into the future, our decisions become more rational. The immediate pleasure distracts us. I need to connect the better decision to the long-term benefits.
I can apply this to my Jewish identity by conditioning myself to good habits and resist the temptations by evening the scale of indulgences and making the right choices.
Video: How Do I Unblock Myself?
Time is a huge component to how we block ourselves. We are very careless with time by engaging in meaningless activities and conversations. Time allows us to perfect a service or a relationship. Comfort and uncertainty binds us to what is comfortable and safe. This also serves as a block because it limits me from exploring new opportunities. Charlie suggests that I solve a need in the marketplace/in society to unblock myself.
This has changed my Jewish identity because I am more aware of how to value my time every day, step out of my comfort zone, and solve a need in society.
Video: How Do I Become More Innovative?
I learned that innovation is in the details of my life. I need to start by breaking down elements of what's already out there and discover how I can tweak the product's elements. Innovation is the ability to solve problems through empathy over sympathy. I need to dream big and visualize the ideal solution to the problem(s) to create change.
This has changed my Jewish identity because it made me realize that I need to be more empathetic with all of my relationships and put myself in other people's shoes to truly understand them.
Article: Peace of Mind
Author: Rabbi Noah Weinberg
This article discusses becoming one with your soul to maintain a peaceful mind and heart. Self respect is the first place to begin having a peaceful mind. Similarly, caring for my body means caring for my mind. It is important to dream big and achieve my fullest potential to never wonder what if. I will apply this take on wisdom to my life by being more aware of my mental well-being and always remembering to care for myself and for others.
Article: Wake Up and Live
Author: Rabbi Noah Weinberg
This article begins with the struggle of waking up in the morning. I relate to this article because I am definitely not a morning person, so I can understand that struggle. Sleep has its positive aspects, such as rejuvenating my body and allowing my mind to rest until the next day. It is a struggle to be awake and to live every day for the good and the bad. I have to wake up every morning and remind myself that life is good and that's why I'm waking up every day. Too much sleep is a waste of the day and my capabilities. I need to wake up every day feeling eager and ready to accomplish.
Article: Mastering Fear
Author: Rabbi Noah Weinberg
This article discusses how fear serves as a motivational components in our lives and how we have to use fear to lead us towards the good. Rabbi Noah Weinberg discusses many negative connotations associated with fear, such as pain, paralyzing experiences, avoiding the challenge, and the demeaning consequences. However, these are all myths. In reality, fear is in our lives to challenge us for the better and to prepare ourselves for the hard times in life.
Article: Growth Through Teaching
Author: Rabbi Noah Weinberg
Rabbi Noah Weinberg articulates this article by sharing the value of teaching, and how there is a teacher within all of us. Teaching is a way to engage others and help them learn, while also testing my own knowledge on the subject. I never really thought of myself as a teacher, but after reading this article I feel that I am constantly teaching and impacting people in my life (hopefully for the better). I will apply this to my life by ensuring that every discussion I engage in will come from a place of goodness and knowledge, and I will always keep an open mind to learning from others.
Article: 48 Ways to Wisdom
Author: Rabbi Noah Weinberg
I appreciate how this article lists 48 ways to wisdom since I interpreted this as ways to live a happier and better life. I like how the article begins with the idea of living in the moment. That's something that I definitely take for granted. The article continues with basic applications like continuous joy and work it out with friends. These are such basic ideas but they are much easier said than done. I will apply these concepts of wisdom to my life by living in the present and appreciating those around me and every moment I have to live.
Article: "Where Faith Meets Science" by Mayim Bialik, found using this link http://groknation.com/faith/where-faith-meets-science/
What resonated with me most in this article is the fact that Mayim Bialik, a famous actress from "The Big Bang Theory" is able to practice observant Judaism in a secular world. I like how Mayim reiterates that she does not use the Torah to explain science because the two are different studies. Instead, she studies the Torah as practical guidance to morality and to learn about Jewish history. Mayim concludes with stating that religion is not perfect nor are the people practicing. I can relate this to my life by reminding myself that whatever imperfections I have, as long as I am my best and honest self that is what's important.
This week, I watched the movie "Yentl" with Barbra Streisand. To be honest, I chose this movie because I am a HUGE Barbra fan! The movie led me on a rollercoaster of emotions because although I value the different gender roles in society, it made me sad to see that back in the day (and possibly now) Jewish women were forbidden from learning. It is very honorable to see that Yentl was able to disguise herself as a young boy and learn and their level. This makes me appreciate modern Judaism more because now women have more rights and are encouraged to learn. Although the movie was long, I would recommend this film to a friend.
I decided to watch the movie "Fiddler on the Roof" because I've heard that it's very similar/funny take on Jewish dating. Although I don't come a super traditional family, some of my friends' parents encourage them to only date Jewish. This reminded me of their conversations/interactions with their parents. I've learned that family values and traditions are very important to consider when dating and considering a future with someone. Similarly, I learned that there are tons of "yentas" in the Jewish world who try to set each other up. I've witnessed that from people on my bus and it's funny to see the idea of matchmaking applied in this movie. This film changed my Jewish identity because going forward I will remember my Jewish values and how I choose to incorporate them in my future. I would recommend this movie to a friend (and my family since I don't think any of them have seen it).
In this video, Charlie discusses how to forgive. I enjoyed this video because I feel that I often hold grudges because it's a matter of fairness and justice. Charlie emphasizes the fact that they are not hurt by me holding a grudge - only I am. Holding a grudge is only hurting myself. I really liked the Seinfeld comparison because I feel like we've all been in that situation. This relates to my Jewish identity because I need to find the lesson in forgiveness, have compassion, and how I can grow as a person.
How do I ask for a raise? This is a great question! Charlie explains the lack of asking as a downward spiral of employee-employer relations because the employee is frustrated without receiving a raise, but the employer will (likely) never just offer. The best time to ask is when you are satisfied with your job!
This relates to my Jewish identity because I should apply my confidence and security in all my interactions - both professionally and personally.
This video discusses how to find your purpose in life. Charlie mentions that we have these thoughts because deep down inside we are empty. First step is to stop looking for purpose, stop thinking and overthinking! This is very selfish thinking.
This changed my Jewish identity because it teaches me that I need to focus on others and not on myself. I need to live with purpose by: asking myself what is needed from me to help help others, act by starting to contribute or make change, and review the use of my time and whether or not I should do more or if I did too much. Now I am learning by doing and living with purpose.
I watched the Charlie Harary video "Dealing with Haters" found on this link: http://charlieharary.com/video/
From this video, I learned that online use can reach billions of people around the world, which has both its positives and negatives. If this is the case, this is good because I'm reaching people who are interested. Haters are going to hate so shake it off.
Charlie gave me the following suggestions:
1. Don't take it personally
2. Use it to get better - if it hurts then maybe they hit a nerve and they may be right. This could be a great way to grow
3. Show you're human and respond with grace and class
4. Most people that like my work won't comment they will just like or share (we are more likely to remember negative feedback than praise)
5. Never stop!
I will apply this to my Jewish identity both through not being too sensitive and using social media to my best judgment. Some aspects of my life are great to share with the world, and many should remain personal.
Over Labor day weekend, I got together with 12 of the people I met on Birthright! We rented a house in Atlantic City. We talked about how amazing birthright was and how we couldn't wait to see our Israeli soldiers when they came to America!
I had a Rosh Hashanah meal with my family. It was so nice to spend time with them and catch up as I don't get to see them very often. We blessed the fruit for the new year and dipped apples in honey!
This video highlights how difficult it can be to remain yourself when you are living in the spotlight. I think Mayim does an excellent job of knowing who she is and stays grounded in that. She is really an inspiration.
Nati is so amazing for being proactive and showing passion for what he really believes in. So many people have a passion for the environment and speak out about it but not many actually make chances that can help. He makes me want to be proactive about things that need to change.
Matt is such a cool guy! I would never think that Judaism and rap would go together but he totally kills it. it really makes you think that you can combine any of the loves you may have in your life whether you think they go together or not!
Sara's story is so inspiring because she started something that she knew nothing about and had no background in but self taught herself the skills needed in order to share an important lesson. She makes you feel like you can do anything you set your mind to!
Keren is a true inspiration. She realized what her goal was and she did everything in her power to achieve it. She was so courageous and such a great role model for others.
This video was so inspirational. It showed real people who made an impact by following their heart. It pushed us to be a leaders in our own lives and to follow our dreams.
I think happiness can be such a tricky idea. As a creature of habit and routine, I liked that this video talked about gaining happiness by pursuing activities and habits that bring daily joy as opposed to trying to have the newest iPhone or car.
This video talked about how people of jewish descent had to work that much harder to make it in the film industry. Many Jews had to change their names and lie about their life just to get a job. It makes me appreciate the resiliency of our people.
This video talks about the importance of struggles and growth. Without a struggle it can be difficult to grow. While in Western times apologizing might be viewed as a sign of weakness, in Judaism we recognize that we make mistakes and in order to learn and not make that mistake again we must recognize it.
I really enjoyed this video because it puts into light how Jews are represented in the film world. People don't realize how Hollywood is composed of so many Jews. it is empowering to learn this information.
Comedy often comes from a place of truth. There is a darkness to jewish comedy because of the struggles we have faced in the past. I think that without using our struggles as comic relief they would be too much for us to bare.
I never really thought that there was connection between Jews and the mob. I also like how this video brings up the idea of Free Will because it is something that I believe we do believe in as Jews. Its sad to realize that death is viewed as the only way out sometimes.
This video showed two people falling in love. I do think it is easier to love someone when they come from a similar background and religion as you do.
I had no idea how much jewish influence is in the hollywood world. It is empowering to see that there is such a connection to judaism and representation in the industry. We have heroes in our everyday lives we just don't always think of them as heroes because they aren't as perfect as the typical one portrayed on screen.
I had no idea how much Jewish influence is in film and this video definitely helped me see that. Movies can definitely be Jewish with how much influence the actors an have on screen as many people in Hollywood happen to be Jewish.
Jerusalem was one of my favorite places we went to while on Birthright. I think it is such a fascinating place. I often think of Jerusalem as only important to the Jewish people but this video reminded me that it is sacred ground for people of all religions.
I really enjoyed this video about relationships. I have always felt that relationships built of mutual trust and respect are relationships built to last. I think when you have religion in common it is easier to build as you already have a foundation.
I did not know that Kabbalah was related to Judaism until I went on Birthright. I really appreciate it as the more spiritual side of Judaism. I love that it teaches meditation and patience as I think these two things can bring much peace to life.
This video focuses on the past and how we need to understand and use that past knowledge to help us navigate in the future. Death can be an uncertain thing but this video teaches us to find relief and information in the Torah.
Hazikaron- Israeli Memorial day means so much to mean now that I have spent time with the Israeli soliders. We had the opportunity to get to know them in a such a special way and I now have a newfound respect for them. I will definitely remember this holiday now and always think of our Israeli soliders.
This video talked about how god is viewed differently in Judaism than it is in other religions. We don't view god as a big man in the sky but instead as something infinite. While this idea is harder to understand it does feel more truthful than the alternative.
When people think of success they usually think about status, money, etc. This video pushes the boundaries to think of success as whatever that may look like for you. I do feel that everyone can feel successful as long as they define what success is for them.
I've always felt science and religion are totally separate things but this video taught me that there are different ways to look at how the two are connected. It talked about how the Genesis and the big bang are related which I found really interesting.
I liked that this video talked about finding pleasure in life through following your purpose. Purpose gives you a goal which allows you to make choices in order to achieve that goal. Without purpose it can be hard to find the pleasure in life.
This video made me think about and consider what shapes my views and beliefs. You really can only know what you know until you make a life change. I thought it was interesting when it talked about people being brainwashed by society.
Ate at a Kosher deli in NYC! I went to Mendy's Kosher Deli. I ordered a turkey sandwich and split pea soup. I would totally recommend this meal to a friend! I love a good Kosher deli!
I loved taking part in shabbat. i think it is important that even if we cannot always take part in shabbat that we take part at least a few times a year to take time to reflect and spend time with the people that mean the most to you. This activity was inspiring because i took time to reflect on things i would typically not reflect on because i am too caught up in technology and day to day activity.
My most meaningful moment was visiting the Western Wall. I think this made me realize how surreal the entire Birthright experience was and i couldn't believe that we were seeing what we had always read and learned about in real life. I think it is very important for Jews to go on birthright to learn more about their culture and heritage because it is not just about religion.
You will never look stupid for asking questions and it is always important to do so. You should never let others opinions tell or show you how you should act.
After meeting and becoming friends with the Israeli soldiers on our trips I thought that I really grasped what it was like being in the IDF. This film solidified what they told us and gave me a further understanding of the IDF.
Although relationships are very difficult and sometimes challenging. This made me realize how important honesty and trust is and how much easier it can make relationships.
I researched Waze. Waze started in Israel, but has an office in the US on Google's campus as well. I found it interesting that Waze contributes data for the goverments use of maps.
This video is an excellent reminder of how people are easily sucked into the idea of money will make you happy. It is more important to think about what will actually make you happy that is not of monetary value.
Change is bound to always happen. I experience it daily in my career. I've learned it is something that you just need to accept and embrace.
A positive attitude is super important in your life. It effects your day to day and is so simple.
I learned about how important it is to be open and honest as well as to communicate in all relationships.
My favorite Jewish memory is celebrating the holidays in college. I had friends of all different background so we would combine all holidays into one giant celebration. We would learn and share all of our traditions and try each other's foods. It was so much fun because i was able to share my favorite parts of our holidays with people who did not know anything about them.
I attended a shabbat meal last Friday with my friends from college. I loved this experience because we have not had shabbat together in years and it was great to rekindle this tradition we had in college and reflect on our past times.
This app is great to meet new Jewish friends, I hope to make a whole bunch of new relationships from the app! Yes i would recommend this to friends to meet other Jews!
I watched "History of Jerusalem" I loved it because it brought everything we saw in Jerusalem to light and explained more history about the city that I did not know before. I like this app because the videos are all different and I can continue to learn new info about my Jewish culture/heritage
I love this app because now i have all of the Jewish holidays synced on my phone! It is great because now i will be more aware of the upcoming holidays that i would've had to search for dates of previously and go out of my way to find out. Yes, I would recommend this to all of my Jewish friends since these holidays are not always included on a regular calendar.
I downloaded Duolingo a language learning app. I figured this would be a fast and fun way to learn more of the Hebrew language even if it is just a few words or phrases here and there. Yes, I would recommend this app to friends because it is so easy to use and learn quickly.
I didn't think that it was so easy to be able to move to Israel to work. I was really surprised to learn that it seems much easier than it is to go to the US and do the same. It is good to know that Israel welcomes everyone and is so open to allowing immigrants to come and work.
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