Advice from a Rabbi

In Real Simple’s March 2009 issue there is an article called, “Good Advice for Tough Times: From Five People Who Understand.” A few different people are profiled such as Rachel, an ER doctor and Darryl, a Bartender. These people have some pretty good things to say to help others cope with these tough economic times. My favorite was Rabbi Niles Goldstein. He said a few things that really made sense to me.

First he said,
“That’s the beauty of religion. Through its texts, rites, and rituals, it shows us we can celebrate life in the face of extreme uncertainty.”

Wow! That is so true, at least for me. I find so much comfort and hope in my religion especially in its texts, rites and rituals. It may seem strange to an outsider, but it’s what I know and what means the most to me in the world. The sights, smells and sounds of Sunday at Mass always bring me back to reality. The reality that we, God’s people (meaning all people in the world), are created out of love. We may struggle, but we always have the constancy of God’s love for us. Through the rituals, rites and texts of our faith we are continually reminded of that.

Rabbi Goldstein also said:

“I’m encouraging people to accept and tolerate this ambiguity in their lives. View life itself as a condition without guarantees, one in which anything can happen to anybody at anytime.”

“Muscle tissue gets stronger after being broken down. I believe the same is true for our souls. Feeling broken from a crisis opens our hearts and helps us appreciate things we previously took for granted.”

Well said, Rabbi Goldstein.

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