By engaging in a daily practice of answering a series of questions we invite you to reveal deeper insights about yourself to encounter your nekudah elokit – the divine spark with which we are all imbued.
“רְאֵה, אָנֹכִי נֹתֵן לִפְנֵיכֶם–הַיּוֹם”
The inspiration for the project draws from a teaching of Reb Shlomo Carlebach. Parashat Re’eh often falls out on the Shabbat preceding Rosh Chodesh Elul and reveals a message to guide us as we prepare for the month of preparing for the New Year. The pasuk begins with two words “re’eh anochi”. While the verse can be translated simply as “Behold, I (Hashem) set before you this day”, looking at the text through the lens of chasidut we see that the “anochi” of the pasuk comes to include “myself”. Reb Shlomo notes that these words are in the singular form while the end of the pasuk “noten lifneichem hayom” is in plural. The switch from singular to plural presents a deep truth. In order to form the strongest nation and fulfill our divine mission the Torah does not ask us to blend together as a uniform entity, rather we are instructed “re’eh anochi” see yourself, see your ‘anochi’. In revealing your essence and what you are all about each one of us, like the instruments of an orchestra, can join together to form the most harmonious klal and become true partners with Hashem in being m’taken (fixing/elevating) the world in preparation for The Day of Mashiach.
First we must recognize what we are all about…
So How Does This Project Work?
In our avoda to become better acquainted with ourselves we embark to ask ourselves four questions each night as we take measured daily steps towards our greater goal.
Get yourself a journal – big or little, fancy or simple. Make it your own. This little book is going to become your companion throughout the year. Choose a time in your schedule to sit down and write every day. It can be five minutes or twenty five, just as long as it is daily. I personally chose before I go to sleep both so that I can reflect on my entire day, and so that I can put my thoughts into writing, clearing up space in my mind as I prepare to go to sleep.
There are two sets of questions – daily and monthly. The first set, the “daily questions”, are a series of four questions which we will ask ourselves every day for the upcoming year. These questions were chosen to help shift how we frame our day. Moving away from the negativity that we so easily associate with our lives, we are focusing our energies towards positivity and growth highlighting gratitude, joy, self compassion, and becoming partners with Hashem. Reading over our answers over time we may discover patterns and deeper truths about our character, principles, values, passions and dreams.
Daily Questions – “אורך ימים אשביעהו ואראהו בישועתי”
- What are you grateful for today?
- How did you bring joy into the world? In another’s life, in your own?
- How did you treat yourself with self-compassion? What are you proud of doing or accomplishing today?
- What did you do today to help Hashem bring Mashiach? How did you strengthen your partnership with Hashem?
Monthly Questions – “החודש הזה לכם”
The second set of questions will be shared each Rosh Chodesh in the spirit of connecting with the very first mitzvah we received as a nation. “הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם, רֹאשׁ חֳדָשִׁים: רִאשׁוֹן הוּא לָכֶם, לְחָדְשֵׁי הַשָּׁנָה. Our very first commandment as Am Yisrael instructs us to count the months. It is a mitzvah to measure our days according to the Jewish calendar and on a deeper level to live in harmony with the energy of each month. The questions we offer each Rosh Chodesh will reflect the unique characteristics and tikun (fixing/growth/elevation) for that month to facilitate greater growth both personally (prat) and nationally (klal) as we connect more powerfully to shabbatot, mo’adim and holidays.
- אלול – Elul – How did you practice loving forgiveness towards yourself? How did you show love and forgiveness to another?
- תשרי – Tishrei
- רם חשוון – Cheshvan
- כסלו – Kislev
- טבת – Tevet
- שבט – Sh’vat
- אדר א – Adar I
- אדר ב – Adar II
- ניסן – Nissan
- אייר – Iyar
- סיוון – Sivan
- תמוז – Tamuz
- מנחם אב – Av