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23- Constant Change

In this episode we continue our discussion on Jewish holidays with an emphasis on Rosh Hashanah.


Hi friends. I'm Menachem Lehrfield and you're listening to 0% where we explore world changing ideas introduced by Judaism. This season, we've been talking all about the growth and the fixed mindsets, understanding how, when we change the way we think about thinking, it can change the way we think, which in turn changes the way we act Judaism for the past 3000 years. Even more than that, the past 3,300 years has been slowly introducing these ideas and concepts and then reinforcing them over and over and over again. And the reason why it's been so successful at producing such successful results is because of the different ways that the ideas are introduced. They're not just intellectual concepts that we talk about as we mentioned in the introduction last week, but they are ideas that are constantly being reinforced in different ways. If you look at the world of marketing and advertising, we understand that we're so much more impacted by nonverbal messages, product placement, right?
Speaker 1 (01:15):
Having someone in some movie or some TV show use a certain product is gonna be so much more powerful in giving over a message of why I want a certain thing than having a commercial telling me that I want something when they used the Reese's pieces in the movie, et. I think that was the first example of product placement ever. I could be wrong, but I believe that that's true. That was so much more powerful than a commercial showing Reese's pieces that says eat Reese's piece. Nonverbal messages are powerful. And so are repeated messages that we hear and we see, and we internalize over and over again. So the same way it can be used to manipulate us to buy things we don't want or need the exact same strategy can work to reinforce ideas and concepts that are, are so important and valuable to us.
Speaker 1 (02:10):
If we're trying to educate our children, if there are specific ideas that we want them to learn, we need to figure out ways to show them those ideas and ideals in all different ways, both verbally stating them to our children, but more importantly, and more effectively showing it to them through action, showing them this is the way I live my life. And the same is true with Judaism's introduction of the growth mindset research. So much of Judaism is trying to promote a growth mindset in us. And we don't just talk about it. They're not just ideas that we teach. They're not just things that we say, but they are coming to life in the way that we celebrate our holidays, the way that we mark time. And that leads us to our current discussion of the Jewish holidays and where we see the growth mindset research coming to life in the way we mark the different times of year, every single year.
Speaker 1 (03:11):
And I wanna remind our listeners, as we begin to explore the Jewish holidays, I don't want you to think, well, if I'm not Jewish and I don't celebrate the Jewish holidays, this is nothing to do with me. And it's completely irrelevant. Like all of the things we've talked about, I believe we are introducing universal ideas and concepts. My point is that if you are Jewish, don't look everywhere else, but your backyard don't look everywhere else, but Judaism to try and explore, or the latest new age idea or concept that will lead to your success because you have the answer, you have the culture and the rituals already built in to your religion. Why not try practicing some of these holidays, practicing some of these concepts and ideas in a way that it will hopefully introduce in an organic way, these growth mindset concepts to you and your children.
Speaker 1 (04:02):
But if you're not Jewish, and this is not your culture, you can still glean and gain so many things from the concepts of what we're trying to give over. And if you wanna create your own family practices and ways that you can introduce these concepts in an organic way, then by all means, go ahead. I don't want to make the assumption that everyone listening here is Jewish and is practicing these holidays. Figure out what it is that you can gain from each one of these episodes and ways that you can introduce these concepts, these ideas into the way you live your life. We left off last week talking about Roche. Hoish the celebration of the new month, the marking of the new month, the understanding that every single day I have the ability to live a life of newness. Every day I can start the process of life over again.
Speaker 1 (04:57):
I'm not just going with the flow. I'm not just a on this rat race called life on the wheel, going around and around and around, but that I can constantly redefine who I am. I can constantly define myself, not by who I was yesterday, but by the person I know I can become today right now. And when I see the moon going through the process of waxing and waning, I see the moon reinventing itself. I too can go through that process. And I'm reminded that I must go through that process. Or if Noah Burg used to say never be afraid to discover that the real you is different from the current you, that is such a growth mindset idea. The understanding I can constantly change that. I'm not defined by who I was before. RO hoes reminds us of that. And that doesn't mean that we ignore and cut off the past.
Speaker 1 (05:53):
We don't forget or abandon the past. We learn from the past, we look forward to the future, but we live in the present. We live here. We don't live with the worry of what's gonna be tomorrow. And the anxiety of things that we make up in our head that are gonna happen. And we don't live with the regret and the mistakes of yesterday. If those can serve me and inspire me to do something differently and to change, then by all means, hold onto it as much as you need to. But as soon as it stops serving, you let go of it. We don't live with the regret and the mistakes of yesterday, because those don't define who we are. They don't define. I can become RO hoes reminds me that on a regular basis, every single day I can change every day. I have the ability to reevaluate, to change up a strategy, to understand that things don't have to be the way they are. I am not a victim in this life. I have the ability do something about it. I have the ability to change and anything other than that, anything other than that mindset is death itself. When Jewish consciousness tells us about the idea of free will, and we're told that we have the ability to make free will choices. It packages the whole thing in a discussion of life and death. Jewish wisdom says I place before you life and death, blessing and curse choose life.
Speaker 1 (07:32):
What does that mean? Every single FreeWheel choice I'm making is a choice between life and death. That sounds a little extreme. Doesn't it? Not every single thing that happens to us is a life or death experience. But what Jewish wisdom is teaching us is that it actually is
Speaker 1 (07:53):
In the five seconds that just elapsed I'm five seconds closer to being dead. I know that sounds Mor it, and it sounds horrible, but it's absolutely true. What the Torah is telling us, what Jewish wisdom is teaching us is that every single moment of life I have a choice I can choose to live. I can choose to live meaning and purposefully. I can choose to be in control of every moment of my life and make choices and decisions or I can choose the alternative. And the alternative is death. Death is just another word for it. Existing. Any moment I choose to just exist. A I am choosing death.
Speaker 1 (08:43):
Any moment, I don't make an active choice of life. I am choosing existence and existence is synonymous with death. The alternative to existence, the alternative to death is life, which is why in that same verse that teaches us about free will. That says I place before you life and death blessing on curse. Choose life. The end of that verse says, you know why you should choose life, choose life that you shall live. Don't I know that if I choose life, I'm gonna live. That's obvious, but it's not so obvious what the Torah is teaching us is that the result of choosing life is a life that is meaningful. A life that is valuable a life that is not just going with the flow, continuing with what you left off yesterday. But real life is the constant reassessment. The constant choice to live with meaning to live with purpose.
Speaker 1 (09:39):
That is what life is all about. That is what we're reminded of every single month on Roche Kash and the ultimate Roche Kash. The ultimate new month is Roche hu, not just the beginning of the first month of the year, but the beginning of the year itself, the Jewish new year and the Jewish new year is celebrated very differently from any other new year of any culture. I know of most cultures that I'm aware of celebrate their new year with Merryman and drinking and partying, but that's not how we celebrate the Jewish new year. The Jewish new year Roshan is a very serious time, a time of introspection, a time where most Jews, those who actually have no connection to the synagogue throughout the year come to sch. And we sit in schul for hours, synagogue for hours on end. And it's unusual. Why is that the way we celebrate our new year to make the question even stronger? When you look at Jewish literature that describes this holy day, this day of Rashana, it's referred to as the day of judgment. Why on earth is our new year, a day of judgment.
Speaker 1 (10:52):
And if we are gonna have a day of judgment, doesn't it make more sense to be judged at the end of the year, the last day of the year, not the first day of the new year, if anything, I would think, especially if Raus Ashana is all about starting with a new slate, we should be judged on the last day when there's something to judge not on the first day. Can you imagine showing up to a brand new job and on your every first day, somebody comes into your office and starts conducting an evaluation. You say, come on. What are you evaluating me on? I didn't do anything yet. I just got here. If we're going to have a judgment day, it should surely be on the last day of the year at the end of the process, not at the beginning. So why are we being judged first day of the year?
Speaker 1 (11:40):
If Russia Ashana was really the judgment of the previous year, if I'm being judged for all the things I did wrong last year, then the timing is completely incorrect. It shouldn't be at the beginning of the year, it should be at the end. It should be on the last day of the year. On the very last day, I should sit down and be judged for all of the mistakes that I've made, but that's not what Rashana is about. Rashana. And specifically the judgment of Rashana is not about last year. It about this year, it's about next year. It's about what am I doing to make sure that this year is going to be different Rashana and probably even more profoundly own Kippur, which we'll talk about next week is reminding us that failure is not a permanent condition.
Speaker 1 (12:34):
I'm being judged, not on what I did last year. I'm being judged on my commitment right now to change in the present, to change in the future. That's what Rashana is about. And that's why the judgment takes place. On the first day of the year. I'm not being judged on my past. I am being given the opportunity to start over again right now to reassess where I want my life to go, what are my goals? What do I want to accomplish? Not just in this next year, but in my life. And what are the small steps I need to take to get me to that goal. It's not about the end destination. It's about the journey, the process that gets me there. And every journey starts with just one step Rashana is about reminding ourselves of that step. Another name that's used in Jewish wisdom to describe Rashana is it's called the YMA true.
Speaker 1 (13:35):
The day that we blow the chauffeur. So the cha far is a Rams horn that we blow in synagogue on Russia. And it's for those who are not familiar with Jewish practice is one of the most bizarre seeming and sounding rituals that we have. Essentially, the chauffeur sound is a prayer. It is the only, non-verbal no words included prayer of the entire Jewish calendar that I know of. We are, we get in synagogue, we come together as a, as a community and we just blow this Rams horn. That sounds like a howling, like most things in Judaism. There are very specific ways that needs to be done. We need to have specifically a Rams horn. It needs to be formulated properly, but also the way in which we blow these chauffeur blasts is very specific. There are three primary types of, of her blasts. There's something known as a te, which is a very long, strong, powerful sound.
Speaker 1 (14:43):
There is a Chava, which is a sound that's broken into three and then a Tua, which is each our broken into an additional three. So it's nine short blasts. We have the one long powerful blast, the shorter three part blast, and then the even shorter nine part blast and Jewish wisdom teaches us that the Teke represents strength. It's type of blast. That's blown at the King's coronation. It's the type of blast that's blown at the beginning of the Jubilee year. When we hear the Teke, we think of strength and power and grand juror, the Chava and the true are very different. Those are supposed to sound like whaling, like crying. And they really do. When you hear that chauffeur blast the blast of the sh farm in the Dr. It should Pierce to your heart. You should feel this visceral emotional connection to something so much deeper, something almost painful.
Speaker 1 (15:47):
And in the chauffeur blowing and Russia, Shana, we have a combination of these three different types of blasts. What's remarkable to note though, is that we never blow the sh farm or the Tua, the blasts that are meant to represent crying and wailing. We never blow those on their own. Every time we use one of those blasts, every time we blow from the, a chauffeur, a blast of wailing or crying, it is always preceded and followed by a Teke. We always make this Teke sandwich, if you will. And the reason for that is so profound. We have moments in our lives that our Shava Toru is we have moments in our lives that are broken, represented by that broken chauffeur blast moments that we're not so proud of moments of struggle and challenge and pain moments of ordeal. And the chauffeur blast reminds us that failure is not a permanent Condit.
Speaker 1 (16:54):
That just because this past year might have been filled with those broken moments. I understand. And I know I have faith in the fact that it will always be followed by a te it'll always be followed by a strong triumph blast. My past does not does find my future. I have the ability to change it. I have the ability to move past the brokenness of the Shava and the Tua into the freedom of the teki into the supply message. That all is good in the end. And if it's not good, it's simply not the end. The chauffeur blast remind us that there's always something better around the corner. Failure is not a permanent condition. It's temporary, and I can do something about it. I can change join me next week as we continue this conversation, as it relates to next holiday in the year, Yom Kippur, see you next week.

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