Friday, January 31, 2014

Rewriting Your Memories

The Way We Were (lyrics by Marvin Hamlisch)

Could it be that life was so simple then?
Or has time rewritten every line?

Memories may be beautiful and yet
what's too painful to remember
we simply choose to forget

Memory is the story you create of the past that fits your needs for the present.

Your mind sifts through chosen moments in your life and scoops out the preferred details.

You have ultimate control and access when you decide which memories to store on your hard-drive.

We each have a story that defines us.  It may be a false history and an uncommon perspective, but it belongs to us, and we own it proudly and defiantly.

When you recall and subconsciously rearrange the active plot of your past, it becomes the truth of your present, for better, for worse, forever.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Price of Wisdom

The price of wisdom is above rubies. (Job 28:18)

I am pleased to announce the creation of The Benjamin Center for Jewish Studies in memory of my beloved father, Rabbi Benjamin Miller, whose quest for wisdom through Jewish texts framed his life.

The Benjamin Center for Jewish Studies will form a community of wisdom learners who will disseminate a personal and dynamic commitment to Jewish texts and philosophy.

We will focus on the wonder and relevance of these texts to build a human community filled with devotion and love.

The premiere of the study group is in mid-February (on a Sunday) at my home:

Song of Songs: Biblical Lyrical Love Poems
A Study in Relationships

If you interested in this community, email me!

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Return of My Parents' Souls

January arrives bringing my parents back into my rear view mirror.

I dream about them. I whisper my deepest desires loud enough so they can hear while I remain undetected. I visualize my father’s white wool tallit wrapped around his body and then -- a flashback to his Cuban cigar smoking forays into the streets near our apartment building.

I smell my mother’s spicy meatballs which she formed every Wednesday night for dinner and then -- a snapshot of her diminutive shape standing at the sink "doing" the daily dishes.

In a few days I will light their individual Yahrzeit candles in memory. They died a year and twelve days apart. Dad first. Mom second. They stretched themselves to each other for eternity.

Now only six and seven years later, I ask my question.

How can their souls continue to be elevated, when each year my connection to them gets stronger and more immanent?

The return of my parents’ souls is an annual gift of grace and nostalgia for what was and still is.

May they rest in peace next to my beating heart.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Waiting One Minute Longer

The rabbis interpreted that the Jews escaped Egypt at the very final moment. The slaves had descended to the 49th of the 50 gates of deprecation.

Had we lingered a minute longer we never would have emerged as a people who were destined to enter the Promised Land.

Ascending in the darkness of slavery was an act of faith. Maintaining a glimmer of hope enabled us to climb up one freedom rung.

As dark as the winter nights are, as dangerous and as uncertain as our own lives may be, we must continue to see the part of the road that is already illuminated.

A future strewn with possibilities is an optimism that we can endure.

Do not wait one minute longer to make your ascent.