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calmness
calmness
Tuesday, 13 September 2011 23:38

calmness rooted in the unshakable

Written by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

art-quakeIt would seem that the world is becoming decreasingly calm as the years go by. At the same time, there is rarely anything new under the sun and a sense of disequilibrium has covered society from time immemorial.

Friday, 10 June 2011 06:05

calmness and the face(s) of God

Written by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

art-traffic“Show me the goodness, the beauty, the kindness in every one I meet.”  – Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, The Gentle Weapon

Harsh words and attitudes rarely come primarily as a result of holy anger or indignation. Most of us would like to pretend this is the case, however. It is much more soothing to the ego to suggest that outbursts of anger come as a result of being legitimately wronged, rather than admitting that the root is more likely fear and insecurity.

Saturday, 11 June 2011 02:14

don't rock the boat

Written by rabbi paul saal

art-canoeI find that one of the most enigmatic stories in the Besorot for the modern reader is that of Yeshua quieting a storm. The account is found in Matthew 8, Mark 4 and Luke 8. Though there are some small differences, the accounts are largely the same.

Sunday, 13 March 2011 19:02

calmness and complacency

Written by rabbi russ resnik

art-theendYou will hear the noise of wars nearby and the news of wars far off; see to it that you don’t become frightened. Such things must happen, but the end is yet to come. For peoples will fight each other, nations will fight each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various parts of the world; all this is but the beginning of the ‘birthpains.’ Matt. 24:6–8

For my first few years as a follower of Yeshua I suffered from what one of my colleagues later diagnosed as end-times fever. And I wasn’t alone. Friends, mentors, the voices on the radio or cassette tapes—all were convinced that Messiah’s return was so near that we should devote all our energies to being ready and helping everyone we knew to get ready too, before it was too late.

Friday, 11 March 2011 19:43

calm in the midst of the storm

Written by rabbi michael schiffman

art-nestKeeping one’s cool, or calmness, is a fairly important middah, or characteristic for a person to have. When a person is calm, they can act from their intelligence instead of from their emotions. When we act from emotions, we often make mistakes we regret later.

Friday, 11 March 2011 19:40

pure perception with calm

Written by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

art-kotelIn Cheshbon HaNefesh, calmness is not spoken of in terms of an internal state. In fact, it is equanimity that serves as the middah to deal with internal equilibrium. Calmness is spoken in terms of communication. Calmness requires that we step outside our emotional reactions to a situation and connect with true compassion for all who are involved, in a levelheaded and gentle manner. One might think that the primary way to achieve this is to rise above the circumstances of everyday life so that they do not move or affect us. Such an idea frightens me. How could we really be who God would have us be without deep compassion and caring? I cannot be a partner with God in repairing the world if I am mentally and emotionally detached. We need to be as invested in creation as God is if we’re to fulfill our purpose.

Friday, 11 March 2011 19:39

staying in calm

Written by rabbi paul saal

art-hurricaneIn the fall of 1985 Hurricane Gloria worked its way up the eastern coast of the United States, eventually crossing the Long Island Sound and passing over Milford, Connecticut where I resided with my family. To the best of my knowledge, I had never before seen a category 4 hurricane or anything close to it.  So as the storm was developing over the small beach community, I drove to a public beach and parked in the empty municipal lot. As I trudged toward the beach, I fought through my way through the torrid winds and driving rain. I was able to get within about 100 yards of where low tide should have been before being hit with the spray of the crashing waves. This was the end of my misplaced bravado, and I ran back to my car and drove toward home and high ground.

Sunday, 12 December 2010 20:11

the narrow bridge

Written by rebbetzin malkah
KOL HA'OLAM KULO
GESHER TSAR ME'OD 

THE WHOLE WORLD
IS A NARROW BRIDGE

Kol Ha'olam kulo
Gesher Tsar me'od
Gesher Tsar me'od
Gesher Tsar me'od

The whole world
is a very narrow bridge
a very narrow bridge
a very narrow bridge

Kol Ha'olam kulo
Gesher Tsar me'od
Gesher Tsar me'od.
The whole world
is a very narrow bridge
A very narrow bridge.
Veha'ikar - veha'ikar
Lo lefached -
lo lefached klal.
And the main thing to recall
is not to be afraid
not to be afraid at all.
Veha'ikar - veha'ikar
lo lefached klal.
And the main thing to recall
is not to be afraid at all.

art-treebridgeThese words, by Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, have been made into a song which many sing around the table or campfire as inspiration. While it makes a nice song, the depth and comfort these words bring are very much in step with the middah of calmness.

Sunday, 12 December 2010 06:08

a calm word

Written by rebbetzin malkah

art-screamIn a conversation among R. Israel Salanter's disciples, the discussion turned to saintly individuals whose influence extends on high. One of the disciples told about a certain tzaddik who had been offended by the remarks some individuals had directed at him. The tzaddik retorted sharply and cursed them. The curse was fulfilled to the letter. R. Israel was not surprised by the incident itself, but observed in his own telling style: "Someone who had reached so elevated a stature that his words can take effect, should exercise the utmost caution to guard his tongue and lips, so as not to utter anything evil, since he can easily become a damaging agent, for what difference does it make whether one damages with his hands or with the whiplash of his tongue, smiting his neighbor in secret with the force of a Heavenly decree?"   —From The Mussar Movement, Volume 1, part 2, page 212

Friday, 10 December 2010 06:27

bedrock of calmness

Written by rebbetzin malkah

art-rocksThe Hebrew word for calmness is nichutah.  Nichutah translates to ease, serenity, tranquility, or gentleness.

Out here in Seattle, we live in an earthquake zone.  For those of us whose homes are on bedrock, we live with a little more peace of mind knowing that there is some buffering that we experience due to being on solid rock.  Those who live in the valley are susceptible to liquefaction, serious shaking and building collapse.

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