Monday, September 21, 2009


...On Rosh Hashanah it is written. On Yom Kippur it is sealed.
Who shall be pierced by envy, and who shall be torn by resentment;
Who shall be tormented by the fire of ambition, and whose hopes shall be quenched by the waters of failure,
Who shall hunger for approval, and who shall be stuffed with selfishness:
Who shall be content with his lot, and who shall wander in search of satisfaction;
Who shall be poor in his own eyes, and who shall be rich in Mitzvot;
Who shall be serene, and who shall be distraught,
Who shall stand out as a Jew, and who shall grind for grades;
Who shall be open-minded, and who shall be tight-fisted;
Who shall be interdependent with others, and who shall be independent and alone;
Who shall be truly alive, and who shall merely exist.
We are flesh and blood. Our origin is in dust and our end is to be dust, but we have been created in the divine image.
Implanted within us is the ability to pray, The urge to do right, the power to repent. The door is not yet closed. We can yet change the decree. For we are a people that does not resign itself to fate. We can annul the decree. We can re-open the future. We can reclaim our lives. We can change the future by changing ourselves....

(Thanks to my friend Eddie Friedman for sending this along)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tshuva Means Never Having To Say You're Sorry

To blatently re-purpose the signature quote from "Love Story" ("Love means never having to say you're sorry") - Tshuva, the return to the root truth of one's own soul, means never having to say you're sorry.

On the surface this would seem odd, especially as in popular English-language culture the notion of Tshuva is commonly understood to indicate the word "repent." After all, what's more Elul-ish than repentance? The problem with repentance is the connotation of condemnation, and few things (if any) are less loving than condemnation.

Tshuva is less about repentance than it is about return - returning to one's original pure self, the essence of which remains untouched even when covered with the dirty schmutz of sin. To disconnect from the world of falseness, self-deceit and ego gratification, to sever the connection to knee-jerk negativity, to change one's default setting from self-pity to loving gratitude - this is Tshuva. Tshuva means never having to say you're sorry - no apologies needed here, the gates are wide open, the Everlasting Arms are spread wide to receive us, the Healing Wings of the Most High are unfolded to shelter and shade us from harm - especially the harm we do to ourselves with our negative self-talk, punishing perfectionism, and lack of compassion.

If anyone deserves an apology, it is our own precious Soul against which we sin by denying our own truth, negating our own power, diminishing our own light, subsuming our own passionate truth, being anything less than completely authentic. But the Soul does not want to hear plaintive platitudes. Actions speak louder than words. Your Soul longs for your embrace, not your rejection.

Return again, return again to your Soul ... with deeds, not mere words.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Status Updates I DIDN'T Post

Some people obsessively update their FB status, Twitter or Twoozer accounts, and even MySpace Moods, micro-documenting even their most mundane & ubiquitous moments. Here are the last 25 Status Updates I DIDN'T post for the sake of peace on earth & all humanity.

1) Lorelai Kude hates standing behind FSU people at the ATM, being downwind of stale vodka is never fun.

2) Lorelai Kude isn't your girlfriend, and most importantly - you are not her boyfriend. Got that?

3) Lorelai Kude is having a dental floss emergency.

4) Lorelai Kude is going to de-friend you for pilfering her Friends List and sending creepy messages to her single girl friends.

5) Lorelai Kude ... "Don't fuck with me, gentlemen!" (Joan Crawford, "Mommie Dearest" - Joan's response to the PepsiCo Board of Directors when they try to ease her out after the death of her PepsiCo CEO husband).

6) Lorelai Kude is recruiting candidates for the Pharmaceutical Exchange Program. What do you have a Script for?

7) Lorelai Kude loves Moroccan men. Period.

8) Lorelai Kude does not look both ways before she crosses.

9) Lorelai Kude ... Live recklessly but take precautions.

10) Lorelai Kude ... don't bogart that joint, my friend!

11) Lorelai Kude needs new bathroom reading material.

12) Lorelai Kude ... freestylin' with Rebbe Nachman

13) Lorelai Kude needs fresh blood.

14) Lorelai Kude is running for Prime Minister on the Health & Safety Ticket. 1st act upon taking office - revoke all Israeli drivers licenses & not reinstate until mandatory anger management courses are completed.

15) Lorelai Kude wants some credit for never, ever, EVER mentioning or alluding to her 11-week marriage & divorce experience in a social networking environment. Oops!

16) Lorelai Kude misses her children every day, whether they like it or not.

17) Lorelai Kude's impact upon Frum Fashion is reflected in the Bloomers as Outerwear trend currently in vogue on the streets of Jerusalem!

18) Lorelai Kude is not a stalker, no matter what eccentric billionaire Paul Allen might think.

19) Lorelai Kude's date exclaimed, "You are not a kitchen woman!" after watching her attempt to dress a salad. "You are so right my friend, the kitchen is not my room of expertise."

20) Lorelai Kude wonders why the Talmud Bavli and the Talmud Yerushalmi are not equally popular.

21) Lorelai Kude is pirating your wireless connection - thanks, bro!

22) Lorelai Kude can type 90 wpm in a coma.

23) Lorelai Kude wonders if a married guy says his wife doesn't mind if he sleeps around and he won't give me his wife's phone number so I can verify that, is this a sign he's lying?

24) Lorelai Kude's phone is on vibrate.

25) Lorelai Kude has a fallafel hangover.