Page 1 - The Jewish Voice - October '18
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The Jewish Voice, Page 1

        VOL. 8 NO. 10                                                                            OCTOBER 2018

      MorseLife Helps Homebound Seniors Ring in New Year

         Jewish seniors throughout Palm Beach County started the
      New Year on an extra-sweet note, thanks to MorseLife Health
      System. In celebration of Rosh Hashanah, this nationally
      recognized provider of senior health care, housing, and
      support services prepared 2,000 traditional holiday meals
      — complete with matzah ball soup, honey-garlic chicken,
      challah, honey cake, and wine. A team of 350 volunteers
      assembled at MorseLife’s West Palm Beach campus to
      deliver the food and fellowship to frail, homebound seniors
      from Jupiter to Boca Raton. In addition to the complimentary
      meals, seniors were gifted with large-print prayer books and a
      digital recording of service so they could continue to celebrate
      one of the most important holidays of the Jewish calendar in
      the comfort of their own homes.                   MorseLife Tradition residents Vivian and David Weiner
         “The Homebound Mitzvah Program — meaning to do a
      good deed — has been a MorseLife tradition for 21 years,”   Services. “This program feeds not only the body but also   to help diminish some of the loneliness felt over the Jewish
      said Linda Sevich, MorseLife’s Director of Community   the soul. Our volunteers spend quality time with the seniors   holidays.”
      A Positively Good Year

      By Rabbi Paul Arberman                            accomplishment. It is saying there are times we need to give   got enough sleep, or exercise, or diet habits, being with the
         A dog trainer came to my                       ourselves a boost and recall all the good we have accomplished   right people — keep up the good work!
      house to teach us how to get                      despite our failings.                                 If our kid gets a bad or failing grade, we ask, what
      our dog to do, um, the right                         There are many instances on a daily basis that we do the   happened? Or we say: Should we get a tutor? But if she gets
      things in the right places. I                     right thing and for which we should take credit. We are so   a good grade, we should say: Good for you! What worked for
      explained that every time                         easily battered by our inner doubts and sometimes family and   you — was it the preparation, was it an easy subject, eating
      Sheleg (that’s our Maltese),                      friends help with the battering, that the Torah and Rabbi Kook   enough before the test? Good for you for knowing what to do.
      did his business in the house,                    come to remind us: Hey, cut it out!                   A few lessons: Whatever you attend to is what you get.
      we scolded him.                                      In the course of your everyday life you have done well;   Whatever you reinforce good or bad, the children and even
         The trainer said no, no                        your life contains many more positives than negatives.  adults will deliver.
      no! You can get the same and                         This idea of positive confession has been expanded by      I once heard Conan O’Brien talk about learning to drive a
      even better results if you give                   Rabbi Avi Weiss, now the emeritus at the Hebrew Institute   car. His instructor said: Don’t try to not hit the other cars on
      him a small treat when he does the right thing.   of Riverdale. He wrote a positive counterpart to the short   the side of the road. Try instead to stay in the center — because
         Now, it’s possible that many of you already knew that. I   confession:                            you will direct the car to where you are focused.
      didn’t. You know, everyone at their own pace.        Ahavnu, Bay-rachnu, Gadalnu, Debarnu Yofee, we have      Every time someone comes to the door, Sheleg, my dog,
         So this year, I want to share with you some thoughts on   loved, we have blessed, we have grown, we have spoken   starts barking. So we would pick her up and call out her name,
      not solely thinking about our shortcomings, but also focusing   positively. He in fact ran through the entire Hebrew alphabet   but the trainer said we were emphasizing the bad behavior. The
      on our strengths.                                 — a true tour de force.                            message to the dog was: I, the dog, protect my master, and so
         Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Kook, the first Ashkenazi Chief      In English it would go like this:      my master picks me up, and I get a hug.
      Rabbi of the land of Israel in the modern era, wrote: “A person      We have adored, we have blessed, we have been charitable,      We were reinforcing the bad behavior by giving her
      should also be joyous concerning the good he or she has done.”  we have been devoted, we have evolved, we have followed   attention when she barked!
         It follows that just as there is a great benefit to self-  through with our promises, we have given without being asked,      Instead, we should have had snacks ready and when
      improvement through confessing one’s sins, so too is there   we have honored, we have inspired, we have joined with others   someone knocks, give her the snack and praise her as she
      great benefit to confessing one’s good deeds.     for good, we have labored hard, we have matured, we have   nibbles quietly. You get the difference: Instead of reprimanding,
         Harav Kook points out that in one of the few times that   nurtured, we have organized, we have persisted, we have been   I’m distracting and praising.
      the Israelites were commanded to say something in the Torah,   quick to do good, we have respected, we have spoken kindly,      Psychologists say keep praise pure — don’t mix it in with
      when Israelites went to Jerusalem to bring gifts to the Temple at   we have been thoughtful, we have upheld our values, we have   negative statements. Avoid using but, as in: I like the way
      the end of the third and sixth year of the seven-year sabbatical   valued the achievements of others, we have weighed our words,   you’re using a fork but I don’t like the way you’re eating with
      cycle, they were required to declare:             we have exalted, we have yearned for better futures, and we   your mouth open.
         “I have cleared out the consecrated portion from the house;   have been zealous for righteous causes.     Catch yourself and others doing good things and promote
      and I have given it to Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and      Positive reinforcement is the technical term. I like to think   it. The one caveat I would add is that we should love and praise
      the widow, just as You commanded me…”             of it as a life hack. You look at a situation, and you say: Why   kids and people sometimes just for who they are — it doesn’t
         Although the next passage also enumerates what the   did this WORK so well?                       all have to be results based. No, I love you always.
      presenter didn’t do, the emphasis is on the positive: on the     We almost never do that. If the meeting goes on too long      So this year, flip the list. Start a parallel list of all we have
                                                                                 or gets heated, we try to fix   done and all we can yet do. The fruits we have brought to the
                                                                                 it, but we don’t often say:   Temple and Levites and the stranger and the orphan, and the
                                                                                 That meeting went very well,   produce we hope to bring this year.
                                                                                 let’s talk about why it was      Rabbi Weiss concludes his list by saying: Tamachnu,
                                                                                 successful: time limits, clear   Taramnu, Takeenu: We have supported, we have contributed,
                                                                                 order of topics, taking turns   we have repaired our lives and our relationships and this world.
                                                                                 talking. Let’s keep doing   And if it isn’t true yet, then, hey, isn’t that who we want to be?
                                                                                 these things.                Paul Arberman is the spiritual leader at Temple Beth David
                                                                                   If you’re in a good mood   in Palm Beach Gardens.
                                                                                 —  why?  Let’s  bio-hack
                                                                                 ourselves. Is it because you
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