High Holy Days Journey with Amichai Lau-Lavie: 40 ways in 40 days to find your focus



G. and I meet at Barnes and Noble on the Santa Monica Promenade for a conversation that lasts for over three hours. Earlier in this prepent journey I took upon myself to make amends with friends where friendship has gone awry. I wrote G., he replied immediately, and here we were, starting again.

Perfect timing.

We talk about our aging parents, about our aging selves, our children, work, the state of the Jewish people, this and that.

He is a driven man, always with projects bubbling and big things going on, and on a day like this I’m not exactly idle either but we choose to take the time, and choose to live it like this – having a conversation, connecting to our hearts, rekindling a bond.


The clock is ticking, he says. How much longer will I have to live? How much longer can I postpone doing the things I want to do? The BIG stuff? How long will I keep on focusing on making money and not making the difference I want to make in my life, in the world?


Live now. Don’t wait. The usual clichés. But somehow, today we meant them.

What can you do today, or this year, that can’t wait? Shouldn’t wait? How can I REALLY commit myself to writing this book I want to focus on writing? How can I keep this intense rhythm of daily introspection and focus and workout – even after Yom Kippur is gone and this blog ends and it’s just September?


Choose life is an instruction in the Bible. Look, says Moses, you get life and death, good and bad – choose life.

Auntie Mame says the same: LIVE, LIVE, LIVE. Darling.


I’m glad we met today – chose to live in friendship and deal with the shadows that crossed our path and now dealt with, gone.


I go back to the wish lists and ponder – what is the one thing I will commit to choosing this next year – while the clock ticks and life ebbs away – how do I choose to live life more fully? What do I decide to not postpone, deprioritize, ignore?

Day 34 9.12 VOLUNTEER