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



I cleaned up my home last night and this morning took out a giant bag of trash. As I left the house I took a look at the big trash can in my kitchen, all empty now, new trash bag gleaming empty and waiting for business.

This, I thought, is what today feels like, and what, maybe, tomorrow night will really feel like it: Done my work, got rid of a lot of psychic personal trash – and now ready for more, and, maybe less.




Ready for WHAT?


For being more open, present, doing this work of reflection, and asking for help on this journey, with this sacred delicate personal work of return.


Ask for help from whom?


From friends who are willing to listen, or hold my hand, or stand my tears, or give me honest feedback and a hug when I need it during these next few days, and always, after.


Ask help from the great loving power we sometimes call life, or universe, or soul or god.


Today it’s about being open to this possibility of getting help, of aligning my will for improvement, for tikkun, with the cosmic powers that desire same – that push for change, for better, whatever better looks like – and we may never quite know.


This is not about an appeal to a god of mercy and compassion who takes away pain. No. I’m not sure about THAT version of the divine.

This is about appealing for help, guidance, and presence from the mystery of creation in whose image I am created, as is all of creation itself.


Open up for the possibility of something greater and grander than self.


And open up to the possibility of positive change, step by small step.  Doable, simple, small steps for inner change, happiness, presence in the world, more better.


One of my favorite Biblical verses, from the Song of Songs, is a dialogue between lovers. Open to me, one says, let me in.

The sages made the Eros into spiritual metaphore:


“Open to me: The Holy One Blessed be said to Israel: My children, open to me an opening of return, as small as the eye of the needle, and I will open to you openings wide enough for carriages and wagons to drive through.”


Tonight, open up your heart, just a tiny bit to let love in, and gratitude, and honesty, and a plea for help in helping all of us make this thing called life so much better.


See what happens.


Gmar Chatima Tova.


We are t/here now.

Day 38 9.16 Focus
Storahtelling director Amichai Lau-Lavie