Journey into the High Holidays with Amichai Lau-Lavie, founder of Storahtelling and the spiritual leader of Lab/Shul. It’s a daily dose of inspiration to get you focused and ready for the new year, featuring daily intentions, simple tasks, and tools for living better.

Amichai during the Hazon New York Bike Ride

The pain in my left knee started  around the 42nd mile, after the sixth big hill, and just kept getting worse. My first big bike ride – along with the Hazon team – 53 miles scheduled today and 40 more the next day. The most I’ve ever done is 18 miles and I guess it just wasn’t enough training? Or else my knee just had enough.

Keep going with the pain or stop? My inner dialogue was racing with each pedal. But finally, when tears took over and my knee was burning up the body knew what was needed and a sign showed up just ahead of me:

Do Not Pass.

I got off the bike, disappointed but proud of my 44 miles and was taken back to base camp, reuniting with the other riders, a wonderful temporary community.

PREPENT 26: choose a challenge for yourself this coming year. Push yourself to risk and go beyond the familiar and the comfort zone to grow, to expand, to reach new horizons. Maybe its a learning skill or maybe athletics, a volunteering task or a daily habit. I am so proud of my commitment to challenge myself with this bike ride and have no doubt that I’ll continue – the rush of well being, the joy of the ride, the commitment to better health and ongoing exercise – worth it all, even the pain which in the end will be a gain.

Choose a challenge – but know your limit. Plan ahead. I may have pushed myself too much.

Limping on along a beautiful country road, waiting for Hazon’s kind and helpful crew to pick me up I enjoyed 30 minutes of serenity and solitude, thinking about will power and honesty and challenges and limits.

I felt like Jacob, limping away from the fateful wrestle with a mysterious stranger on the banks of the river that led him back home. At that wrestle he is renamed Israel – the one who wrestles with the divine. Maybe I wasn’t wrestling with God – but I was dealing with my inner thresholds and walked away with  greater sense of humility, human fragility and appreciation for every step and rpm.

Wrestle on! challenge yourself to be closer to your higher self and grow to be the one you want to be this coming year, just two days away.

Prepent Day 25: A Ritual Outfitting
Prepent Day 26: Take on a challenge! but know your limits.


Rabbi Amichai & Lab/Shul’s annual Elul journey into the new Jewish year with 40 daily communally co-created inspirations to help us begin the year with more focus and presence.

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