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  • Jodi Samuels


Most people don’t picture me as the shy, timid Jodi who was scared of her own shadow. Gavin always jokes that it would be nice to have some of the other Jodi back every now and then. He calls it a bait and switch because he thought he was marrying someone different….

Imagine how depressing our lives would be if we could never change. We only have to watch a series of Ted Talks or read inspirational stories from the time of the Torah to the modern day to know that people can change. However, sometimes we are locked in a definition of who we are - or worse, someone else's definition of who we are. It is easy to get stuck in an "I can't" mentality and forget to dream.

The power of Yom Kippur that just ended is the opportunity for a renewed relationship with one's self. Yom Kippur is about stopping the "I can't" and becoming an "I can" person. It is the day when we cast away the mistakes that define our limitations, then affirm “these mistakes are not me - they were merely a temporary lapse in judgment. I won't do it again. I can change.”

This power of "repentance" is not just confession and remorse. It is the determination to change, the decision that "I am going to learn from my mistakes", that "I am going to act differently in the future", and that "I am determined to become a different kind of person."

One of my favorite sayings (paraphrased) by Rabbi Soloveitchik tz'l, is "to be a Jew is to be creative, and our greatest creation is our self." So much attention is given to the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur; we must not forget that the weeks and months from Yom Kippur to Rosh Hashana count just as much. Don’t forget to dream. Shabbat shalom


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