“Sometimes problems seem too big, and we don’t think we can make a difference,” says Rabbi Samantha Natov. "But we have stories that can inspire us and guide us.” When the Israelites were approaching the Promised Land, a group of sisters challenged the system of how the land would be divided – and their efforts paid off. “They found a way to effect change, and so can we.”
“Being surrounded by clutter and chaos is not good for us,” says Rabbi Samantha Natov. “The rabbis teach that an orderly home can expand a person’s heart. When we get rid of the clutter, we make room for the holy.”
Rabbi Samantha Natov explores the human desire for happiness and fulfillment, and examines Judaism’s take on what it means to feel “spiritually whole” and “connected.” She reminds us to be mindful and present and to practice gratitude, and demonstrates how fulfilling mitzvot can give us a sense of purpose.
This week a congregant and I were talking about reports of the heart breaking situation at holding camps for migrant children. She expressed how furious she was when she first heard about the separated families. Like many of us, she expressed her outrage by signing petitions, marching in rallies, contributing to various aid organizations and writing to her local representatives. She yelled on Facebook and Twitter “How could this be happening? How in our country, in America, which holds family ties as sacred?”
“Because there are so few righteous individuals, God intentionally spreads them out,” explains Rabbi Samantha Natov while discussing righteous acts described in the Torah. “Miracles happen every time a small act of kindness leads others to participate in that kindness and multiply the deed – and every moment presents an opportunity to make a choice that brings goodness into the world.”