Wednesday, August 29, 2012

#BlogElul Change

When Edith Bunker experiences menopause and the mood swings that go along with it in the All in the Family episode "Edith's Problem," Archie tries to be a supportive husband.  But soon he reaches his threshold, and shouts at Edith, "If you're going to have a change of life, do it now!  I'm giving you thirty seconds..." (The full episode, with an Emmy-winning script, is available at YouTube.  Search for "Edith's Problem.")

Change is rarely quick, or easy.  Some of us find ourselves committing to change each year, only to backslide eventually into the same familiar behavior.  The Mishnah does warn us not to do so deliberately, teaching "For the one who says I will sin and repent, and then sin again, Yom Kippur does not atone. (Yoma 8:9)"  But for those of us who make our best effort toward change, and still find that we are unable to make the change "stick," Yom Kippur affords us the opportunity to reexamine our past efforts, deepen our resolve, and challenge ourselves to be better in the future.

It won't come easy, but it's the hard things that are worth the effort.

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