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Positive Transformation

Posted on: July 29th, 2012 by bubbyjoysandoys

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“What a Wonderful World” – A song recorded by Louis Armstrong (1968), and written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss.

That’s how I feel right now. I feel positive, upbeat, and in a generally good mood about life.

I see trees of green…….. red roses too
I see em bloom….. for me and for you
And I think to myself…. what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue….. clouds of white
Bright blessed days….dark sacred nights
And I think to myself …..what a wonderful world.

The colors of a rainbow… pretty the sky
Are also on the faces…..of people ..going by
I see friends shaking hands…..sayin.. how do you do
They’re really sayin……I love you.
Hey, you ask, why this sudden burst of energy? Well, I am kind of driven by the Jewish calendar, and when the events of our Jewish year “tell” me to be sad, I usually feel sad. Conversely, when the time period is one of comfort, peace and happiness – which is the way it is now in our Jewish calendar —I feel that way too – positive about our world of G-d.

You see, we just completed a long day of fasting, introspection and coming closer to our G-d in Heaven. Today, known as “Tisha B’Av,” is commemorating the destruction of the Holy Temple, but more so is a reminder to all of us to be tolerant, kind and understanding of our fellow human beings. Having completed that day, I feel a sense of accomplishment – a can-do feeling.

Every year, when we begin the fast, a part of me knows I will be fine. Hey, it’s okay for me to go 25 hours without eating; I won’t starve, as I am usually one who enjoys eating. One day of not eating won’t “kill” me.

But still, I wonder: will I get that nagging headache? Will I be able to function during the day without getting grumpy and overly tired?  And….will I be the same person (if not heavier from the after-fast meal) the day after Tisha B’Av as I was the day before that day? Or will I somehow transform myself into a kinder, more tolerant, patient….and even thinner person, notwithstanding a scrumptious break-the-fast?

I viewed several DVD’s of inspirational speakers today. One was a noted New York attorney, Mr. Charlie Harary, who spoke for the organization “Ohr Naava” ( One of the many powerful things he talked about is the tendency we sometimes have to go through the motions of fasting, and come out at the other end of the fast with the simple feeling that we did it. We just move on, listen to music, and party. We sadly, experience zero growth.

There always is the positive spin on this:  Will we change one thing, experience one new concept through this day that G-d gives us? Will we liberate ourselves to greater spiritual heights? Will we eradicate our pettiness of criticizing and judging others, and rather embrace the goodness in other people, even those who seem different from us?

I put all these concepts into question format, because although I feel like shouting “yes, yes, yes!” to each of the questions, knowing that right now I am pumped up and wanting to be that ideal giving person all the time, I know the reality – it is going to take effort, and it is too early to shout “yes,” yet.

But still – I’m willing to put in that effort- I know it is worth it. Another great speaker – Rabbi Yaakov Salamon, from “Project Inspire,” ( spoke about seemingly “regular” people (all of us) who are really not so “regular;” we have that amazing ability to influence ourselves and others. We can – if we try –  accomplish great strides in Jewish Outreach, bringing non-affiliated Jews back to their religious practice. Nothing is impossible and if we keep trying, and never give up hope, we can and will do it.

Back to the song:
I hear babies cry…… I watch them grow
you know their gonna learn
A whole lot more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself …..what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself …….what a wonderful world.

That is the message of transformation that I have from this day of fasting today. For while I may have felt empty from food, feeling a headache and weakness throughout the day, I did come out filled-up in a deeper way.

And surprisingly, that “filled-up” feeling is very few calories! Not a bad thing at all.

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