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Rabbi's Blog

rabbi 05 smallsf badge lgRabbi Joel Landau  (rabbi@adathisraelsf.org) has been the Rabbi of Adath Israel since May 2013. He was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem and has served previously as a congregational Rabbi in Charleston, South Carolina and Irvine, California. A full biography of Rabbi Landau is available here.


 

The following is taken from a Facebook video post by Rav Doron Perez:

“One of the most powerful TED Talks of all time was given a number of years ago by Brene Brown, a social scientist, entitled ‘The Power of Vulnerability’.

Very few things, if any, she explains, are more important than the expression of vulnerability in building human relationships. 

In thinking about what she said, it seems to me that this is true not only in our interpersonal relationships but also in our relationship with Hashem. Vulnerability can be a strength, not a weakness.    

Brown says, ‘we cannot connect with other people unless we show vulnerability. If we are perfect, we don’t need the other’. Similarly, if we don’t feel we need any help with anything, nothing in our lives needs improvement or we don’t understand that the quality of our lives for the coming year hangs in the balance, we won’t feel that we need Hashem. 

Likewise, in our human relationships, if we are totally independent not interdependent, and feel we don’t need our friends, spouse, or family for anything, then we have no vulnerability – we cannot love them and they cannot love us, as they are actually irrelevant in our lives. 

One of the goals of the broken sound of the shofar is meant to evoke within us a sense of a broken heart. The Kotzker Rebbe famously said that there is nothing more complete than a broken heart – because it is not disheartened, it is an understanding that there is a part of ourselves that we need to inspire to connect with the other, and with Hashem, to repair within ourselves. We see our heart needs to be perfected, we need to grow, to be better, and to connect. 

May the shofar awaken us this year with an understanding of the need for vulnerability, to connect with Hashem and those who truly matter in our lives.”