DAY 12: Thinking about motivation…

July 12, 2012
By bethmordecai
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DAY 12: Thinking about motivation…

Dear Hevreh,

I’m sitting here in my office, practicing my reading for the Torah portion for this week (Parashat Pinhas), and I’m struck by a story that relates to something I was thinking about at the Board of Trustees meeting last night.  We were talking last night about finding volunteers for the High Holidays, and during that discussion I wondered…how do we motivate people to give up their precious free time and commit to helping our community?  I had a suspicion of what my answer was (and to be truthful, I’ve thought a lot about it over the years), and that suspicion was confirmed tonight while practicing the Torah reading:

Motivation comes from feeling like we matter.

In this week’s Torah portion, the daughters of a man named Tzlofhad came to Moses and fought for the right to their father’s inheritance.  They argued that just because their father died without any sons, his family’s name should not be lost.  They were their father’s children, and that counted for something.  They believed they mattered, no matter what the law said.  So they fought the law, they fought it hard…and won.

In the days, weeks and just a couple of months ahead, we will need all of the resources we can muster to make these High Holidays memorable.  Yet, no matter what small role each of us plays, that role should matter in a meaningful and personal way that makes us feel like we count for something.  It should be something we feel we want to do, not just something we have to do.

It is my responsibility. along with the leadership, to do the very best to put each of us (including myself) in the role that matters the most to us.  It will not be perfect though and I hope we will be forgiving in that moment we’re doing something we really don’t want to do.  I hope though for as many moments as possible we’ll find meaning and satisfaction out of playing a role that matters.  And in that regard, I leave us with a question:

What can I do for the High Holidays that will matter to me?

Kol Tuv,

Rabbi Ari Saks

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur
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