Not ready for the High Holidays? Here’s some inspiration for you (because they’re coming)

Here are a few quotes that we find inspirational and hopefully they'll inspire you too

Rosh Hashanah is early this year– extremely early. So we get it if you’re not 100% feeling the High Holidays this early in September.

There’s no rhyme or reason to the quotes below, they’re just a few that we at Unpacked find inspirational and wanted to share them with you. Shana tova!

Embrace radical amazement

Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement … get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Be a little bit better each day

May you replace ease with effort, may you find joy in always scaling new mountains, may you never rest from your pursuit of knowledge; may you desire to always be a little bit better than yesterday and a little bit less than tomorrow. That’s what will make you a whole human being and bring you true happiness.

Rabbi Benjamin Blech

It’s all absurd and that’s okay

The world is absurd. Ugly absurd. To repair ugly absurdity, you can’t just be normal. You need an alternative absurdity. A beautiful absurdity. We call it ‘divine madness.’

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman

Life is short

There is only one constraint- namely, that however much of anything else we have, we have only one life, and it is short. How we live and what we live for are the most fateful decisions we ever make.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z”l

Embrace the space

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Viktor Frankl

Why tradition

And so, faithful to his promise, the storyteller does nothing but tell the tale. He transmits what he received, he returns what was entrusted to him. His story does not begin with his own; it is fitted into the memory that is the living tradition of his people.

Elie Wiesel, “Messengers of God”

It’s okay to be overwhelmed

“Lo alecha hamlacha ligmor, v’lo atah ben chorin l’hivatel mimena”

“It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work, but neither are you at liberty to desist from it.”

Rabbi Tarfon, Pirkei Avot 2:21

Renew your actions this Rosh Hashanah

The time for repentance is Rosh Hashanah, the anniversary of the creation of the world. This is because repentance, whose definition is the commitment to worship God henceforth, is also a kind of creativity, because renewal and creativity are similar. The Midrash (Leviticus Rabbah 29:6) explains the verse “Blow a shofar (ram’s horn) at the chodesh (month)…” (Psalms 81:4): “Don’t read it as ‘month’; chodesh also means ‘renewal.’ Renew your actions. Don’t read it as ‘ram’s horn’; shofar also means ‘beautification.’ Beautify your actions.” That is, renew your actions like God does every day, as the Talmud says (Hagigah 12b): “God renews the creation of the world, daily.”

Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, Eish Kodesh, Rosh Hashana September 22-23, 1941