Awakening to Our Blessings

Rabbi Sharon Brous

with Rabbi Sharon Brous

Author, Founder and Senior Rabbi at IKAR

Awakening to Our Blessings

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Rabbi Sharon Brous was on her way to lead her community, IKAR—a Jewish community she founded 20 years ago with a new vision of how faith can center and connect us—in the sacred ceremony of Tashlikh, when she stopped to buy index cards and sharpies. It was an unexpected stop, given the day’s holiness: Every year between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the two holiest days of the year, the Jewish community visits a body of water to release their sins, or anything they don’t want to carry into the new year, into the water. Still, Rabbi Brous was reflecting on the dying wishes of her dear friend and community member, Erin, and had a question for the community. 

During her final days, Erin wrote that each of us has an innate sense of who we’re called to be. Yet, despite that knowing, too often we construct reasons to delay fulfilling our calling. On the brink of her own tragic death, Erin asked—What if we don’t have forever?—and urged her community to live urgently. When Rabbi Brous delivered her message to the IKAR community, overlooking the Pacific Ocean for Tashlikh, she asked: What are you waiting for?

The question—What are you waiting for?—is the through-line of each topic we explore in this rich conversation about her book, The Amen Effect; From getting quiet enough to hear divine wisdom and cultivating our spiritual strength, to accompanying each other through joy and sorrow and, inspired by the Jewish ritual of being thankful for 100 blessings, creating our own system of blessings. 

As you settle into this conversation, consider a yearning that exists deep within your heart. What are you waiting for to pursue it? What is one step you might take to move towards it today?