My acting career seems to be at a dead end. Every time I come close to a huge role something goes wrong and I miss out. I have tried every avenue I can think of, even changing agents, but it hasn't helped. I am professional, hard-working, dedicated and I believe I have talent (this has been confirmed to me by others too). But I am starting to think I simply wasn't meant to be an actor. Should I just come to terms with being a failure?
My friend, there is only one thing you need to come to terms with. You are not an actor. You may be good at acting, but that is not who you are, it is what you do. Stop identifying yourself by your career. You need to discover an identity that is beyond your work. That way, success and failure in your career will not spell success or failure in your life.
In our world of inverted values, a man is called successful because he has made a lot of money. He may have abandoned his third wife, be estranged from his children, have no friends and his dog ran away from him. But he's done well at work, and people say, "I wish I had his luck."
We achieve true success when we succeed in our relationships. If you are a caring friend in times of need, if you treat your parents well, if you are a supportive and understanding spouse, a devoted and caring parent, then you are a success. Those who contribute to the community, not just money but time and effort, those who have developed happy relationships with G-d and man, they are real success stories.
As long as we identify ourselves with our profession - I am an actor, a sales person, an IT technician - then we are pinning our success as a person on our career success. But it's not true. We are not defined by our job. What we do to make a living is different to what we do to make a life. We work to make a living. But to make a life we must love, connect, serve a purpose and find meaning.
This is the gift of Shabbos. One day a week we step out of our workday roles and return to our true self. We are not staff members but rather members of a community; we are not employers or employees but rather brothers and sisters, children, parents and friends. We are not working for a boss to do our job, but rather working for The Boss to fulfill our mission.
You may be great at doing your work. Or maybe not. But it's more important to be good at being human. When it comes to being human, even a failed businessman can be the greatest success story, and a struggling actor can be a star.
Question of the Week: Rabbi, I just wanted to thank you again for your support to our family after the loss of my grandmother. You helped ease the pain of what was a very sad period. One question I had is about the traditional words of consolation said to mourners: "May G-d comfort you together with the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem." What exactly is the consolation in those words? How does comparing the loss of a loved one to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans two thousand years ago make me feel any better?
There are several parallels between the fall of Jerusalem and the passing of a soul. By contemplating these similarities, the mourners can find a profound message of hope in the midst of sorrow.
Although the destruction of Jerusalem primarily affected those who actually lived there, nevertheless it was a national tragedy. All Jews, including those who lived far from Jerusalem, were deeply pained at the loss of their sanctuary. The mourning stretched far beyond the city limits of Jerusalem. And this gave strength and courage to the Jerusalemites, knowing that the entire Jewish people was together with them, feeling their pain.
So too, although it is the family that is mourning for their loss, the entire community shares in their sorrow at the passing of one of our own. This is comfort in knowing that your sorrow is being shared by your people. You're not alone.
It's been almost two thousand years since the destruction, and we still mourn for the loss of Jerusalem. But the Jewish people has never lost hope that the Temple in Jerusalem will one day be rebuilt. We cry for the loss, but we remain hopeful that very soon what we have lost will be returned to us.
In a similar way, we mourn the loss of our loved ones, but we have faith that we will one day be reunited with them. Our prophets have promised that the dead will come back to life when the Messiah comes, and we will all meet again. This is comfort in knowing that the separation, as painful as it is, is only temporary. It isn't forever.
But it goes even deeper. While the Romans were able to destroy the buildings of Jerusalem, they could never destroy its spirit and inner holiness. No enemy can destroy the soul of Jerusalem, and even today it remains the Holy City.
So too, death can only take away the body, the physical persona. But the soul lives on. Even after their passing, our loved ones are with us in spirit. They give us strength when we face challenges, and they smile with us when we celebrate. While we can no longer see them, we can sense their presence. This is comfort in knowing that we are never really apart. They're still with us.
None of this denies the pain and sorrow of death. But it may take the edge off that pain to know that, like Jerusalem, the soul has eternal powers that even death can't conquer.
May we soon see the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, together with all those holy souls on high, reunited at last.
Come along this Shabbos to see the new configuration of our shul. You may be surprised...
NEFESH SERVICES - 54 Roscoe St Bondi Beach
5:20pm Mincha followed by shiur
6:30pm - 7:15pm Shabbos Service followed by Kiddush
9am Class on Weekly Parsha
10am -12:15pm Morning Service with kids' program followed by Kiddush sponsored by David Cappe who is together with his brother commemorating yarzeit for their late father Peter Cappe, Pinchas ben Shimon- long life.
Mincha 5:05pm followed by Seudah Shlishis and Maariv
Do Jews believe in Hell? I am not planning any trips or anything, but was wondering because I have heard mixed reports about this.....
We do believe in a type of hell. But not the one found in cartoons and joke books. Hell is not a punishment. It is in fact a great kindness that we are sent to hell.
The prophets and mystics of Judaism described a spiritual place called Gehennom. This is usually translated as Hell, but a better translation would be the Supernal Washing Machine. Because that's exactly how it works. Our soul is cleansed in Gehennom in the same way as our clothes are cleansed in a washing machine.
We don't put our socks in the washing machine to punish them. We put them through what seems like a rough and painful procedure, only to make them clean and wearable again. The intense heat of the water loosens the dirt, and the force of being swirled around shakes it off completely. Far from hurting your socks, you are doing them a favour by putting them through this process.
But put yourself in your socks' shoes. If you would be thrown into boiling hot water and flung around for half an hour, you too would start to feel that someone doesn't like you. If only the socks would know that this is all for their good. Only after going through a washing cycle can the socks be worn again.
So too with the soul. Every act we do in our lifetime leaves an imprint on our soul. The good we do brightens and elevates our soul. And every wrongdoing leaves a stain that needs to be cleansed. If at the end of our life we leave this world without fixing the wrongs we have done, our soul is unable to reach its place of rest on high. We must go through a cycle of deep cleansing, our soul is flung around at intense spiritual heat, to rid it of any dirty residue it may have gathered and prepare it for entry into heaven.
This is no punishment. It may be painful, but it is for our good. Our soul can only shine once the stains have been fully removed.
Of course this whole process can be avoided. If we truly regret the wrong we have done, make amends with the people whom we have hurt, we can leave this world with clean socks.
That's why our sages said, "Repent one day before you die." And what should you do if you don't know which day that will be? Repent today.
My girlfriend of two years isn't sure she wants to get married because she thinks something is missing. She can't define it, but just says she feels "it" hasn't clicked. I felt a click a long time ago and would very much like to marry and spend my life with her. She knows she loves me but has doubts because she isn't feeling "it". We are just going around in circles and it is driving me crazy. What do you think I can do?
This clicking thing causes a lot of problems. Some people are quick clickers. Others take more time. It sounds like your click was too quick.
It often happens that one party develops feelings faster than the other. But it can complicate things. It seems that when you clicked on, she clicked off. As soon as she knew that she has you, that you are in, that your mind is made up, her heart got lazy. She knew she didn't have to work hard for you any more, she no longer needed to put in any effort, and so her feelings stalled. And she is still stuck there, unclicked and unable to develop her emotions for you.
There is only one solution. She needs to feel that she may lose you. She needs to feel that she must win you over again, that you are not a done deal. You have to give her the chance to feel that she needs you in her life, and that she needs to win you back.
The best way to achieve this is to take a break from each other. And you have to initiate it. Tell her that you respect her feelings of doubt, but you can't just keep dangling around. It is not good for either of you, nor for the relationship. Suggest that by not seeing each other for a while you will both have the space to clarify your feelings and decide whether to take the next step together, or to move apart.
This should not be presented as a false threat, but rather as an honest and mature approach to solve the stalemate you have reached. It will be hard for you to say it, but say it you must. She needs to hear that you won't hang around forever. And let me tell you, if she really is the one for you, just hearing that you want a break may be all it takes to get her heart clicking.
10am -12:15pm Morning Service with kid's program followed by Kiddush sponsored by a loving well-wisher in honour of our dear friend and much loved classmate, Jono Rev. Wishing him a full and speedy recovery
Mincha 4:55pm followed by Seudah Shlishis and Maariv