by Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr
Love your neighbor as yourself.
More than once, You commanded us.
And pages upon pages have been written about this verse and how it teaches us to treat others.
But are we not missing part of Your Commandment when we do not afford ourselves the same respect that we afford others?
Are we not disregarding Your Message when we fail to love ourselves?
And what does it mean to love ourselves?
Just as You taught us to forgive others, we must forgive ourselves.
And as You helped us accept the imperfections in others, so too must we accept them in ourselves.
All at the very same time that we challenge ourselves to shed those parts of us that are “so last year.”
It is a balance, this loving-self business.
How often have we held ourselves to impossible standards because we didn’t think that we were good enough?
And how many times have we been filled ourselves with toxicity: food, drink, words.
Help us, O Merciful One, to celebrate ourselves. To nourish the arid places in our souls. And treat ourselves with the very same kindness that we show others.
Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr is a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders Fellow. As one of the rabbis of Congregation B’nai Tzedek, she was one-half of the first (and only) father/daughter rabbinic team to serve a congregation. Now residing in Pennsylvania, Rabbi Schorr examines her soul in between baking round challot and honey cake for the upcoming Jewish New Year.