Hitting the Mark in 5774

By Scott Rubenstein, NFTY Southwest Religious & Cultural Vice President 

During NFTY-Southwest Leadership Training Institute, the participants took part in a S’lichot 101 program.  During the program, participants learned that Jewish tradition teaches us that we should use the month of Elul as a time of reflection to get us ready for the High Holy Days.  We took some time to think about where we have missed the mark, and what we want to work on to start the new year off right. As part of the program, participants wrote their sins of the past year on colored index cards, which were ceremoniously burned in a fire pit, symbolizing a clean slate. They also wrote ways they can hit the mark next year on white colored index cards. These cards were collected and compiled into the attached list of how we, as NFTY-Southwest, can hit the mark in 5774.

What struck me as I combed through these cards to compile the list was just how similar we all are. We may have different strengths and weaknesses, but many of us have the same goals in our lives. As a region, let us strive and struggle to attain these goals together.

As we gather with our congregations for Yom Kippur this weekend, let us not only atone for how we missed the mark in 5773, but commit to how we can hit the mark in 5774. I hope you all have a healthy and happy new year.

In 5774, we will….

  • Work harder and focus more.
  • Be nice to people even if we don’t really like them.
  • Try 100%. Realize boundaries. Be active. Love more.
  • Be a better family member & try harder in school.
  • Not lie and try to be nicer and more open minded.
  • Learn to manage our time better.
  • Be better about sticking to our word and going to services more often.
  • Stay out of trouble.
  • Work out more. Eat less. Make new friends. Put ourselves out there. Get over fears.
  • Appreciate everything we have.
  • Be more dedicated.
  • Smile more at people. Spend time with family.
  • Make the most out of every situation.
  • Be happy more often.
  • Be genuine & upfront whenever possible.
  • Be more social. Be more accepting. Have more faith.
  • Work hard in our jobs and in our TYGs. Be more grateful towards our parents.
  • Be more patient. Show our siblings how much we love them. Be more truthful. Forgive but not forget. Cherish our parents, grandparents and friends as much as possible.
  • Be respectful and the best we can be.
  • Improve our attitudes.
  • Forgive and forget.
  • Ask for forgiveness. Try to be understanding. Be more considerate.
  • Not be attached to certain things. Care about things more. Take more adventures. Focus on making or fixing our relationships.
  • Take more chances.
  • Not procrastinate.
  • Make an effort to see good in people & not join when our friends are gossiping/being mean.
  • Keep ourselves on a schedule & stick to it. Respond to people in a timely manner.
  • Always reach out. Let everyone know how loved they are.
  • Watch what we are saying to everyone, especially to our parents.
  • Be more open minded. Try harder in general. Be more positive.
  • Open ourselves up, and dig deep.
  • Be street smart.
  • Be more motivated.
  • Show emotion. Be better friends.
  • Judge people less. Treat everyone equally.
  • Do things we don’t need to lie about.
  • Have fun!
  • Plan more. Not overthink. Not be so dependent on our parents. Do more of what we want.
  • Have second thoughts before, not after.
  • Communicate with people if there is a problem.
  • Be thankful.
  • Do well at balancing all our activities.
  • Be someone to look up to.
  • Try to keep ourselves stress-free.
  • Take care of our pets. Keep our kitchens clean. Be more forgiving. Be careful of what we say and do.
  • Be more polite.

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