Confessions of a Rabbi
by Rabbi Sherre Hirsch
I subscribe to People magazine. I claim it is under the auspices of research, “I have to read what my congregants are reading.” But the truth is that I want to be in the know. The who, what, and where of Hollywood life. And every week I am bombarded by the same message: in order to be successful, happy, rich . . . you must be thin!
Even though I know that the message, and sometimes even the pictures, aren’t real, I sometimes want to be that thin. Just for the clothes alone! (Yes, Rabbis covet.) And stopping myself from internalizing this takes more than just willpower. It means reminding myself that my body and my spirit are not two separate things. It means reminding myself that I cannot compare how someone else looks on the outside to how I feel on the inside. Because generally I feel pretty good.
The Jewish tradition teaches that the truly happy person is one who is content with his lot. But I think it goes deeper than that teaching alone. The midrash (more Jewish teaching, we have a lot) compares the creation of human beings to the making of coins. Each priceless coin is produced in the same image and yet each one is perfectly unique. So too with us. God makes each one of us the same, in God’s image, and yet each of us is different. It is believing that when Judaism says that each one of us is truly priceless, it does not mean everyone but you. It means you.
Confession #3 (my final one for today!):
When I honor myself, I take care of myself, both inside and out. I exercise and eat well. I learn and explore. I help and honor others. I can see that what they possess doesn’t define what I don’t possess. I see that what we possess on the outside does not define us. And although our exteriors may vary from one other and from People magazine, we are all made in the image of the divine. When God created people, God said that it was good. And if it was good enough for God, then it is truly good enough for me.Tags: Confessions, Hollywood, Jewish tradition, People, Rabbi Sherre Hirsch, Self-care