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The Rabbi on the Beach @ The Shul on the Beach

California Dreaming No Longer?

Go East, young man? Californians look for the exit – Yahoo News

This article gives all the doom and gloom figures to make you want to leave California. But California living is not all about facts and figures. California living is about living in the most progressive state in the Country. It is about living in a place where ideas are allowed to grow. I was discussing this idea with a classmate of mine at Law School – Calvin Ngo, who is from the Washington D.C. area, that when you live somewhere that is warm you never need to bundle up. When you bundle up you not only close your bod off to the world but I think it also closes your heart a little. When you are wrapped so tightly on the outside it has an effect on your “inside”. So to me Southern California is conducive to acceptance, openness and warmth (for better or for worse). The atmosphere here is special and it will always be special no matter what the facts and figures say!

Truthfully this touches on a very important important aspect of Judaism. We believe that your actions on the outside will change how you feel on the inside. When we act kindly we begin to actually feel kind and then we act kindly naturally. If we feel stingy and we want to change how we act we have two different approaches. Our first option is to meditate on benevolence, think about giving and convince ourselves that giving is important. That might work… The other option is to simply begin to give! When we begin to give it actually takes an effect on our attitude. Slowly our giving becomes natural and we have become less stingy!

This works with any characteristic we have (for better or for worse). How we act changes how we feel therefore we need to be careful how we act. It is powerful stuff so… beware!

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