A Sacred Time – Tevet 3
The month of Tevet is the heart of winter and it represents the hard times that we all have to endure on occasion. The days are short, the nights are long, and we run the risk of falling into “the winter of our discontent.” I might feel weighed down by shame or guilt; I might feel paralyzed with sadness. What does the month of Tevet have to teach me, so that I can pull myself out of such enervating and toxic emotions?
The word Tevet can be arranged to read titav—“do good.” Sometimes, the best way to get out of negative emotion is to move the focus away from my bad feelings and set my mind instead on being of service to others. Surely, I can still bring myself to do an act of kindness for another person. “This world is built on kindness”—the act of chessed, even a small one, has the potential to uplift me and make me aware of my goodness and what I have to contribute. It can bring me into a new and better world.
When my eyes are focused on how I can help others, dangerous self-absorption melts away. Being of service is a source of joy that’s always available to me, because there are always people around me who are in need of kindness.
All Merciful G-d! Please help me transform my feelings of bitterness through acts of kindness. Instead of thinking of myself, help me focus on others, forgetting my own shortcomings by building the world, one act of kindness at a time.