Journey into the High Holidays with Amichai Lau-Lavie, founder of Storahtelling and the spiritual leader of Lab/Shul. It’s a daily dose of inspiration to get you focused and ready for the new year, featuring daily intentions, simple tasks, and tools for living better.
It’s hard to ask for help. Sometimes, aware of our needs and limitations, we’ll swallow our pride and give up—but we don’t give in. We sit on the street with a handwritten sign and our head low and ask for help. Or we pick up the phone, admit our failure, and request assistance.
When it comes to the process of repenting, it’s helpful to know when, how, and from whom to ask for help. From ourselves? From a friend? From God?
I remember the time I walked down Broadway, heartbroken after a breakup, not knowing where to turn, desperately seeking an affirmation that I’d be okay. I started crying, praying actually, asking for help from whoever was in charge, calling all angels, calling on God. I asked for the courage to continue believing.
Was there an answer? Maybe. A sticker on a lamp post read “Love Yourself.” A voice inside me whispered, ‘You are not alone.” Did it help? I guess. Here I am now, living, learning, and growing—heartaches, hopes and all.
My friend and fellow JTS student Olga talks with God all the time, and has done so ever since she was a kid. God is her ‘imaginary playmate,’ she told me over lunch recently as we discussed what it means to ask for help from God. “I’m very specific in my requests,” she winks, “and here I am!”
After lunch I opened a book left in a classroom, finding this Hasidic teaching by the Maggid of Mezeritch:
Ask God to bring you what God thinks you need, because God knows what is good for you;
even though this may not be what you think is best for you.
Give over all of your needs to God.
Prepent Day 34: Five minutes of meditation. What help do I need to become a better person? Where can I find this help? If the advice of Olga and the Maggid work for you, then go talk with God. Or call your doctor. I’ll begin by calling all angels.
Follow along with the Scroll’s daily Prepent series here.