The lifting list

Yesterday, you focused on someone who lent you hope. To whom can you lend hope? No doubt, you have at least some friends, relatives, neighbors, children, students, employees, or colleagues who are particularly in need of hope.

Today’s exercise:
Make a list of all the people who would probably appreciate expressions of hope about their lives and goals from you.

Choose one person and write a short email, send a brief text message, or look them in the eye, if you can, and express your hope and encouragement to them. For example, you might say, “I was thinking of you and how much I admire you for your aspirations and your persistence. I believe in you, and I have every good hope and expectation for you, now and in the future. Sometimes, it can be hard to hold that vision for yourself, but I hope you see it, too!”

Today as you move through your day, look for opportunities to bless the people you encounter with some small “dose” of hope, perhaps even just a smile or a word of encouragement.

“Sometimes people are terribly distressed but have no one to whom they can unburden themselves. If you come along with a happy face, you cheer them and give them new life….Wear a smile. The gift of life will then be yours to give.”

– Rabbi Nachman of Bretslav

Wishing you joy in this moment and in the anticipation of a good future,
Rabbi Debra

About the Author
Debra Orenstein, rabbi of Congregation B'nai Israel in Emerson, NJ, is an acclaimed teacher, author, and scholar-in-residence. She is editor of Lifecycles 1:Jewish Women on Life Passages and Personal Milestones and Lifecycles 2: Jewish Women on Biblical Themes in Contemporary Life (Jewish Lights). A seventh generation rabbi, she was in the first rabbinical class at The Jewish Theological Seminary to include women. She earned a Certificate in Positive Psychology and teaches online. Visit to learn more.
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