Before any morsel of food enters our mouths we must acknowledge our gratitude to our Creator. Our days, our homes and the passage of significant stages in our lives are filled with actions meant to remind us to lead more purposeful lives.
But it only works if we can mindfully focus on the messages of our actions.
Animals too learn from habit. Their performance too can be impressive. But animals live primarily for survival and propagation. Only humans are distinct in being able to cultivate consciousness in our lives; to discern meaning behind our actions; to stop, think and evaluate why we are acting and what changes need to be made to develop our unique endowments that lie undeveloped within.
If we want to improve the standing of our communal organizations, or if we want to improve the spiritual state of Jewry, perhaps we need to start on a personal level.
It is not rituals, customs or words of prayer that need to change, just as it is not communal organizations that need to be disposed of. It is our framework of consciousness that needs a paradigm shift.
It is not being satisfied with hollow acts – even positive ones – performed merely out of habit, on a default mode. It is keeping a genuine inward focus that challenges: “At the end of the day, who are we really servicing?”