Posts by Rabbi Nicole Guzik

Jewish Resolutions

Recently, my husband and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary. A few days prior, we went on a family walk. I suggested we walk to Walgreens. My husband immediately agreed. We looked at each other and both sheepishly smiled. I confessed, “You need to buy your anniversary card, too?” He replied, “Absolutely.” As we walked together and laughed at the idea that we were buying each other’s cards at the same time, we both admitted that the card was redundant to the experience. Written expressions of love are good reminders, but carving out time to walk with those we love is priceless.

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Extinguish or Ignite

It is easy to extinguish one’s flame. Think of how many times we experienced an uplifting day only to be quashed by one person’s negative words or insults. In receiving a job evaluation, we tend to focus only on suggested improvements instead of words of praise. Our tendency is to allow our light to go out. Be it from comments or mood, we allow someone else to determine how bright our light will shine. And yet, our tradition encourages the nourishment of one’s own inner spirit. We control whether someone else dims our spark. Instead, we can choose to ignite the flames within.

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Write the Book

I spent the last three days visiting Israel on a solidarity mission with the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Board of Rabbis. Through the gut wrenching experience of witnessing atrocities at Kfar Aza, learning about horrific ordeals endured by IDF soldiers at Shura Base where they identify and ready bodies for burial, and speaking with evacuees about their personal October 7th stories, it’s hard to leave Israel with a sense of optimism. For Israelis, it is a confusing time of betrayal and loss.

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This week, we met with a new member of Congress. She is graciously reaching out to clergy members to check in on the Jewish community. We shared our fears as to how Hamas is striking terror across the world. Vowing to wipe Israel and the Jewish people off the global map. She listened to our horror and witnessed our grief.

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