Welcome. I am, I guess, your host, Rabbi David Kominsky. I wanted to start by letting you know a little about this blog, and what I’ll be doing here.
This space will (mostly) be about spirituality. I have two areas of interest in particular: Jewish Spirituality and Workplace Spirituality, and intend to write about both these topics.
Jewish Spirituality, for me, is about finding a connection to something beyond the self through the Jewish tradition. There are many different types of connection:
- A connection to the Divine through prayer or meditation.
- A connection to the tradition through text study.
- A connection to the world or the Divine through social action.
- A connection to the historical story of the Jewish people through the holidays or the stories.
- A connection to family through celebrating the holidays or Shabbat.
- A connection to the Divine or the Jewish tradition through structuring one’s life by keeping the Mitzvot (commandments).
That being the case, I see a wide variety of different activities and experiences as part of a spiritual practice, and even as a Jewish spiritual practice. So, for instance, Rebbe Nachman used to make it a practice to go out to the fields or forest each day to be alone and meditate. Just as much as prayer is a mode of Jewish spiritual practice, so is going out into nature to meditate. I want to help people explore Judaism and to find meaning for themselves within the tradition.
My second area of interest is Workplace Spirituality. This comes out of a belief that our everyday actions and experiences contain opportunities for spiritual fulfillment, and that by paying attention to each other as individuals in a workplace environment, we can all find our lives more fulfilling.
An awareness of spirituality in the workplace means treating our co-workers, customers, and even bosses, generously. For example, when a customer is berating you for a perceived problem (which really isn’t a big deal, isn’t your department and you can’t do anything about anyway), don’t take it personally, but think about what else may have happened to them that day so that they need to vent at you. And let them vent, understanding that the ire, while directed at you, is not caused by you. And that by letting them direct it at you, you may improve the rest of their day.
Workplace spirituality also means treating your employees as people. It requires a commitment to providing fair pay and benefits. It requires management that recognizes the needs of the individual, and balancing those against the needs of the organization. The payback is in increased loyalty, employee retention (which cuts training costs), and a happier workforce and workplace. Simple things can create a workplace that people feel good about going to in the morning.
So, these are my two focuses for this blog: spirituality in the workplace, and Jewish spirituality. I don’t expect anyone to find everything I write to be useful, or to ring true. It is my hope that everyone will find some pieces of what I write useful, and that you will skip over the parts that don’t speak to you, or which irritate you.
I, of course, welcome comments, suggestions, ideas and questions. Disagree with something I’ve written, or give an example which illustrates what I’ve written. Ask a question about how my ideas might apply in your life. Tell me what you think.
I look forward to a conversation as we move forward.