The Gates of Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence Open

Today, we launch our consideration of character strengths. We will continue to highlight these various strengths throughout the days of Elul, as we prepare for the New Year — the opening of 5778. These daily notes are intended for us to identify where (or if) these character strengths exist in our life.

Past all of our activities, are we able to recognize beauty in nature, art, science, and humanity? Can we marvel at excellence in both the profound and mundane activities that we experience?

Our Talmud teaches (Berachot 33b) — Everything is according to the hand of heaven, except appreciation of beauty and excellence, as it is written: ‘And now O Israel, what does the Eternal your God demand of you? Only this — to be in awe.’

What do we appreciate today? In what ways do we acknowledge the excellence all around us?

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER: What is your home screen on your phone? What is your profile picture on social media? Why? What do these images offer you?

SOMETHING TO DO: Share your appreciations of beauty and excellence with family and friends. Maybe your favorite, inspiring photo/image in a quick text?