January 16, 2019

A Moment In Time: Return to Sender

Dear all,

When this personal letter was returned to me recently (three full months after I sent it), my knee-jerk reaction was that I felt deflated: “Why didn’t she want to hear from me?”

But I soon remembered that true communication has many, many elements:

1) Did I make a mistake in the address?
2) Did I have the correct address but use illegible handwriting?
3) Did I put on the wrong postage?
4) Did the post office goof?
5) Did the recipient move?
6) Did the recipient, in fact, not want to hear from me?

I don’t know the answer. At least not yet. But I am reminded that communication is not only about what we say, but it’s about how we deliver the message.

Do we use empathy and kindness?
Do we have our radar on, knowing when to speak and when not to?
Do we listen?
Do we try again?

It’s not easy. But taking an extra moment in time when we communicate can unfold into deeper understanding, broagder sensitivity, and greater relationships.

With love and Shalom,

Rabbi Zach Shapiro


Rabbi Zach Shapiro

A change in perspective can shift the focus of our day – and even our lives. We have an opportunity to harness “a moment in time,” allowing our souls to be both grounded and lifted. This blog shows how the simplest of daily experiences can become the most meaningful of life’s blessings. All it takes is a moment in time.

Rabbi Zach Shapiro is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Akiba, a Reform Jewish Congregation in Culver City, CA. He earned his B.A. in Spanish from Colby College in 1992, and his M.A.H.L. from HUC-JIR in 1996. He was ordained from HUC-JIR – Cincinnati, in 1997.