Dear Rabbi Nivin,
In reviewing my year past as Rosh Hashanah approaches, I felt moved to write an open letter to you to thank you. Thank you for teaching me about how important it is to search within to identify my life’s purpose and to live it! Thank you for living YOUR life’s purpose, which enables me to live mine! Thank you for reminding me that life is supposed to be lived with JOY. And thank you for introducing me to the fact that there is no place in my life for “sledgehammer Judaism.” What a relief. Thank you for creating a module in your chabura system on Self Esteem. I must tell you that it was absolutely LIFE CHANGING and it has had a tremendous ripple effect as I have passed elements of it on to the women who I coach and teach. To know that simply because I am a human being I am precious to G-d and that self esteem is a birthright, was a concept that I had never quite grasped before. I got it now. I no longer have ANY issues around self esteem. They are gone. I am grateful that you taught me the value of daily introspection. That I am my own best friend and talking to myself and asking myself important questions enables me to figure out and live out my purpose. It also enables me to know what character traits I need to try to fix in order to be an even better me every year. Thank you for teaching me that I just have to TRY and that results are up to G-d. I am good at trying. I don’t always succeed, but I am reminded that I am only responsible to try the best I can.
The years 5771 and 5772 were really tough years for me. I was NOT living my life’s purpose and was not living in my own authenticity. I was extremely hard on myself and consequently hard on others. I was on and off with the Chabura and I was suffering inside. It was a very confusing and painful time for me. But I still kept TRYING and it paid off at the end of 5772 when I woke up, quit the job I was doing and went back to what I do best…coaching women! Through a lot of soul searching and hard work, things turned around in 5773. I stopped beating myself up, stopped judging those around me, and I even closed out the year by choosing to be called by my Jewish name given to me at birth “Chaya” which means “LIFE!” Thank YOU Rabbi Nivin for being a constant source of positivity in my life and in the lives of so many others. You always say that YOUR “yeud” (life’s purpose) is “To make powerful people powerful.” Well, you have certainly done that with me!
Thank you Rabbi Nivin. May you and your entire family (and ALL OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE) be inscribed and sealed for a good, sweet and healthy year.
With deepest gratitude and humility,
Chaya Dana Parkoff
26 Elul 5773
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