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May 17, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 17, 2013 PAGE 13A By Rabbi Rachel Esser- man The (Vestal, N.Y.! Re- porter Newspaper and magazine articles note how, although most Americans own far more material goods than their ancestors, they're less content than former genera- tions. The idea ihat our posses- sions do notbring happiness is commonly found in religious tracts; those writers suggest the key to contentment is focusing less on the mate- rial and more on the spiri- tual. Rabbi Edwin Goldberg, D.H.L., explores this idea from a Jewish point of view in"Say- ing No and Letting Go: Jewish Wisdom on Making Room for What Matters Most" (Jewish Lights Publishing). Goldberg explains that while life is filled with un- certainty and pain, we can learn to appreciate its gifts by finding"a kind of joy in being present" in the current mo- ment. In order to accomplish this, it's necessary to release what we don't need, while, at the same time, discovering the most important facets of our lives. Goldberg offers three steps to help readers begin the pro- cess: "Find the'space in your life to discover what your core values are and, through that discovery, what you want in your life. Second, identify the things you therefore cannot pursue, the opportunities you must willfully deny for the greater good. Third, practice the discipline of adhering to your choice. (No really means no)." In order to discover our core values, we need to pause and take a break from our busy lives. Although con- temporary culture celebrates Us being connected to the world 24/7, Goldbergbelieves that's not conduciVe to living a meaningful or thoughtful life. However, escaping from the daily stress of work is only the first step. The author sug- gests that writing a mission statement is the best way to uncover our purpose in life. He lists slogans used by a variety of successful corpora- tions as inspiration. The idea is not to model our purpose on theirs, but to show how, when businesses clearly focus on their core purpose, they have a far better chance of succeeding. Goldberg also believes we need to realize not only what we want to accomplish, but how to avoid activities we shouldn't be doing. Among his sug~stions for bettey ways to focus on "the most important things" are "less TV, more reading;" "less con- suming, more creating;" "less busywork, more impact;" and "less noise, more solitude." The author then outlines a qariety of practices that can help us make room for what really matters, including: Letting go of resentments in order to free ourselves from the past. This allows us to go forwardwith our lives, rather than focusing on what can't" be changed. Exploring how downsiz- ing our possessions can lead to more happiness. Goldberg offers seven different ways to begin the process. 1. Suggesting how to be fully present for those we love by putting away our gadgets and giving them our complete attention. 2. Explaining that while we should actively strive to do good, we must recognize we will never be perfect.~Expec- tations of perfection can lead to feelings of failure, which then prevent us from trying and exploring new ideas. 3. Learning when to say no to those we love, especially our children, in order to teach them resilience. 4. Understanding the im- portance of small kindnesses. The author lists small acts that can make a true differ- ence in the world. 5. Facing our fears in order to put them into perspective. That robs them of their power and allows us to accomplish great things. 6. Realizing there are no guarantees in life and that we have to learn to accept what is handed to us, while still work- ing to follow our chosen path. 7. Seeing "the Divinity in others" so,we treat everyone with civility and respect. Goldberg's practical sug- gestions on how to change our lives are excellent and thought-provoking. While I had difficulty formulating a mission ~tatement (my life feels far too comple~ for just one), reviewing his suggestions struck me as a worthwhile exercise. His book works in several ways: as a self-help guide and as a blueprint to finding a greater spiritual connection to the universe. Anyone feel- ing dissatisfiedwith their life may find the answers they are searching for in "Saying No and Letting Go." ) answers By Michael C. Butz CLEVELAND (JTA) The voice of the 911 caller is frantic, pleading for help, In the background, the victim is heard moaning, her words unclear. "Thel~e's blood everywhere," the caller says. "I've never seen so much blood." Paramedics arrive on the scene in downtown Cleveland moments later and rush the victim to the MetroHealth Medical Center some five miles away, but it's too late. Aliza Sherman, a 53-year-old mother of four, is dead. Sherman'sustained 11 stab Wounds to her neck, head, back and arm on the evening of March 24, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office. Cleveland police say they believe she was targeted for murder. A month-and-a-half later, however, no arrest has been made, few clues have been found and the police aren't saying much about their investigation. All of which has prompted frustration among Sherman's friends and family. Sherman, a fertility nurse at the Cleveland Clinic in the midst of a contentious divorce, was killed the night before Passover, her death sending shock waves through the Jewish community. A standing-room-only crowd of some 600 mourners attended her funeral on March 28. "Aliza was really the sweet- est person I've ever met in my life," said Dani Horwitz. a Cleveland nativewhose family was close to Sherman. "With my morn, she always ha.d time to help or to do whatever was needed no matter what was going on in her life. Itwas such an extraordinary quality." Few details of the murder have been made public save for a 10-second surveillance video released on April 22, nearly a month after the attack. showing a person believed to be the killer fleeing the at- tack. Recorded by a camera mounted on the ceiling of a ground-level parking garage, the video shows a shadowy figure wearing dark clothing and a hood. Police have asked for the public's help in identifying the attacker. Facebook A reward for information leading to an arrest has been offered in the murder of Aliza Sherman, left, seen here in an undated photogfaph. "We've been following up on all the tips and leads that have come in," said Sgt. Sammy Morris of the Cleveland Police Department. Police have not publicly identified a suspect. At her funeral, Sherman's son Joshua addressed specula- tion about the case, insisting that his father. Sanford, a retired ophthalmologist, was not involved. "I'm sick of hearing about these stories on the news." Joshua said. according to a report in the Cleveland Jew- ish News. "No one knows who did it. I'm going to say right now: My father had nothing to [expletive] do with this .... She was the best mother in the world, and if I find out who did this. I will take care of them myself." The couple filed for divorce on June 20. 2011 and Sher- man was killed about 300 feet from the office of her divorce attorney, which she had just left when she was attacked. The Shermans had a court date scheduled for the fol- lowing day. Those who knew the couple say the divorce process, like their marriage, was not going smoothly. Since late 2000. 22 incidents associ- ated with Sherman's address were reported to police in suburban Beachwood, most involving claims of domestic disturbance. In October, police were summoned over concerns for the welfare of household pets because of Sanford Sherman's actions. One police report involved claims that one of the couple's sons had locked himself in his bedroom as a result of fighting between his parents. Several reports involved heated arguments between the couple. The most recent call came on March 25. about seven hours after Sherman's stab- bing was reported to police. According to the police, Sanford Sherman claimed that suspicious vehicles were parked near the house. The Shermans lived on a tree-lined street in Beach- wood. an affluent Cleveland suburb that's home to eight synagogues as well as many of Cleveland's key Jewish institu- tions. Shewas a 1977 graduate of the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland ancLa member of Beachwood's Orthodox Green Road Synagogue. "She possessed an incred- ibly large heart," said Rabbi Binyamin Blau, Sherman's spiritual leader. "She was a very loving person who was deeply concerned for her fam- ily and children." Frustrated by the sluggish progress in the case, Sher- man's friends and family have raised $23,000 as a reward for information leading to an arrest. Crime Stoppers, an independent organization thataims to assist law enforce- ment, contributed another $2,000. To ratchet up pressure on the police, Horwitz.created a Facebook page, Justice for Aliza Sherman, that keeps a tally of the days since the mur- der and encourages the public to call the mayor demanding action. The page, which has garnered more than 1,700 "likes," also has served as a gathering place for grieving friends. The campaign organized a one-mile community walk on Mother's Day from Sher- man's street to the Cleveland Clinic Family Health Center in Beachwood. "We need this to stay in the news, and we need this to be a priority for the mayor and the chief of police," Horwitz said. "We're encouraging people to keep calling the police and to keep calling the mayor. This case can't go cold." FIRST WE LISTEN... THEN WE DELIVER! 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