Sunday, July 25, 2021

Pre-Yom Kippur "The 40 Day Challenge" Good All Year

The 40 Day Challenge: Daily Jewish Insights to Prepare for the High Holidays by Mark Wildes is a well written, beautifully presented guide to help us improve our lives not just the forty days before Yom Kippur but all year long.

As I rushed to finish reading The 40 Day Challenge so I could get this book review posted early enough to help market the book in time for Rosh Chodesh Ellul, I realized that the messages/exercises are really for all year long. Teshuva-Repentance and improving our religious observance, between man and Gd or man to man must be done 24/7. Judaism isn't a part-time religion. 
Rabbi Mark Wildes is the Founder and Director of Manhattan Jewish Experience (MJE), a highly successful Jewish outreach and educational program that engages and reconnects unaffiliated Jewish men and women in their 20s & 30s with Judaism and the Jewish community. In its 22 years of existence, MJE has successfully reconnected thousands of previously unaffiliated Jewish men and women with Judaism and the Jewish community, hundreds of whom are today living committed Jewish lives and sending their children to Jewish Day Schools. Rabbi Mark also teaches an outreach training seminar at RIETS, Yeshiva University’s rabbinical school, training new leaders for the future.
Forty is a special number in Judaism, and Wildes did a wonderful job in finding forty challenges for us to attempt. When you finish the forty, please don't put the book  away hoping to remember to take it out next Rosh Chodesh Ellul. Just start again from number one.

Each chapter ends with a question to help the reader succeed. The question puts the challenge into simple doable terms. Here's an example from the chapter about "gossip."


It's clear that Wildes doesn't expect us to become perfect overnight. But he does show that we can gradually in small steps.

I highly recommend The 40 Day Challenge as the perfect gift for yourself and others. It's not written in highfalutin fancy language. The 40 Day Challenge has a clear accessible message. All of us can use it to make our lives better. To purchase the book, click here- Kodesh Press.

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