The Rabbi’s Magic, Extra Christmas stocking.



I am writing these very words you are currently reading in the past, with regard to time, from when you are reading them.

It’s like time-travel.

Where I am, it’s December 22.  

(You can actually see these words on the screen in the photo, above.)

I’m sitting in my living room, in the beautiful Eames chair that my mother bought for us years ago. Beyond the laptop screen on which I am currently composing these very words, my feet, clad in thick wool socks, are resting on the chair’s matching ottoman.

It’s not yet Christmas.

On the outside of the unlit fireplace, five stockings are hung with care.

There’s one red stocking with a white cat, one moss-green stocking with a brown moose, one blue-and-white stocking with a gray raccoon, one pink stocking with a beige bambi, and one tangerine-orange stocking with a black-and-white skunk.

“You might ask me, ‘So, rabbi…you have five Christmas stockings in your house?'”

It’s a reasonable question.
After all, there are only four of us.

So why five?

My only answer is this: “tradition.”
(As far back as I can remember, since the kids were little, we’ve always had five stockings.)


If a rabbi having a big-time Christmas celebration in their home is a deal breaker for you to consider me a worthy spiritualigious teacher, that’s alright.

Some people don’t like that I have Christmas with my family.
I’m ok with that.
You do you.
I’m not the rabbi for everyone.

That all our lower-level priorities—like having a Christmas celebration in honor of my beloved’s childhood, traditions and wishes—don’t align perfectly with your desire not to have the same—doesn’t really faze me.

I’m constantly surprised at how upset people get when their proverbial priority #278 (how other drivers should signal their desire to turn) is someone else’s priority #5,278.

As long as you and I are on the same page with regard to compassion, kindness, and love—and our first 50 or so priorities—I’m really glad to ignore our difference in opinion on how toilet paper should be put on the spindle.


If we’ve met or not, let me take a moment in this new year of 2024 to (re)introduce myself.

Hi, I’m Rabbi Brian.

I’m an ordained rabbi, and I’m on a mission from (the) God (of my understanding).

And I have some wisdom to share.

If you’ll permit me to share it.

That’s what this newsletter is all about about.

40/52 Mondays a year of some wisdom in convenient newsletter format.


Beloved reader, you are human and I have learned a few things about humans.

You (like me) get bogged down, at times, in thinking everyone should have the same priorities as you.

And, as you are human, it’s very likely you have done some things about which you aren’t so proud.

We all have moments of which we aren’t so proud.

Moreover, not only have you done some things about which you aren’t so proud, but you also have compounded the situation by being meaner to yourself about the thing you did.

(It’s not just you. It’s everybody. I’ve been paying attention.)


I have some great news!

Watch this:

I’m in the past.
Me. Currently. Now.

You are reading this in early 2024.

Where I am, Christmas 2023 hasn’t happened.
Where you are, Christmas 2023 has happened.

A magic space in time exists between our realities—and, we can use it to envision some compassion.

Let’s take a moment to imagine that the stocking, the extra one the fifth one in my house, was put up here for you.

Why not?

And, maybe, just maybe, inside the extra stocking, a gift of some tender-forgiveness was left for you!

For that thing you did—that thing you’ve not yet figured out how to be compassionate to yourself about, and are still carrying with you.

It’s possible that in that stocking—the one I’m currently looking at, the one you need to imagine from the past—some tender-forgiveness was left as a balm on your soul.


I know a little about how Christmas magic works—as long as you believe that you deserve a bit of grace, it’s yours.

You imagine that you already were given the gift of compassionate understanding and when Christmas comes, I’ll open the stocking and it will already be yours.

(We are talking metaphysics and magic. Wonder and amazement don’t do well with logic that is too-too tight.)


If you don’t already subscribe to my/this newsletter, click here. Welcome.

If you are used to getting these messages 40/52 weeks a year, please tell two friends, “I really like the writings of Rabbi Brian and think you would enjoy them as well. You ought to subscribe.”

(In advance of the book launch, I’m trying to triple the number of newsletter subscribers. I thank you.)

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