Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Reconnect, Repair, Renew

Rosh Hashanah literally means "the head of the year".  In Jewish tradition, Rosh Hashanah marks the completion of the creation of the world and is looked upon as a time to begin anew, to forgive and to be forgiven.  It is now 5773 according to the Jewish calendar which follows the lunar calendar(our regular calendar follows the solar cycle) and even if you do not believe that the world has only existed for 5773 years, this is a time for great self-evaluation and contemplation.  It is a time of gratitude for God and a time of deep introspection and study.  It is a time for celebration and a time to ask for forgiveness(from God, from ourselves, from others).  It is a time of prayer and a time of Tzedakah(charity).  It is the time when it is said that God opens up the book of life in order to determine who shall live and who shall die. It is a time when we are expected to repent, to return to God, and to return to our highest selves.  It is a time for second chances(or third, or fourth, or even ninety-ninth) as long as we take responsibility for our own actions.  It is not a time for feeling guilty about our past indiscretions but rather a time to right our own wrongs.  And as daunting as all of this might seem, it is really a gift because when done correctly, the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur(the ten days known as "The days of Awe") may not only be spiritually cleansing but also emotionally healing for ourselves and for others, as well.

As I sit here contemplating the year that has been, the "me" that has been, the "we" that has been over the course of the past year, it feels a little bit odd if not somewhat mis-placed because this Rosh Hashanah somehow snuck up on me.  I can definitely blame this on so many things.  The fact that I turned 50 this past summer, the fact that our youngest Angel Daughter turned eighteen and graduated from high school, that our oldest turned twenty-five, the fact that our devoted and beloved rabbi(our rabbi for well-over twenty plus years) passed away, the fact that it has been unusually and repressively hot and humid for the past two months making it feel as if no time has passed at all.  And yet, here it is.  Here I am.
As I watched a train passing below our home on the tracks that skirt the shoreline of the coast on the evening of the first day of the new year, I thought about how quickly things, life-cycle events, days, weeks, years can pass before we even realize that they are upon us.
There are times when we do not even feel the changes as they happen, and then suddenly, here they are, right in front of our eyes as if they magically appeared out of nowhere, blazingly obvious in both sight and sound but leaving us feeling somewhat dumbfounded by their unexpected arrival.
And yet, we knew that they were coming.  Barrelling down the tracks like a well-timed train, slowing down for nothing.

As I consider the things that I must do in order to become a better person, I intend on using the next week or so to look within and to dig as deeply as my courage will allow in order to come to terms with the things that will make me a finer human being.  What can I do to make the lives of those who I love and care about just a little bit better each day?  Are my actions aligned with my core values on a daily basis?  Are there things that I could work on in order to become a more productive and positive individual?  It is said that on Rosh Hashanah, the world goes back to the moment of creation and begins anew.  I like to believe that we all have that chance, too.

May I take this moment to ask for forgiveness of anyone whom I may have hurt overtly or unintentionally over the course of this past year.  May I find forgiveness in my heart for those who have hurt me, either intentionally or without knowing, and may I find a way to leave any hurt behind.  May I do better, be kinder and love harder than I ever have before.  May I always remember to show gratitude for God and for all of the wonderful people that He has so graciously surrounded me with.

L'shanah tovah to everyone.  Happy new year.  May God inscribe and seal you and all of the people who you love in The Book of Life for another good and sweet year.  And may it be a good one for all of you...From my lips to God's ears.


joanne said...

Thank you for that beautiful Blessing dear Deb and may you also be Blessed in the New Year.

Renee said...

Beautiful photos......beautiful post. Hugs, friend.

Ginny said...

Happy New Year, Deb. Blessings to you.

Ness said...

Happy New Year! I so enjoy when you post about your different faith holidays. I learn so much. No longer on FB...back to Blogger/email only. Hope all is well with you and the Angels. Love you.

Miss A said...

L'Shanah Tova! I'm late to the game but my heart is truly sending you the best for this new year

Laura said...

beautiful, beautiful friend...may this year be one of deeper healing and great blessing for you and your beloveds.

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