For those who observe Rosh Hashanah – the beginning of the New Year – L’Shana Tova. My wish for my family and friends is for a year of joy and good health, laughter and abundant love, peace in spirit and in the world (I realize that’s probably a stretch but it doesn’t hurt to hope). The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are known as ‘the days of awe‘. As God opens the book of life, as we ask to be sealed into its pages for another year our thoughts turn in. Have our actions and our hearts been in sync with an intent that is bigger than our own hubris? Have we been kind? Have we been fair? Generous in both deed and thought? Please understand, this is my interpretation of these mystical, spiritual days – I am neither rabbi nor maven on Judaism. I’m just a woman who responds to the need to consider my actions, apologize for any hurts that I may have caused either with intention or with thoughtlessness and to commit to trying to do better.
I remember my parents during this time of year – from the tender moments of sneaking in to sit with my parents during the adults’ service (which as I recall lasted f-o-r-e-v-e-r), leaning against my father and playing with the tassels on his prayer shawl. Challah and honey. A prayer for a sweet year. Kisses on both cheeks. Makes my body ache with an undefinable pain that starts in my heart and courses its way through my body. It’s a visceral thing, this missing them.
I have no wisdom to offer here – certainly nothing that we all don’t already know. We are imperfect, we are wondrous; we are foolish, we are wise; we are giving, we are self-absorbed; we are perfectly imperfect. So I may not get every nuance of these splendid and awe-filled days, but I get enough to know that wishing you a sweet and loving year is not exclusive to any one religion. I get enough to know that I deeply hurt when I think of the times I have shown people the worst of myself instead of my best (or at least my average self). And I certainly get that considering the synchronicity between my heart and my actions is more than just an annual effort. This year may I do a better job of being a better person. May I walk on this earth with a lighter more loving step and let my priorities reflect an understanding that all of this passes too quickly to be dismissive. A year of light and love and the gift of tomorrow. Amen.