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L’Shana Tova

Posted By Gail Ostrow on September 24th, 2014

It is September, a time of harvest and a turning from summer to fall.  Vacations are mostly  over, the children are back in school, and the promise of time off and trips away fades into memories and photographs.  It is also the  month of Elul, a time of reflection and repentance, which prepares us for Rosh Ha-Shanah, Yom Kippur, and the new year.

I love this time of year: the change from hot to cooler, the fresh breezes, the changing light, the bountiful harvest from the garden.  And I always loved going back to school—I still do.  The new binder, paper, markers, books—the look and feel of possibility, of new beginnings.  I also love the heightened sense of the holidays approaching.

And yet, even as the season changes and my spirit calls me to reflect and repent, I am struck by how “stuck” I am in my old patterns of behavior, thinking, and feeling, and expectations both of myself and of others.   Still walking down the same street and falling in the same holes, and only sometimes getting out before I do too much damage.

So, once again, I prepare to let go of that which does not serve me or others but to which I am wedded, either by fear or habit or ignorance.   I think about who I have harmed this past year.   Am I truly sorry?  Is it time to make amends?  And what about forgiveness?  Am I ready to forgive myself and others for our human weaknesses?

The High Holy Days are a sacred pause—a time to make public what each of us faces every day in our interactions with others.  We hurt and are hurt.  We are all wounded.  We are all in need of forgiveness.   In the spirit of Rosh Ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur, I seek to forgive and be forgiven.   The Talmud teaches us that every minute we begin again.  Let us begin.

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2 Responses to “L’Shana Tova”

  1. Meg says:

    Simply and beautifully stated. As always, Gail, your honest self reflection and willingness to “show and tell,” allows me to dare and reflect on those orphaned aspects of my self in need of guardianship and forgiveness.

  2. Barbara says:

    Thank you for being that soft ringing bell that reminds me to pause and reflect. Wishing you a year of not falling into holes, but walking around them.