Shana Tova

11 Sep

התעוררי התעוררי כי בא אורך קומי אורי עורי עורי שיר דברי כבוד ה עליך נגלה

 

The Hebrew month of Elul is in full swing, ‘the king is in the field’ and our souls are supposed to be limbering up for the New Year next week. This is the month we spend trying to come closer to G-d and those around us.  It’s supposed to be a time for reflection on the year gone by, on our actions and words and all that we have put ‘out there’.

I once learned that in Aramaic, ‘elul’ has a similar root to the word for ‘search’. This was always an idea I could tap into.  Every year, I dig deep as I sit in shul on Rosh Hashanah: what is it I want to communicate to God, as I sit here and pray? Gratitude? Frustration? Love? Acknowledgement? Anger? Fear? Bewilderment?  I feel grateful for the many blessings in my life.  The question is, grateful to who? 

It doesn’t inspire quite the same awe in me as it once did, this time of year. The ימים נוראים are only days away, and – dig as I deep – I’m not finding that surge, that jolt of spirituality that usually kicks me into gear at this time of year. 

This year, just concentrating on the words in my machzor will take an effort, but I’m willing to try and find that connection once again.  

One of the hardest things asked of us before Yom Kippur is to settle our differences with those around us, to ask forgiveness for those we may have insulted, harmed or wronged in the last year.  I always appreciated this idea, a time of Intentional Kindness.  Focusing on how I treat those around me, on how to be a better wife, friend, daughter, sister, cousin, neighbour and co-worker for a month is something I can connect to and find meaning in and might motivate me to really keep up those habits and changes all year.  

Therefore, if I have unintentionally offended or hurt you this year – well, I hope I’ve already apologised, but if not then I deeply apologise and ask for your forgiveness.  Wishing each and every one of you a sweet, fulfilling and happy new year.

Shana tova!

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