October 1, 2011
Today is Rosh Ha Shana: the beginning of the Jewish New Year. I am living across the country from my family and life long friends and I was feeling sad. I was longing for something, when I realized I had a deep desire to connect with my heritage, to know what this holiday meant. I began to read the prayer book for this holiday.
I was amazed. My eyes found this prayer, and I want to share it with you.
"Standing on the threshold of a New Year, between darkness and dawn, between memory and hope , between the known and the unknown, we feel the presence, of thee O Lord, Thou who are the Creator of the world and man. We have come to thy sanctuary, to give utterance to the emotions that surge within us. Recalling the past year with its exultation's and its disillusionment's, its joys and sorrows and facing the uncharted course of the coming year. We realize that our destinies are in your hands."
I sat with this meditation, and realized that this holiday's practice is really no different than the work I have been doing for myself, and teaching to my students all year. The only difference is that this is a concrete time to pray, to review all of my faults, to feel my remorse and to face and ask for forgiveness from those I have unconsciously caused pain.
It is a time to consciously ask God to help those who are afflicted in body and spirit, and to help heal those who are broken hearted. It is a time to spend in dialogue with God.
It should be every day that I speak with God. It should be everyday that I ask God to deliver me from my pride, from my arrogance, from my greed, and from my fear.
It should be every day that I ask for help to walk in loving kindness. It should be every day that I renew my faith.
When the shofar sounds at dusk it is to arouse our slumbering souls. It is a clarion call to wake up.
This day has been a call to remember that everyday I consciously need to bless the Lord and to say thank you God for this most wonderful life.
And so dear friend, with great gratitude for your presence in my life, I offer you my prayer that you will be written in the Book of Life for another year.
IN God's Grace,