The summer season seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. The “days of awe” – Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – the high holy days in Jewish tradition-ask us to consider our deeds and transgressions of the past year.
The spotlight on introspection that these holy days demand is often viewed with great anxiety. It is quite difficult to look at oneself and come face-to-face with our shortcomings. If we’re honest with ourselves we know that the genesis of our trepidation is the sadness and sometimes hopelessness we may feel as we are consciously confronted with our previous actions and/or challenged by the tasks of change.
Yet, a slight adjustment in perspective may offer a more optimistic approach. Identifying and meeting our behaviors “head-on” is neither the end nor the goal of “teshuvah” (the act of “repentance” that is the central theme of these holy days). The objective is not to languish in the notion that one is a “bad person” due to previous wrongdoing. Instead, on Yom Kippur, we endeavor to transcend the reality of our daily lives and actions and transport ourselves to a “new place”-spiritually, mentally and psychologically. From this new vantage point we can see ourselves and the world around us with a refreshed and uplifted perspective as to the possibilities that lay ahead . . . and we can chart a different course for the coming year.
Don’t let this opportunity to be strengthened and encouraged pass by!
Please accept our most sincere best wishes for a very healthy, safe, peaceful and sweet New Year.
L’Shana Tovah U’Metuka v’Ketiva v’Chatima Tova!
(The English translation of this Hebrew phrase wishes you a “sweet” New Year and hopes that you are “inscribed” and “sealed” for a good year. The process of the Jewish High Holidays starts with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, when we ask God to “inscribe” us in the book for a good year and culminates at Yom Kippur [Day of Atonement] when we repent for our misdeeds of the past year and ask that God “seal” us in the book for a good year)