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Love, Longing and the New Year

09/19/2017 08:56:51 PM

Sep19

How do we mark Love? What about Creation – birth, plantings that grow, ideas and plan we seed? Where do we put our Regrets, our commitments to change? And how, with all of these, do we share the experience of our observance?

In other times, our ancestors may not have exercised choice in these matters, but they did, oh they surely did innovate. Old ways stuck, but if they did not, they fell away and were replaced by new practices.

What did not change was: Love, Creation, Regret. In grand and intimate ways, these infuse the human experience while eliding us with transcendence. In these, our Days of Awe, we spend communal and personal time in that sacred overlap.

With regret, through teshuvah, we may transcend time, not by erasing the past, but by revisiting and recalibrating our behaviours and our relationships. We find within us the awesome power to change.

The new of the New Year is all about Creation, the immense source of power within, creativity. It emerges in new ideas, fresh ways of being, and through our community’s ways of marking a cycle that is at once very old and very present-day.

And then, there’s Love. We may each have our ways of marking love in our lives, with cards or with social media posts, with flowers and dinners, living legacies and inner longings. The Days of Awe – Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – are the Jewish people’s container for our living legacies and inner longings.

When we gather for Rosh Hashanah, for Yom Kippur, our shared dining tables and for the Tishrey and Shabbat services in between and following, let’s celebrate love and gratitude. This is what I feel most keenly this year – for you, cherished community, for my own dear ones, and for the myriad souls that surround us in magnificent radiant circles that envelope the entire globe.

May your shared as well as your inner experiences of these holy days, of holding love and gratitude, longing and regret, come to and through you all with ease and with delight, to bring joy, fulfillment and wholeness in the year to come.

May you be inscribed for a good, sweet year! Shana Tova umetuka!

- Rabbi Liz

Sat, December 16 2017 28 Kislev 5778