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A Light New Change

09/24/2019 07:55:11 PM


For some of us, this time of year evokes memories of new school items, perhaps a lunch box, sharp pencils with erasers that work, snazzy fresh outfits. For others, it’s the weather and its changes, from the hot-cool-warm-hot-cold pendulum swings to the changing colours.

Early in the week before Rosh Hashanah 2019/5779-5780 the fall equinox arrives, the date when the length of the day is perfectly balanced between light and dark. I note the multiple year numbers deliberately. The 23rd of September 2019 signals that the year is moving into its last quarter, with the waning sunlight leading us here in the Northern Hemisphere through fall and towards winter. The 23rd of Elul 5779 tells us a different light is waning, in “Jewish time.” On the 23rd of this lunar month, the darkening moon guides us towards the new moon of Tishrey, the first day of the Jewish New Year of 5780.

Light, change, darkness, newness. The harbingers of the seasons in both our secular and sacred reckonings converge through these themes. To see these elements as both metaphors and through concrete manifestations in our lives and in our communities is not a huge stretch. The year and its changing light, along with the routines and practices of the season/s invite reflection.

While many things change with time, thank goodness, others are pulled through with a strongly-wrought thread of connection. We may not all have memories of High Holy Day rituals, but we can grasp the threads woven into our services, our shared meals, the sounds of our songs and the sights of our special garments, and anchor ourselves in this ever-changing, ever-balanced moment.

May the new year of 5780 bring you and your dear ones joy, sweetness, and the changes you seek.

Shana tova umetuka – for a good and sweet changing year.

Wed, April 1 2020 7 Nisan 5780