Almost Rosh Hashanah
It is almost that time again. The 1-2-3 holidays as I sometimes refer to them. They seems to occur rapid fire, and I often feel like I am just hanging on to get through them. I also miss a lot of work, and feel out of touch with my family and friends, and sometimes even engage in the occasional wardrobe anxiety. This year, I am wholly unprepared in a ritual sense but completely prepared in a spiritual sense. That is a flip-flop for me!
Usually by now, I have written a Sephardic seder...invited folks over...and engaged in the food chaos. The internal prep is a hopeful hail Mary (if you allow me to use a Catholic football term). This year, the inner stuff has already been in the works. The reflection, the imagery of rolling up my sleeves and getting ready to dig deep inside. The ritual? Not so much. It certainly highlights what it is like to live in the county, away from the community, and the dilemma that those of us who have no Jewish family in town or period. Usually, I try to invite a couple of families from shul, a few people with children, a prospective Jew (generally all people who either have no family in town or no Jewish family at all). This year, I have done none of that.
Still, I feel personally that my compass is set. I am ready to celebrate the new year, to bring it in with sweetness, and to prepare for the hard work that comes afterwards. Yes, the hard work of doing teshuvah, of making requests to be written into the Book of Life, of looking through my words and actions throughout the past year and seeing (truly seeing) the ways in which I missed the mark. And reclaiming. Reclaiming the Me I am supposed to be.
The other part of that preparation I learned from my rabbi, right before he left for Israel a little over a year ago. The other part of teshuvah - our responsibility to see others as new people - independent of their missed marks - and not with hesitation but truly to see them as if they have changed. To be the believer and supporter of their change.
So, although I am feeling that perhaps our holidays may be pretty small unit-wise a.k.a. just us, I anticipate the big ways in which we will be affected.