A new year. Last week we celebrated with apples and honey, and casted away sins with bread crumbs floating past. We entered a period of introspection and asked many questions of ourselves. Tonight, the gates are open. Raw emotion is sitting in the front row. Asking for forgiveness is hard. A new chance. How can we make better choices? Where are we going and how can we get there?
Looking back at the past year, we should feel good about what we accomplished. There was personal growth. There was love. There was achievement. And yet, there were plenty of occasions where we stumbled or fell. Sometimes, we're so busy trying to get from A to B that we forget that we can be more intentional with our interactions with others. We can be more patient and understanding. We don't have all of the answers.
A new year. We have no idea where we are going. That's scary, exciting and everything in between. And yet, we know that we'll figure it out at some point. We can be more attentive while navigating our journeys. We can listen more carefully. We can accept that we don't have all of the answers, and that finding them can be a rewarding part of the process.
Keep my tongue from doing harm, and my lips from lies and deceit.
Before those who wrong me with words, my silence be my practice.
Before all human beings, let humility be my stance.
Open my heart to Your Torah, that I may follow its sacred path of duty.
Shatter, at once, the malicious plans of those who would do me harm.
Act, for the sake of Your name.
Act, for the sake of Your shielding hand.
Act, for the sake of Your holiness.
Act, for the sake of Your Torah.
For the sake of those who love You - their rescue and safety -
let Your shielding hand be the answer to my prayer. (T'filat HaLev - Mishkan HaNefesh)
G'mar chatimah tovah - wishing you and yours a meaningful fast. Looking forward to a sweet, happy and healthy new year. A year that while we're trying to figure it all out, we can appreciate what we have and what we're experiencing as we go on our ways.
*Two videos to consider: a classic (with the text used above) and a new drash on the flaws we have...
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