I want to share some thoughts from my husband, Jack Gilron, on the upcoming holiday season:
The month of Elul has arrived and with it the thoughts of the coming New Year and our need to take stock of how we have conducted ourselves in the past year. There are many ways to do this, different modes we can employ. If we look at the Un’etaneh Tokef prayer (one of the most well known prayers from the high holiday prayer book) we can uncover how that dynamic can occur –
“ותשובה ותפילה וצדקה מעבירין את רוע הגזרה ”
“Turning, prayer and righteous acts can remove/mitigate the evil (of the) decree.”
The first action starts with turning. We turn to look at what we have done (or not done), what we have been (or not been). We stop living our lives on auto-pilot. We ask ourselves “what am I living for?”
Next comes prayer – calling out that often comes from the pain and deep disappointment of having fallen short, from not remaining loyal to the values we claim as our compass, from the frustration at ourselves. We seek to align ourselves with the spiritual and deep Presence in the world that will help us stay focused on what really counts, not allow the distractions and impatience from deterring us from our true course.
But this transformation is only credible and sustainable when we translate it into righteous action –truly listening to our loved ones, truly helping the less fortunate, truly battling injustice we encounter and not just shrugging our shoulders and tsk-tsking.
Wishing you and yours a New Year of Blessings and transformation.