Shana Tova everyone!
Rosh Hashanah and it is a time for family, candles, challah, apples and honey. The rituals that mark this holiday are filled with the bittersweetness and the circle of life. As we mark the end of the lunar Hebrew year 5778, we are reminded of how our behavior, attitudes, intentions and connections have served others and ourselves these past twelve months. This holiday gives us a chance to look back, take note of what was healing in our lives and what was not. Tradition is we repent for our sins as well as those of others and we ask for forgiveness of any wrongdoing so that we may begin anew, slate wiped clean and ready to start over. I choose to use the Hawaiian philosophy of Ho’oponopono which says, ” I am sorry, Please forgive me, I love you, Thank you” to heal myself as well as others. It is a prayer some native Hawaiians use each night when we ask ourselves, ” Am I Pono?”, meaning, did I do what was right today? Did I say or write a healing word, use a healing gesture or facial expression, connect to someone’s soul or my own? This way, each day is a chance for renewal, to begin again and to serve in a healing way. This holiday begins with the celebration of a new year, a sweet and good new year to come and stretches out for 10 days, culminating with the solemnity of Yom Kippur, a day of fasting, contemplation and prayer. While the fast cleanses our bodies and our minds, it leads the way inward, nurturing our souls. We ceremoniously remember our loved ones who have passed and this year we will stand for Mourner’s Kaddish once again, this time for our last parent, my mother-in-law, who left this realm last January. We will stand hungry for peace, for compassion, for justice, for equality, for a better world and a better year. And then, as the darkness begins to usher in the end of day, the lightness of our bodies, weights lifted off our minds and souls, starts to shine within, void of cloudy thoughts, emotions, feelings and our cleansed souls light the way to a new year. I will be mindful of gratitude for the love of my family and friends and the blessings that are bestowed on all of us each day. May all of you be inscribed in the Book of Life and enjoy a beautiful, soul-full, sweet and healthy New Year. Shana Tova.