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Printed from HarfordChabad.org

Stream of Consciousness on the High Holiday Season

Friday, 14 August, 2015 - 11:28 am

By Rabbi Eliyahu Schusterman

This Shabbos and Sunday the High Holiday season begins. Rosh Hashanah will be in one month and that means we begin to blow the Shofar this Sunday. Tis the season!

So let’s summarize this year. What did you discover about yourself, about your life? What changes did you incorporate into your world? What relationships were enhanced? Which were damaged? How is next year going to be different?

These are the very uncomfortable questions a good friend asked me yesterday. I thought first about telling him to jump into the lake at Piedmont Park (by the way join us on the first day of Rosh Hashanah at the Gazebo for Tashlich) and mind his own business. But then I thought let me try to answer that question. And I did.

Mirror, mirror on the wall who is this fellow looking at you this Elul?

The mirrors response wasn’t necessary that pleasant but it was challenging. It said, why is next year going to be any different? It wanted to know how I dare show my face this Rosh Hashanah when I have fallen short on last year’s commitments.

No, it isn’t always the most pleasant experience to have yourself put on the table in front of you to look at, but the alternative is more of the same. Change is not easy, but our Tradition provides an entire season to jump start it.

“You stand here today, all of you from the wood-chopper to the water carrier”. Today = the day of Rosh Hashanah. Today (on that first day of RH) all of us stand equally, before the Master of the Universe, wood-choppers, water carriers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, moms, dads, accountants, business people, and executives. All of us stand and are required to present ourselves.

A visual – a naked man with a tie parading down the street. This is the spiritual equivalent of looking good without anything to back it up. It’s like driving someone else’s Tesla and pretending that it’s yours.

Elul is the season to get our act together!

Friends are a powerful source to get us in-line. Find a friend, find a mirror, take some time to meditate and pray, the great day of Rosh Hashanah is coming!

Shana Tova and Shabbat Shalom!

 

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