Unspoken Word
September 16, 2023
In Praise of New Beginnings on Rosh Hashanah

What can be said on this most blessed day that
you don't already know deep within your soul?
What song or psalm can be sung whose words have not already
washed over you many times before,
soothing you, renewing you, refining you once again?

This is the glory of Rosh Hashanah, my friends,
the time of new beginnings, the time of reflection,
the time to slow down from the 9-5 and enter into the timeless,
the sacred space within each and every one of us
the holy realm that is already pure and perfect
just the way it is --
not because of what we have done or what we have forgotten to do,
not because we stumble and fall, human beings that we are,
but because the essence of who we are was made
in the image of God, home base in a child's game of tag,
Free Parking in Monopoly,
the warm spot on the pillow of our lives where we long
to lay our heads and let go to the beauty of simply being alive,
resting in the arms of our Divine Beloved,
our souls awakened, our eyes opened
and, even more than that, our hearts.

Yes, it is Rosh Hashanah we are here to celebrate tonight,
the time and space of new beginnings,
one more chance to pause and look within to the core of our being,
to consider, reflect and introspect
so we might make amends, forgive, be forgiven
and open more fully to a power none of us will ever comprehend.

Rosh Hashanah, ahh... Rosh Hashanah,
a High Holy Day celebrated by our parents, and their parents,
and their parent's parents in a succession of
who knows how many generations going back to the beginning
of all that is holy and divine.

"Shana Tovah" we say to each other this evening,
in Hebrew it means a "Good Year."

And that is God's wish for us and our wish for each other,
and let us not forget... our wish for ourselves.

Yes, ourselves -- the ones who pray, the ones who make amends,
those who are willingly accountable for what has preceded
this precise moment in time,
opening once again like a flower to the full glory of love.

May today be a new beginning for you and
everyone you pray next to tonight,
may the roses of our souls be pruned just enough in prayer
to quicken our sacred blooming for the coming year.

And should we forget, as human beings are wont to do,
may we remember in our very next breath
just how fortunate we are to be alive, to breathe, to be grateful
and have yet another chance to embrace
the joyful journey of the life we are, daily, being given
as if for the first time.

Read for the first time at Temple Israel of Catskill: 9/15/23

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at September 16, 2023 06:01 AM

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