Thursday, September 24, 2009

Awesome Days: On the Jewish calendar at this time of year are marked serious moments called the Days of Awe. It is between the New Year, usually in September, of Rosh Hashanah, and, a week later, during the holiest day of the year for Jews, the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, in which the individual can evaluate his or her life and repent its wrongs. It marks a plea, nay a plaintive wail, which asks forgiveness so that one may be able to make right those wrongs which have been committed. All vows between creation and oneself become null and void so that we can try to begin again, wipe the slate clean and start anew. It is, in its solemnity, a beautiful time, whether one is religious or not, to look closely at one’s self and ask, with the utmost sincerity, have I been the best that I can be as a human being and, if not, can I do better.

I think most of the major faiths provide that avenue to a much flawed humanity. It is important, I think, for all people who know that the egregious behavior they may have committed or hurtful things they may have said during the year can be rethought, reevaluated, ultimately changed and forgiven by something bigger than ourselves. It enables us to get a fresh start and begin again to improve on, in this year, what we think, say and do. It is hoped, too, because of our earnest commitment we will, as the Jewish prayers ask, be sealed in the book of life to enjoy yet one more year and see the magical universe yet one more time.

A Happy New Year to all my Jewish brethren, a happy and healthy year to those who are not, and most certainly a fervent hope for our country to remain secure and free.

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