Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How To Begin

Rosh Hoshana, 5772

Birthday Lillies
They bloom almost ever year
for my birthday
Rosh Hoshana came at a bad time for me this year. Of course, it was not my call. But the lower level of the dwelling I inhabit as property manager for the New Horizons’ Harpers Ferry Retreat Center flooded just in time for the beginning of the Jewish New Year. The remedy took four visits from the plumber and a mopping, sopping, wet vac-ing of many more hours than I care to remember. Together Sue and I cleared away more than one hundred gallons of water.

How blessed is New Horizons’ that Sue, my right arm, was in there pulling with me! Horrors, if it had been only up to myself and the cat.

Our flood had nothing to really merit any significance though it did have more than its share of challenges. Unlike that which Noah and those on his Ark endured, it was relatively short-lived. And disturbed no one, other than the few of us most closely involved with it, particularly me. It was, nonetheless, a humbling experience that I would hope to not repeat any time in the near future. Actually, I would not like to ever repeat it at all!

Today, however, the sun is, at last, shining and the mopping and sopping up is adequately completed. After weeks of rain that seemed almost ceaseless, along with our “nothing much earthquake” of a few weeks ago, it ought to be easy to right side things up again. And, at last, to turn attention to the “Ten Days of Awe;” the annual time of Jewish tradition and rituals for repentance.

Now I am faced with the reality that officially the High Holy days will likely be finished with me before I am finished with them. I need these set-aside ten days, annually, to examine the limitations of my ways and how to right them. As it was, however, before the flood waters announced themselves, I hadn’t yet quite figured out how I might even begin my personal, spiritual progression through this time.

One thing of my own did occur to me, nonetheless. It might be a worthy endeavor in my personal preparing for this year’s pilgrimage, if I took a look at my blog postings of one year ago. Having set out last year and having accomplished at the Jewish High Holidays, my pledge to write one blog article per day for each day of the ten days, a contemplation of how this had benefited me or anyone else this past year could be useful for me somehow this year as I set out to, again, clean up my proverbial act.

Outfitted with my Mazur, the official High Holiday prayer book, the five thousand years plus of Jewish tradition I’ve inherited, my friends, my family and my memories of those honored traditions upheld by my loved ones in bygone years, from here forth, for the next little while, I set my attentions to the “Days of Awe.”

Checking back on those blogs to see what writing them and living through another year has taught me won’t be a bad thing. And, hopefully, the Powers That Be, will not find fault with my good intentions, if I need to grant myself an extension, if need be.

Allow me to, officially begin with this, the traditional greeting from one Jew to another during the “Days of Awe.”

"Le' shana tova tikatevu ve' tikhatemu."
"May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."

To Jew and non-Jew alike.

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