Today summer, officially, turns to autumn, this day of the Autumn Equinox. Already summer heat is giving way to the crisp, cool of Fall. The nights and the mornings after are chill, but not so cold yet that we rearrange our morning habits; the eagerness to check the bird feeder's supply and a cup of tea outside on the deck.
Only a pair of sweats and a sweater are added to ensure our comfort now. Thus the seasons of the year turn, as the Jews of the world, too, put their hearts and minds to turning.
It is decreed by the ancient texts of Judaism that our tribe be called at this time to turn ourselves to review and repentance. Our designated ten days of repentance; also known as the “ten days of awe,” began last week. We have until next Wednesday to get with the program.
One of my most important reviews continues to be the whys and the wherefores of my former anti-Semitism. Reading the prayer book of these High Holy days I am relieved to see that G-d wishes only for sinners to return to the path of righteousness; my sin here, apparently, being my renouncing my Jewish heritage.
This year I am so “returned” I actually made it to the synagogue to hear these oft-repeated words, reminding me that, now, having turned myself toward my Jewish heritage, I am apparently off the hook from being a sinner. The hardest part, I think now, wasbeginning the “re-turn.” Then the surprise; while I had turned my back on my heritage, somehow Judaism still held a rightful place for me.