Gratitude a Rosh Hashana Reflection - 5771
Sitting in the coffee shop, at our regular table, my chavruatas (learning / study partners) and I were discussing Rosh Hashana. We stopped for a moment reflecting... when I turned to them and asked, “What happened to you this year that you did not ask for? What were you graced with this year? What came to you that was
a total gift and completely unexpected?”
Every year as Rosh Hashana approaches, I notice myself begin to make lists: a list of things I need to get done this year – a list of things I need to pray for this year – a list of things that I think should change – a list of things that I have to create, push and make happen.
I am so focused on the future, so dedicated to the dream that I forget to look at where I am standing – and to simply take it in.
Society tells us that we must go to elementary school in order to go to high school. We are told that we should get good grades in high school in order to get into a good college. That if we do well in college we might be lucky enough to go to graduate school. And all this in order to afford to buy a house, get married and have 2.5 kids and/or a dog or cat and create the same cycle for them (not the pets of course).
What if we told our kids they go to school in order to learn, to enjoy the process, to be in the moment, to experience the moment… what if we all took a breath and said – “This is all that life is… where I am right now, in this moment, experiencing these feeling, the good, bad, joy and sadness of life? What if all life had to offer us is NOW?
In Judaism, unlike other religious, we have prayers before AND after meals. We create rituals for divorce as well as marriage. This is done with the understanding that endings need to be acknowledged as well as beginnings, that we need to say good-bye, and that every change needs a moment of reflection.
This year, as the New Year beckons, I notice that I find myself sitting and basking in gratitude. Of course I can make a list of what I want, what I need and what I strive for, but there is a greater yearning to sit down and write a list of all the gifts I have been graced with this year.
Before we say Hello, to the New Year of 5771, Let us pause. Let us take a moment and breathe in the entirety of the year… Let us acknowledge the hardships, the difficulties, the wonders and the joys… and most of all; let us be grateful for the unexpected moments of Grace that were given to us, when we least expected it.
Many blessings for a wonderfully mystery filled year, overflowing with unexpected moments of Grace.
Ksiva V’chasima Tova (traditional Blessing)
Shana Tova U'metuka (Happy & Sweet New Year)