I’ve always liked Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Even as a kid growing up in Oklahoma, where I had to tell all my friends I was missing school to sit in synagogue all day, the High Holidays were always pretty special. And as I’ve gotten older, the holiness of these days has increased even more in my life.
Maybe that’s why, in this moment that I desperately need a real check-in with myself, I’m writing this with about 48 hours until Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins.
So…where am I at?
I’m very happy living in NYC! From roommates to work, food to Broadway, I’m truly in love with my new city. I’m volunteering regularly, connecting with great people, walking through as many parks as possible, and I’ve even gotten used to the subway. It’s been a big time of exploration and learning about myself – my place in the world, my odd and unexplained habits, and my true passions.
And yet, the crumbling of our country and world pains me. With every policy proposal, demeaning tweet, and ludicrous press conference, I’m confronted with the foul stench of decimated institutions, pure hatred, and a loss of decency for one another. At a time and place in the world where we can summon literally anything we want through a few taps on our phones, how have we lost the ability to summon compassion and political courage? As calls for more walls increase and grow louder, the ground beneath our feet, our moral grounding, is sinking. While I feel so much joy and fulfillment in many aspects of my life, I am surrounded by a thick fog of hatred and destruction.
So…where am I at?
For me, the High Holidays are the perfect time to ask that question. They almost serve as a check point on all of those (secular) New Years resolutions we made on January 1st. It seems like an eternity ago that I made my resolutions for 2017 – to focus on building strong, sustaining relationships and to make a valuable impact on my communities. And looking around, I see so many areas of progress this year. Yet, I know there is so much space for growth in my commitment to confronting division and hatred with community and love.
I’m hoping these days of reflection and connection, feeling and revealing, bring us all toward the best versions of ourselves, our communities, and our world. I’m hopeful that there are better days ahead for each and every one of us.
That’s where I’m at.