Clean Slate

When you read this, I will be in the midst of celebrating, Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. Like most religious holidays, it includes prayer and food.  However, it is so much more than that. It is the holiday of second chances.

Beginning tonight with Rosh Hashana, which commemorates the anniversary of the creation of the world, and concluding ten days from now with Yom Kippur, we are being judged. Scary connotations, I know. Who hasn’t gone astray? Done things they should not have? Said things that were hurtful to others? Let their potential go unfulfilled? I am confident when I say the answer to that series of questions is everyone. I know, for sure, I have.  That is why we have this period, which is known as the 10 days of repentance.

Often behavior noted above leaves me disappointed with myself. Whether it is losing my patience with my children, arguing with my wife, gossiping about friends, or not showing the proper respect to my mom, (I‘ll stop there – no need to fill you in on all my dirty laundry) I have a whole load of missteps that I need to work on. I am not expecting perfection, and I am confident G-d does not expect that. In fact, I read somewhere that one of the major aims of this time period should be set up a plan and goals on how you will strive to be that better version of you.

Anyway, I think my reaction to my faults is probably typical. Wallowing, frustrated, disheartened are obviously feelings no one wants to experience. That is where the beauty of this holiday and time period come in. We can say: I’m sorry, I made a mistake, I’ll change. I will do better. And an all knowing G-d will hear us and recognize our sincerity. Get this – G-d can wipe the slate clean.  It’s a burden lifted and an opportunity to move forward and strive to be more like the person you desire to be.

Isn’t that beautiful? I believe it is. So, while this is certainly a heavy time (and I don’t mean because of all the delicious food around – that’s a whole other topic) of year, it ultimately is a time of lightening one’s load. So, tonight and through these next 10 days, I will strive to let go and begin anew my quest to become a better me.

26 thoughts on “Clean Slate

  1. We will always fail, constantly and consistently and I for sure know how disheartening it can me. But I remind myself that it’s the desire in my heart to change that matters to God and only He can make it happen. Blessings on you and your family during this 10-day period. It should, as you say, be a time to lighten the load.

  2. My great grandmother was Jewish. She always held what she called the “High Holy Days.” At least she did once my overbearing, abusive great grandfather died. Although I was raised in an agnostic bordering on atheist household, I loved the beauty of the prayers she said during the holy days. It gave me a great love and appreciation for the history of the Jewish faith. It nearly killed me when she stopped speaking to me the day I became a Christian. When she found out I was a Mormon, she turned her back, told me to leave her house, and never looked at me or spoke to me again from that day until she died.

    A man or woman has to follow their hearts and souls into what ever religion that brings them comfort, peace, and a feeling of welcome. My great grandmother only knew that she was not allowed to worship all the years she was married, until she was a widow. None of her children, grandchildren, and most of her great grandchildren ever found faith or religion, so when one of us became a Christian, she was terribly disappointed.

    So, I wish you peace, comfort, forgiveness, and the love of your family during this time of blessings.

  3. I always tear up when they get to that part of ‘who will this’ or ‘who will do that’ … gets me every time. Feels good to know we’re starting with a clean slate and reminded of what we can change to make this year a better year. L’ Shana Tova!

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