As we approach the High Holy Days, it seems that each year evokes the same compelling question: “To what degree have I been the best me of which I am capable?” And, “what changes am I prepared to make to come closer to that ideal for myself.
Our tradition tells of Rabbi Zushya who would always find himself in deep regret prior to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. And he explained: “When I get to heaven I will not be asked ‘why were you not a forceful and effective leader like Moses?’ I will not be asked ‘why were you not wise as Solomon?’ I will not be asked ‘why were you not a social activist and moral voice like Jeremiah?’ Rather, he explained, “I will be asked why were you not more of Zushya–why were you not the man that you were capable of being?”
And I suppose that that is the question that beckons us all at this time of year. “How and where can we find the strength and wisdom to come closer to what we want and need to be?” For me, part of the answer has much to do with our coming together; being with each other, singing together, praying together, and all of us realizing that we have been blessed with yet another opportunity at life. And so, let us be grateful for our blessings. But let us also take these days to “dig” within ourselves, and to discover that “better” self that longs for life.
I wish you and all the people you love a healthy, peaceful and fulfilling New Year.