Aug 29, 2021

Next year, in each other's arms.

I've been editing a Torah commentary, based on the teachings I've been broadcasting every morning on the UJA-Federation of New York FB page since March 2020.

It's both deeply affirming and emotionally difficult, and I wanted to pour some of it out, as we enter the Chagim, masked once again, hovering on the brink of an uncertain hope. I've been revisiting the darkest moments of the last 18 months, feeling what I felt, and these days leading up to Rosh HaShannah are a good time for life-review. We've been through so much, and our deepest prayer must remain the basic and essential and not-to-be-taken-granted-of gift of life.

Please God, may that be our lot. Please God, may more people make responsible decisions for their own and the common good.

Given my current process, editing sacred testimony of the year gone by, glimpsing back through time into our transcendent moments and our dips into despair, there is one thing I pray for this holiday season, for us all, and yes - for me. May we courageously cross the digital divide and enter mindfully into the sanctuaries of our People, knowing we are near each other, and through that knowledge, may we draw ever closer to the very Source of Life.

Suddenly caught in this moment, I find myself missing us all again as if we haven't taken careful steps into each other's lives once again. And maybe this time-travel is fitting, a part of the final lap of the Teshuvah journey, back to the best we can be, which feels to my aching heart like one word: together.

אַחַ֤ת ׀ שָׁאַ֣לְתִּי מֵֽאֵת־יְהוָה֮ אוֹתָ֪הּ אֲבַ֫קֵּ֥שׁ שִׁבְתִּ֣י בְּבֵית־יְ֭הוָה כָּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיַּ֑י לַחֲז֥וֹת בְּנֹֽעַם־יְ֝הוָ֗ה וּלְבַקֵּ֥ר בְּהֵיכָלֽוֹ׃
One thing I ask of my God, only this do I seek: to dwell in God's Home every day of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Eternal, to visit God's Inner Place.

Shannah Tovah, dear ones. Next year, in each other's arms.

Amen.