As we are nearing the end of this month of Elul, I am starting to feel the urgency of the season. Usually, when it is the sixth day, the last day before Shabbat enters, I always speed up to finish most of what I deem urgent so that I can relax and not have a pending “fire” on the back burner when the evening comes and when I go into Shabbat mode.
So I am used to being a bit frantic once a week, but never as much as when the High Holy Days are approaching: will I be truly ready, will I have done all that could have been done to honestly look at my actions, thoughts, behaviors, intentions, relationships, promises, commitments, dreams, responsibilities?
Of course, the answer is “no”: I can always discover a new angle, another area where I made a pass, gave myself an excuse, told a white – or not so white – lie to someone or worse to myself to cover up for a lack of courage, when I thought something was too difficult or when I decided that it did not matter, to discover that it did.
The way we use time is very strange: we measure it as if it was a thing we could own, buy, give or trade: and then Shabbat is here, and that is when time tells us “I don’t belong to you, I can’t be controlled by you, look: I can stretch as much as I want and I can be a blessing for eternity“. Well, maybe time does not speak to everyone with these kinds of words, but I am trying to give the gist of what the feeling of the day of rest is when Creation stops to go on and on and just ceases in peace. And time belongs to another world of which we can get a glimpse for as long as Shabbat is around us and as long as we have set ourselves to experience it.
This year, there will be one last day after Shabbat ends to get everything ready before the Day of Judgement starts. I know that I will be busy with very earthy occupations, that many people I love and care for have anticipated with me as well, in a joyful way. Not only, my son has been counting on the new month for cashing on his reward to go to the carousel, but I would love that my home also reflects the new season we will enter. Focusing on a lot of material details is often a source of stress that can easily derail one person from being present to the spiritual experience that the holy day is supposed to bring. I have lists and notebooks, there are recipes and checklists, and there are reminders and timetables. But there are all the elements of life that no one controls because there are those elements that we do not own and they belong to the categories of “what ifs” that anxious people like me tend to bring to mind too often to make sure I have scanned every possibility so that I would not lose my temper because of the unexpected.
This year, I have decided that after Shabbat enters (this post is scheduled to go out during Shabbat but it was written before, thanks to the technology that allows the prowess!) I will not fret about the unexpected and welcome anything that comes my way as an added blessing to teach me to let go.
So that I can let go of the year 5776 completely and take only its blessings for what awaits me next.
L’shana tova umetuka! לשנה טובה ומתוקה ! A good and sweet year to all!
This year, I have committed to a daily blog in English to participate in @imabima’s project of Elul. I will dedicate my endeavor for the רפואה שלמה complete healing of מרדכי אלעזר בן חנה מרים (Mordechai ben Chanah).
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