Have you ever gone away to summer camp as a child or teen? Do you remember how much was packed into one month? Summer camp was looked forward to all year and then remembered for the months and years afterward.
We've just entered the New Year of 5783 and the month of Tishrei. In a sense, this month is to the Jewish year what summer camp was to the rest of the year. Allow me to explain.
There is no busier month on the Jewish calendar than the month of Tishrei. It is filled with holidays and as the "head" of the year, this month contains within it the energy that we will need for the following 11 months.
Tishrei gives us the opportunity to take a ride through a microcosm of the human experience, a Jewish version of Disney's "Its a Small World After All" if you will. With presence and intention, we can reap all of the fruit Tishrei offers.
We start off with Rosh Hashana, the entry point to the New Year. While fireworks and confetti are nowhere to be seen, we welcome the New Year with a sense of awe and seriousness in community along with festive meals and song. We take time to reflect on the past and think toward the future. The call of the Shofar is the highlight, an invitation to wake up our souls and move through the year from our essence, our true selves.
We are launched straight into the 10 days of return, the prelude to Yom Kippur. Shabbat Shuva is the Shabbat between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. It offers the opportunity to return through being, on a day when we stop our doing and rest.
As we near the conclusion of the 10 days, we enter Yom Kippur. Historically, Yom Kippur was the first time that humans were able to repair after messing up. Repair is an essential tool that is (or should be used) daily and Yom Kippur carries the potent energy that makes it possible. The Shofar blast at the conclusion of the fast is like the trumpets blown at a victory parade, we are certain that our efforts will achieve their desired outcome.
Next week, we'll continue on with Sukkot and what the month of Tishrei offers to us in its second half.
Wishing you a Gmar Chatima Tova and a meaningful Yom Kippur,