Two Reflections for the New Year: 5774 By Ivy Helman

ivyIn June, my friend, Shifra, and I became Co-Chairs of the Ritual Committee at our shul. During the past few weeks, we have occasionally turned to one another and said, “I can’t wait for the High Holy Days to be over!”  Then, we have paused realizing what we have said and have sworn that we didn’t mean it.  We don’t.  Truly, we don’t.  But we are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of detail required for the days to go well.  There are babysitters to find, flowers to pick-up and drop off and pick-up again, kiddushim to organize, chairs to arrange, musicians to contact, mahzorim to bring up from the basement, bulletins and programs to coordinate, volunteers to recruit, parking to find for Tashlich, carpets to be cleaned, pianos to be tuned and so much more.  Thank G-d there is a committee and a community to help us, but we still have much of the organizing and synchronizing to do.  It’s a lot for two people who also have jobs, family and other responsibilities to fit in as well.

What concerns me more than anything in all of this organizing and busyness is that I won’t be personally prepared for the High Holy Days.  These days require personal, spiritual and relational work which all takes time.  I can’t show up on Yom Kippur morning and expect to have an amazingly deep spiritual experience if I have done nothing to prepare myself for it.  To me, this would be the irony of all ironies: the one who has spent the past three months making sure the shul is ready isn’t prepared herself.  Since the last week of August, I have been setting aside time away from the details to make sure that doesn’t happen.  Within the personal work I’ve done, I have found two inspirational and meaningful reflections which I’d like to share with you. Continue reading “Two Reflections for the New Year: 5774 By Ivy Helman”

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