Saturday, September 4, 2010

L'shana Tova to One and All

Repentance.  Renewal.  Returning to our pure selves.  Looking in the mirror.  T’shuvah.

One of my favorite midrashim is about Reb Zusya – who upon his death was worried that he had been emulating Moses and Abraham too much, and not achieving his own Zusya potential - "In the world to come, they will not ask me, 'Why were you not Moses?' They will ask me, 'Why were you not Zusya?'" 

In Mishkan T’fillah, the Reform siddur,  you can find a text attributed to the Jewish Funds for Justice and associated with the Nisim B’chol Yom blessings:

I can stay the tears of others, if I can see myself
as diminished by their sorrows.

I can hasten time when everyone will be able
to rejoice in freedom.

And if I can see myself as the companion,
of those fighting against oppression,

I can honor the struggle of people everywhere
to gain dignity and deliverance from bondage.

When I look at myself in the mirror
who will I see?

As the year 5771 begins, may we remember that the way we connect with one another, even the stranger, is how we find God.  Let’s not forget that we have worn the sandals and shoes of the oppressed. May we not allow ourselves to wear the boots of the oppressor.

Together we can make 5771 a year of freedom and justice and peace. 

L’shana Tova u’M’tookah…May this be a year filled with goodness and sweetness.