Written for Temple Gates of Prayer Bulletin, Early Fall 2010
This time of year is always amazing to me. It is a time of new beginnings for so many of us, in so many different ways. At this time of year, children transition from summer camp to school, some of us transition from vacations back to our regular routines, some of us begin new jobs and some of us move to new homes. But one thing is the same for all of us – we feel the spirit of the High Holy Day season begin to fill our homes and our hearts as we prepare ourselves for the coming yamim nora’im.
These past months have been especially meaningful for me, in a way much different than years past. Usually, in mid-July I would be running between voice coaches, sitting in large planning meetings for the High Holy Days and the coming calendar year, visiting with friends and family and maybe enjoying a short vacation. This year, my wife and I were busy packing our home, driving nearly four thousand miles across the country (we took a very convoluted route!) and are now getting settled in a new home, city and community.
Initially I was very concerned about how everything would play out. Would we be ready in time for yontev meals? Would I have the time necessary to prepare my davenin? Would I have a chance to meet new congregants and prepare services with the Rabbi? And, perhaps most importantly, would I be in the proper frame of mind to stand before God on behalf of this holy community on the most holy days of the year after this most major transition? I would like to share with you what I have discovered in reflecting over the past few weeks.
In mid-July, my wife and I began a very long journey. Once the last box was loaded on the moving truck and we enjoyed a nice lunch with our family, we began a trip that would take us twelve days, through fourteen states and part of Canada, and just short of four thousand miles. Though it was certainly an exhausting drive, it was truly inspiring. What made it so amazing is that every single day I saw one thing that astonished me; that reminded me how truly awesome the borei shel olam, the Creator of the Universe, is.
From mountain roads through towering peaks to rushing waterfalls, calm lakes to rugged terrain, and big cities to towns of less than five hundred residents, there was so much to take in. But in the end, it became so clear that there is only one Force behind this great diversity and beauty, and realizing that in such a powerful way provided me the source for my own cheshbon hanefesh, my spiritual audit, as I prepare myself to stand before God for the first time on behalf of this wonderful community.
Sarah and I are thrilled to have joined the Temple Gates community, and we look forward to meeting each one of you at the coming High Holy Day services. Please be sure to stop by the Temple office and pick up your copy of my new High Holy Day CD, “Imrei Fi” – a gift from us to our new Congregation.
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