Monday, September 29, 2008


For the first time in over 45 years, I will not be officiating at formal synagogue services. I confess that I am overcome by feelings of strangeness and disorientation. I no longer experience the familiar feelings of being frantic before the holiday, wondering if my sermons are adequate, reviewing in my mind all the necessary procedures of a "successful" High Holyday service.Instead, I am relaxed, free to think and meditate on the spiritual significance of the occasion and free to records these words.
My "synagogue" will be a hospital where I expect to conduct a brief, televised service for the Jewish patients and then visit with them.I will then join others as a congregant for the remaining segments of the service.
I am grateful for the opportunity to make use of my skills and knowledge for the benefit of those most frightened and alone on a day which brings so much joy and togetherness to others.
Previous times have separated me from my family-I look forward to being in their loving company participating in the Rosh Hashanah meal with a state of mind that is serene, grateful and especially joyful.
The word "Shanah" suggests change. We are usually reluctant to change, fearing backsliding rather than advancement.Rosh Hashanah summons us to embrace change gratefully and transform each moment of opportunity into gift of blessing for ourselves and for others.
May we all be granted a New Year of gratefulness and goodness, and reap much joy from God's countless gifts.

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