Sunday, September 28, 2008
GRATEFULNESS FOR TESHUVAH-(2)
"...and you take them to heart...and you and your children heed them with all your heart..then the Lord your God will open up your heart..to love the Lord with all your heart ...in order that you may live."(Deuteronomy chpt.30)
The segment that is central to the concept of Teshuva-the capacity to change by turning inward and returning outward to the Source of all things-highlights the heart as the psychological and spiritual locus for this transformation.
The challenge of the High Holydays is not only to remember with the mind but to redeem with the heart.
During this period of Teshuva Jewish tradition intentionally deprives us of external ritual and directs us to focus our entire festival experience to the intangibles of the heart and soul.The only external object of Jewish celebration is the Shofar, the ram's horn, whose sounds likewise have been d esigned to awaken inward thoughts and feelings of renewed awareness and commitment.The Shofar is a prayer without words whose sounds of brokenness, wailing and eventual hope arouse the heart, the innermost spaces of our identity and meaning as children of one Divine source.
For teshuvah to unfold, our hearts must open to the blessings and gifts of life.We taste the sweetness of all things through our senses and mind; in the final analysis however, our most passionate prayer is for God to "open our hearts...so that we may live."The heart is the home of our lives.May we be blessed with a new year of life that is linked to open- heartedness that brings joy and peace.