It's Rosh Hashanah, so I'm going to try to stay off my computer till sundown Tuesday night to be somewhat observant. For the benefit of our non-Jewish friends, these days are the Days of Awe, the days from Rosh Hashanah (new year) till Yom Kippur (the day of atonement), when we are required to ask for forgiveness, think about how we can be better people in the coming year, etc. The part I like the most about this time of year is the requirement that you must make amends with--and seek forgiveness directly from--the person you have wronged. There's no getting out of it the easy way by asking God to forgive you; you have to take action, make changes, genuinely acknowledge your responsibility, and mend the fence with the actual person you have hurt. It can be miserable to contemplate, but it can also be very freeing. To know that you don't have to carry your guilt around indefinitely, to know that you have no choice but to take the steps to make right what you did wrong; it sounds hard to do (and it is) but there is no better feeling than getting yourself right with the people you love...and sometimes even the ones you don't.
These are crazy days indeed. Every year (as you'll no doubt see if you read last year's post around this time) I always make a commitment that I am going to Talk Less and Listen More in the coming year. So, Friends, how did I do? What? What? Oh, I'm sorry! I can't hear you; I was too busy talking....
What can I say? I'm a work in progress. Only, unlike the US Capitol Visitor's Center or the new terminal at Dulles, I'm kind of like The Big Dig in Boston: lots of political hot air, plenty of promises, all kinds of overtime union work goin' on, but alas no completion date in sight. :)
Well, as I sign off till tomorrow night, I will leave you with the following prayer sent by a wonderful rabbi whose good name I won't impugn by associating him with my drivel, but whose prayer, I believe, speaks to everyone, Jew or Gentile:
"Heavenly Father. In the twilight of the vanishing year we give thanks for Thy mercies and implore Thy guidance for the future. Thou hast brightened our days with the happiness of home and friendship...And many burdens have been laid upon us, many tears have furrowed our cheeks, many tender ties have been broken...Give us the will to serve Thee so as we grow older in years, we may grow stronger in wisdom, broader in charity and more steadfast in our faith. Grant us life, health, contentment and peace."
Beloved Haggis Friends, may the new year (whenever it begins for you) bring you life, health, contentment and peace.