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  • Writer's pictureJodi Samuels

The Jewish new year is a time of introspection.

The Jewish new year is a time of introspection. It’s the time to ask yourself who do I want to be in 365 days from now?

It’s hard to step back and ask the honest questions. We are living through crazy times. Storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, flash flooding, wildfires, hunger and drought, crime and murders, financial upheaval. Not to mention homeschooling, and working from home with all its distractions…

Personally I have had a crazy year with Corona really having tragic consequences for my family. My mom passed away, my dad just survived, my father in law too even though he lost his life partner. The last 4 months have really stopped me in my tracks. When Caila was born I was also forced to have an honest conversation with myself.

I have had to stop and ask myself about what kind of person do I want to be? What are my goals and priorities? Do I like and respect the person I see?

The sound of the shofar can also wake us up. On Rosh Hashanah we stand in judgment before the God. The hardest part of real introspection is we need to judge ourselves. Interestingly the Hebrew verb lehitpalel, “to pray,” more precisely means “to judge oneself.”

We need to open ourselves to God, pray for the strength that we actualize our potential. We can use this time of introspection and renewal to emerge into the new year charged, energised, focused, renewed.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks said, “Our life is the single greatest work of art we will ever make.”

My blessing is we all use this time to step back from our life like an artist stepping back from his canvas, seeing what needs changing for the painting to be complete.

Shana Tova and Shabbat Shalom


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