We pay a high price for regret.
The season of reflection is upon us
Fixing a time to assess the meaning of our lives
The quality of our relationships
We can taste the sweetness and bitterness that coats our tongues
Feel the peacefulness and havoc in our hearts
The outrage and complacency of our souls
A meaningful journey through this season can change us
If we face the truth of whom we are – with forgiveness and without judgment.
Directing comfort and compassion inward,
We can identify where we have missed the mark
And meet it with honesty supported by loving kindness.
Create an opportunity to remove obstacles
And summon the courage to get our lives back on track
Relief replaces regret
Empowerment overcomes stagnation
Engagement builds new connections
The harvest festival of Sukkot
Falls on the heels of Yom Kippur for a reason
Cleansed and renewed, we experience a spaciousness of being
Clarity of heart and soul frees us
To gather in the cornucopia of a glorious bounty
Our tables set with gratitude
Breaking bread outdoors
Our Sukkah overflowing with guests
Human and divine.
We drink in joy in a setting of complete vulnerability
To ready ourselves for the winter that will surely follow.
If we are prepared
The cold will not overcome us
We will plant and cultivate spring blossoms
Dancing in the spring rain, we will reaffirm life
In the summer heat, the respite of even the slightest breeze will be welcomed
The same applies to the seasons of our heart.
If we slack off and are not diligent
About the quality of our character, values and actions
We will lose focus and perspective
And possibly our way
Regret alone cannot return us
Thankfully, the season of reflection and return is upon us
A new year begins
While we have no control over the seasons or even our circumstances
We can choose to live a fulfilled, meaning-filled and purposeful life
Which prepares us to
Face challenges and conflicts
Pursue peace and justice
Live with kindness and compassion
And love with an open heart.
May you and those you love inscribe yourselves in the Book of Life for a sweet new year!
Rabbi Nina J. Mizrahi, Community Rabbi
4 Tishrei 5776/ 17 September 2015