Monday is Rosh Hashanah, so no blogging then. (I don’t expect to be online.) However, I wanted to mention a brief but important thought before the holiday begins.
Rosh Hashanah, one of the major Jewish holidays, kicks off the 10 Days of Repentance (also called the Days of Awe). During this time, from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur, one focuses on how he has been selfish and self-seeking, how he has hurt others, how he has manipulated and coerced in order to benefit at others’ expense. And he acts to seek forgiveness and to right these wrongs. We search our souls during this time, and on Yom Kippur lay them bare before God, because as Rabbi Hama ben Hanina taught, “Great is repentance, for it brings healing to the world.”
During this time of soul-introspection, I want to ask: What are you selling?
All of us are selling something. Some are selling fear and paranoia. Some are selling reasons why the world is against them. Some are selling the impotence of the Omnipotent. Some are selling anger and bitterness. Some are selling enemies and wars. Some are selling intolerance and prejudice. Many are selling excuses for any or all of these.
But some of us are selling authenticity and integrity. Some are selling freedom and acceptance. Some are selling friendship and commerce. Some are selling forgiveness. Some are selling trust in God and, by extension, in our fellow man. Some are selling hope, peace, and happiness.
What are you selling?
Do your words and actions create joy? Or do they create sorrow? Do they further justice, or prejudice? Do they encourage charity, or bitterness?
Every minute we waste being angry at the world is a minute we cannot make the world a better place.
How well have you given, to those who hurt, the sympathy they do not deserve? How enthusiastically have you pursued good deeds? How steadfastly have you believed in God’s power to work good through the even least desirable, the most reprehensible?
No one is beyond redemption.
Because no one is out of reach of God’s salvation.
Always teach, always hope, always persevere.