New Year 5778

By Terry Waslow

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have always been my favorite time of year. It is a time filled with potential and second chances, and sometimes even third and fourth chances.

Often these days are only associated with sin and atonement — words that are not thought of has being ripe with potential. However, if we explore the idea of al chet and teshuvah, we can see so many possibilites.

Chet, often translated as sin, is better explained as making a mistake, missing the mark, not making the most of the opportunities available to us. This is a time when we acknowledge our chance to try again, to hit the target, or at least get closer than we have before.

Teshuvah calls us to turn, to see who we really are, to examine what are our guiding principles and what are those things we often push aside as we get caught up in the business of our everyday lives. Teshuvah has us return to the core, to who we truly are, who we continually strive to be. This concept of teshvah incorporates the intellect and the emotions and leads us to action. We use our intellect to recognize the deep patterns we have developed that lead us to make the same mistakes repeatedly, to regnize and admit that our aim has been off. Our emotions lead us to regret, to a sense of disappointment, and then to recommit to try again. Let us act on that commitment to take better aim as we set our sights to get us closer to the mark. We do all this not to burden ourselves, but rather to inspire ourselves, to strive to reach our potential as shapers and healers of this world.

May this year bring us the strength and wisdom to support each other to build a besere velt, better world.