How do you feel about speed bumps? I don’t like them. I struggle with patience in general, and pretty much rebel against ANYTHING that gets in my way. When I was in the Army and had to do a physical fitness test, I rounded the track with my head down and my arms pumping. If I pretended I was back on the sidewalks of NYC, moving forward with alacrity, I never had to worry about passing the test. The goal was to get where I was going as fast as possible!
This past year and a half has been one speed bump after another. We wanted to move forward in our lives, yet the pandemic kept putting obstacles in our way. We were forced to slow down, to adjust our pace, to focus on being in the present, not knowing what the future would look like.
These days of Elul are kind of like spiritual speed bumps. Let’s embrace them. As we move towards the High Holy Days, we take the time to reflect on our relationships, our personal growth, what direction we are heading and how we might adjust our course. We step back from our never-ending rushing. In 3 weeks we will gather to welcome a new year with new possibilities. Let’s take the time to welcome and explore this moment of slowing down the hectic pace of our lives and the opportunity to look within.
Rabbi Bonnie Koppell