High Holy Days Reflections from Rabbi Simon8/9/2021
The Biggest Obstacle to Becoming a Better _________
As we enter the Hebrew month of Elul, we are reminded that Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are upon us. Most of us know that in our tradition this is the time of year to take stock of our behavior and be willing to acknowledge where we have failed.
The High Holy Days have always been a time that we are commanded to confront important questions - not just our areas of failure, but other related questions such as, what do I really stand for and what kind of a person am I? No doubt, these are very difficult questions and most of us do not want to confront these questions. Some prefer observing the New Year at Beth Guy Lombardo, hurling confetti, drinking champagne and dancing to the familiar refrain of Auld Lang Syne (a song where 50% of the people do not know the lyrics and the other 50% know the lyrics but have no idea what the song means)
True, Guy Lombardo always looked like he was having fun. But our New Year’s observances are not meant to be fun or frivolous. We have important things to do. The questions we ask show us to be serious people who care about the way we live in this world.
In the title, the ____________ works on the theory that you would like to be a better (spouse, parent, friend, etc.) but there is an obstacle standing in your way. Every year it is your hope to be that better _________________but it just does not work out. Is it because we are not smart enough? No. Maybe it is because we don’t care enough to be a better __________? No. Is it because we are not willing to try? No again.
I think the obstacle that stands in our way of becoming a better __________ is the fact that we don’t always feel that we are worthy of/capable of being a better ____________, with the irony being that Judaism teaches that we are always worthy and always capable.
I do not believe we are inherently bad people. I do not believe we were born with a moral blemish that prevents us from becoming a better __________.
I do believe that as a New Year approaches, we can overcome the obstacles that prevent us from becoming a better. Maybe in certain areas we are better than we think we are. I hope you can liberate that part inside of you, because that is the part that will help you to be a better____________.
L’shana Tovah Tikatayvu!
Rabbi Jim Simon