Shabbat Nitzavim 28 Elul 5778/ Sept 8, 2018
We wish you a sweet year of new beginnings. The Moishe Moment this week comes from Rabbi Brad Greenstein, Moishe House Senior Director of Jewish Learning.
The old Hasidic master Reb Levi Yitzhak once walked down the main street of his Eastern European town of Berdichev. He greeted everyone who passed his way, giving blessings, asking questions, listening to the people’s concerns. As the great teacher slowly made his way through the stream of people, he saw a man hurrying along the street, looking neither right nor left. Sweat was beading from his forehead, his elbows were pumping with determination, and as he passed Levi Yitzhak he murmured, “Shalom Aleichem, Rabbi.” Suddenly, Rabbi Levi Yitzhak shouted at him, “Stop! Where are you rushing to?”
“I am pursuing my living,” the man replied.
Rabbi Levi Yitzhak smiled. “How do you know,” he said, “that your living is not behind you, trying to catch up and all you need to do to encounter it is to stand still –but you are running away from it!”
What do we spend our time chasing after? Are you running towards or away from your dreams? And who are we passing along the way? These are the real questions of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, days that asks us to recalibrate our life’s focus, amidst all the meals, hikes, break fasts and prayers. Perhaps one of the most radical notions in Judaism is that we get to start our lives fresh every single year. Sitting in synagogue, at a Moishe House meal or on a mountaintop, we set our life’s purpose on a renewed trajectory. We attempt to forgive each other and perhaps most importantly forgive ourselves for all those missteps…and missed opportunities. We are blessed with a blank slate, a refresh, a sacred do-over. On this Rosh Hashanah, amidst the passing of our busy lives, let’s carve out some time to re-align our souls, to stand still and make sure we are heading in the direction of our true dreams.
Shanah Tovah U’Metukah…A sweet new year for all of us and may this be the year that we write ourselves into the book of life!