Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rosh Hashanah 2008

Today is the Jewish New Year, when Jews reflect on the past year and think about the year ahead. The deepest work of Rosh Hashanah is teshuvah, or, literally “turning.” Teshuvah is also translated as “repentance.” But it is more than that. It has to do with transformation. At the new year we focus on changing ourselves for the better, changing the world for the better. I think of those bumper stickers I’ve seen that say “Be the change.” Or, in the words of Hopi Chief Dan Evehema, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” So today I will go for my early morning walk, do a little meditative writing, attend synagogue, and think about what I need to change about myself. For instance, I think I need to address my disappointment in my neighbors for being Republicans and figure out how to get past it. The election will come and go. But we will live across the street from one another for a long time. Oy. Life is too complex for my feeble brain.

1 comment:

Liz Logan said...

Happy New Year.

I can so sympathize with your neighbor dilemma. Multiply that by every friggen neighbor in the subdivision.

But there is a silver lining, and you have helped me to see it. I have changed my definition of "friend." Or rather, I have a whole bunch of new categories of "friend."

Yes, in many of them (friend categories) I can't talk about "politics or religion." Things that boil down to world view, after all. But I have found some universals that have transcended world view. Music. Play. Family. The weather. Ceremony. Celebration in happy times and support during tragedies.

I miss my peeps, no doubt about it. And I treasure the friends that I can let my hair down with. But I have grown to love, and be loved, by folks with radically different values. It's a trip!

So enjoy your neighbors. Think of it as a cross cultural exploration. At times the only way I have gotten by was by pretending I was an anthropologist.