MAY THE CALL OF THE SHOFAR CALL US TO ACTION! BY Sarit Wishnevski, Kavod v’Nichum
Dear Chevra, Friends,
Along with festive meals, sweet round challah, and the sound of the shofar being blown, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, brings with it infinite possibilities.
Every year, as the Hebrew month of Elul comes to a close, I wonder if I’ve done enough – if I’ve used the time I’ve been granted to prepare adequately for the Days of Awe. Have I reflected, planned, and taken stock enough for the days ahead?
Once Yom Kippur is over, we will have fully transitioned into a new year. Am I ready?
This gift of time to prepare and ready ourselves for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur can be seen as a parallel to our lives. The U¬netanah Tokef prayer that we read on both holidays reminds us of the liminal space the 10 days in between the holidays exist. We read:
“…On Rosh Hashanah it is inscribed,
And on Yom Kippur it is sealed.
How many shall pass away and how many shall be born,
Who shall live and who shall die,
Who shall reach the end of their days and who shall not…”
What if we viewed the month of Elul as a microcosm of the journey that is our lives and the Days of Awe as the end of that journey, a space of transition? We might then see every day of our lives as an opportunity to live intentionally and fully. To connect spiritually and with those we love. To check-in, take stock, amend, and plan.
Because so many of us are engaged in thinking about end of life, serving others, and connecting deeply with the Jewish end-of-life framework, this community is filled with awareness and curiosity about living a full and meaningful life.
With gratitude for all that you do to bring honor and comfort to others, I wish you a Shanah Tovah, a good year. May we continue to provide support, care, and teach others the power of end-of-life rituals, so that all may access them when they are most needed.