As the years in front are increasingly outnumbered by the years behind, it’s a wise person who takes stock of what they’d like to do/see/experience/learn/etc. during those years in front and how and with whom they would like to spend their precious time. And today, we begin the Days of Awe, that time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur when we Jews are commanded to take stock, to address our own shortcomings, and to rededicate our lives to higher purpose. We are also commanded, during this period, to resolve outstanding earthly issues before we seek atonement during Yom Kippur for our spiritual ones.
So, with Rosh Hashanah starting today at sundown, amid a dismal set of global and American challenges, it seems like as good a time as ever to do a little extra reflection, analysis, list-making and rededication. Have we done as much as possible during the last year to serve mankind? Have we used our capabilities to the max in benefit of not only ourselves but humanity? Have we dealt honestly with our family, friends and colleagues in both our personal and business dealings? Are there acts of kindness which we should have committed but whose moment we let pass without action? The list is long of all the ways in which we may or may not have lived up to our potential, and so is the list of commitments to improvement that we should be making for the New Year.
To my Jewish friends, family and colleagues, “L’shanah tovah tikatev v’taihatem,” may you and yours be inscribed in the Book of Life for a sweet year. And to all the gentiles in my life, I wish you exactly the same, even if you’re working off a different calendar. We can but pray that 5774 will be the year when mankind grows up.