As the sun sets this evening my family and I will begin the observance of the Jewish New Year. Another year has come and gone and with it the most valuable commodity, time. Unlike the secular New Year, it is not a joyous celebration, but rather the beginning of a 10 day period of self-reflection and self-evaluation. This period ends with the most holy day in the Jewish calendar, Yom Kipper. It is on this day that we ask God’s forgiveness for our transgressions and look forward to the coming year with new resolve to make it a better one. We always know there will be another year, more time.
However as we get older we realize that time is not infinite. We begin to recognize that birthdays and anniversaries are markers in the passage of time and that we are not immortal. Its value is beyond the understanding of the young until they are faced with this realization through the loss of a loved one. How much would a husband be willing to pay for just one more minute with his dying wife. How much would a mother be willing to pay for just one more minute with her dying child. In fact, maturity comes when one begins to understand that time is not infinite and we are responsible for how we use our time. That responsibility is not only to ourselves, but to our family, our friends, our country and our fellow human beings.
We hope to live a rich, fulfilling life filled with love and accomplishment. We hope to use our time wisely and make each moment one that is worth living. We hope to be perceived as responsible adults with the desire and ability to see beyond ourselves and work to make the world a better place. We hope that we will not be caught up in a life of hubris and self-aggrandizement. We hope that we will be capable of using that most precious commodity of all, time, in a way that we can be proud of.
My wish for the New Year is that those we have empowered to lead us understand the preciousness of time and that they do not have the right to waste ours on hubris and personal agendas. We have given them the time to lead, and we can take it away. Let’s hope that they have achieved the level of maturity required to understand the value of that time and the responsibility to use it wisely.
This is my New Years hope for all of our sake.
- Ryan Braun To Sit Out Entire Jewish Holiday Season (cespedesfamilybarbecue.com)
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- Rosh Hashanah 2013: Jewish people begin celebrating High Holy Days (wjla.com)