Days of Awe
Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the month of Tishrei, is the beginning of our new year, a time to look forward. Traditionally, the last month of the year, Elul, is spent reflecting on the past year. How did we manage our lives during 5781? Were we compassionate and resilient in the midst of uncertainty and stress? We’re human; it’s hard to live lives of sanctity and virtue. Even in the best of circumstances, we waste time, ability, and energy, sometimes even harming ourselves and others.
During the Days of Awe, the ten days between The Day of Judgement, Rosh Hashanah, and The Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, we Jews acknowledge our sins and pray for a year in which we can change. In Hebrew, these ten days are called “the Days of Repentance,” and that’s their purpose.
It’s a good thing we have a grace period of ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It’s an opportunity for heavy-duty introspection and repentance, in hopes of “averting the evil decree.” We have a week and a half to focus on what kind of person each of us wants to be.
Will 5782 be a good and sweet year? We’ve learned that we can’t predict the future, and we’re often confused and disheartened. Uncertainties and challenges we encounter in 5782 will require faith, grit, and optimism. May HaShem judge each of us favorably as we do our best to make ourselves, our families and our community robust, loving, and courageous.
Our family wishes all of you a Shanah Tovah u’Metukah; may you be blessed with a very good and sweet year.
Chana Shapiro is a regular contributor to the AJT.