The greatest opportunity of each Jewish New Year is in the gift of starting anew. We’re granted a clean slate. With amends made, apologies we offered and those we received, we shake the Etch A Sketch and the image of the past year dissolves. Then we begin again.
For some people, a blank slate is intimidating. They might not know what to fill it with or perhaps they’re overwhelmed with choices. For others, it’s an exciting chance to create something from nothing.
In this coming year of 5782, I pray that our Jewish community will take the opportunity to create, by example, a picture of a strong, loving, and compassionate community. Beneath the Etch A Sketch screen, there are particles of non-toxic aluminum powder that mix with plastic beads to keep the powder flow smooth and consistent. It’s my wish that people, just below the surface of the angry judgements and divisiveness, can meld the flow of heart energy with Divine sparks to allow soulful compassion to rise to the surface.
May an image form of all of G-d’s people choosing to view this time in history as an opportunity to act from our collective nefashot. Beyond the desire of our souls to seek G-d and love G-d, is the action of our whole being, through words and deeds, that can lead to loving ourselves and then loving our neighbors as ourselves, even if we disagree.
Opportunities are not always given. Often, we must generate them. What if we each drew our individual pictures, but they all revolved around the same theme of loving compassion? And what if we led the way for others to follow? What a wonderful world this would be.
Dr. Terry Segal is a licensed psychotherapist, Ph.D. in Energy Medicine, author, and mixed media artist.