Rabbi Rachael Miller’s 2021 Rosh Hashanah Message
Read community insights, perspectives and opportunities seen as we enter into the 5782/ 2021 New Year.
Imagine What Comes Next
The other day, someone working outside our home accidentally smashed through a window in our kitchen, sending glass everywhere. Teeny, tiny pieces of glass filled every corner of the room. Then, little by little, my husband (Max) and his father swept up the shards, and then they swept again, and again, and again.
The next morning, I still managed to step on a tiny sliver of glass. Had they done nothing, the situation could have been much worse (sound familiar?). But that’s not even my big takeaway from the ordeal. Rather, it’s what Max and my father-in-law did next. To block the space and insulate the house, they put together materials and secured cardboard to the windowpane. Then, with a purple sharpie, Max wrote in big letters, in English and in Hebrew: window. You see, our daughter is starting to discover the world around her, and so what could have been an empty piece of cardboard for the next week (reminding us of the minor inconvenience) instead became a teaching tool. Sometimes you look out the window and you clearly see the path forward. Other times you look out the window and due to fog or rain you can’t quite see what lies ahead. Then, there’s the cardboard in the window, sitting right where the clear glass should be. You certainly can’t see what lies beyond it, but it provides a canvas for what you can imagine next.
In 5782, I hope that we continue to clean up the messes, to ask for help, and to find a healthy balance between how we respond to what is in our control and what is out of our control. When we feel like the window has shattered and sent glass all around us, take a deep breath and create something new.
May we all be inscribed in the Book of Life, and may we find purpose, comfort, and peace.
Rabbi Rachael Miller is an associate rabbi at Temple Emanu-El.