Musings on Jewish Education and Jewish Living

This summer, Maury and I vacationed in Massachusetts. Maury grew up in Stoneham and I grew up in Framingham.  So much has changed since we left Boston, but still when we visit, it feels like we are returning home.

There was much that was wonderful and uplifting about our trip home, such as returning to family, revisiting lifelong friendships, favorite foods, and of course, Fenway Park.  There was a little that was challenging, such as watching an elderly parent struggle and saying goodbye to a nephew about to make aliyah.  And then there was our return to the final resting places of my sister and Maury’s grandparents.  These were both difficult and enriching as we relived both the pain of loss and the joy of the blessing they brought to our lives.

And then we returned to San Antonio, to our friends and community, to our every day lives.  Preparing now in earnest for the start of the school year, I am anticipating the return of our students to Religious School.  I hope this will prove to be a year of growth and learning, of joy and celebration, and when necessary of sharing in each other’s sorrows.

There is a prayer in our liturgy that I find particularly moving.  We find it at the end of Eitz Chayim Hi when return the Torah to the ark.  It is typically sung with a different, more poignant melody at Selichot:

Hashiveinu Adonai eilecha, v’nashuva, chadeish yameinu k’kedem.

Return us to you, God, and we will return; renew our days as of old.

Whenever I sing or hear this prayer, its words call out to me.  What must I do this year so that I may return to You, God, to be a blessing to You and to Your world?


Please join in the conversation, commenting on my posts, or sharing your own thoughts on the theme of the day as we prepare for the High Holy Day season.

Comments on: "#BlogElul – Day 1: Return" (1)

  1. They say, “You can’t go home,” and I’ve found this to be both true and false. There are some things that change so much over the years, some parts of “home” are unrecognizable, but the people we love that are still there make the time spent with them feel like “going home” in a most meaningful way. As a child growing up in a military family, “home” was a little town in New Jersey where my grandparents lived. We moved every 3 to 4 years, and sometimes it was that number of years before we got to go back. I’ve now lived in San Antonio for 38 years, and it has become my home and my children’s home, even though we still go back to NJ to visit when we can. You, Lisa, are a blessing to all of us, and we’re so happy that you’ve decided to make our town your home.

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