Today was one of those days. It started with breakfast ending up all over the kitchen – floors, cabinets, even the wall at the other end of the kitchen. (Thank God for my awesome husband who helped me clean it up!) I was really planning on making it to Temple in time for Torah study. I really needed Torah study today. I didn’t make it.
I met with a young woman preparing for her conversion to Judaism on Thursday and we worked a little on her Hebrew. (A bright spot in my day.)
Even though it was Shabbat and I knew I shouldn’t be working, I worked all day to prepare for our Teacher and Ma’aseh (teen assistants) Orientation tomorrow. I thought for sure I’d spend just an hour, two at the most. But I kept finding things that I thought were done but weren’t, and that needed to be done before tomorrow morning.
And then I had an impromptu meeting with a young woman who I thought would be joining our faculty this year, but who had decided just today to accept a different opportunity. With two weeks before school starts.
After a 12-hour day, I finally left Temple. A few blocks down the road, I see flashing red and blue lights behind me. The officer said I rolled through the stop sign. I don’t think I did. (Really, I don’t!) Thankfully, he took pity on me and let me off with a warning.
And in the midst of this crazy, crummy day, was a shining light in the form of a beautiful, poised, kind, compassionate, knowledgable 13 year old, celebrating becoming a bat mitzvah. She prayed with skill and with kavannah, with her whole heart. She led the service in a way that made it especially meaningful to pray with her. I’m grateful today for the opportunity to pray and celebrate, even for just a short time; I’m grateful for these (too) few hours of Shabbat in a very long day.
The Jewish month of Elul leading up to the High Holy Days provides an opportunity for spiritual preparation. It is a time for cheshbon ha-nefesh – looking inward and reflecting on the past year. The daily sounding of the shofar calls us to examine our words and our actions, and the words of Selichot (prayers of forgiveness) inspire us to seek forgiveness and to forgive others. We look ahead to the new year when we can begin anew, striving to be the best version of ourselves. Each day, I plan to blog on a thought related to this period preparation for the Days of Awe, along with many others in the Jewish blogosphere. For further inspiration, search #blogElul on Twitter or Facebook.
I invite you to add your own thoughts on the daily topic. Feel free to add your comments below or write your own blog, following the daily topics indicated or any others that call out to you.