Rosh Hashanah is coming! Soon!
And I am not looking forward to it.
Let me clarify that. Of course I want to see friends, sing the liturgy, taste some honey. And I’ll enjoy it all.
But am I “looking forward”? With excited anticipation? The usual soaring feeling? No, I’m not feeling it. That takes emotional energy. And there’s none in my reserves.
Right now I’m just putting one foot in front of the other. Keeping my head down. Doing what I know how to do. But I have no energy to spare for having feelings; that would be a luxury.
Traditionally, Rosh Hashanah is Yom HaDin, the Day of Judgment. In practice, it’s the first of ten days of asking deep existential questions. The kind that tear through the curtain of everyday life. But this year, I want a one-day break from those questions.
Also traditionally, Rosh Hashanah is Yom Teruah, the Day of the Shofar Call. Sometimes, we say it’s a wake up call. It reminds us that life is precarious and precious. That we find our way with spiritual surrender and moral strength. But this year, I don’t need that wake up call.
There have already been too many shofar blasts this year. Too many days of judgment. Days of problem-solving, anger, sadness, and grief. Opportunities to ask myself: Have I developed inner resources? Can I rely on strong interpersonal relationships? Do I live in a good community? A good country?
Maybe soon we’ll see good health, more justice. Then we’ll pause. And then, slowly, we’ll break down. Feel all the feelings. Let them move inside us and show us what comes next.
But not yet. Not now. Today, we just keep moving.
And that, I think, is why I have no bandwidth for Rosh Hashanah this year.