Not Today, Rosh Hashanah

Not Today, Rosh Hashanah
A black and white Happy New Year image with Rosh Hashanah symbols, with a crudely drawn red circle and a slash over it, to signal "No Rosh Hashanah"

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.

  1. I agree whole heartedly. This time is over the top. I cry daily. I feel stress daily. And I feel lonely daily. Please G-d give me strength to continue.

    1. Sheryl, I am so sorry. This has been the worst time to move. My daughter has a similar experience.

  2. I send you love and strength and renewal! This year has been like no other and has left so many gasping for air. Your authenticity is raw and reassuring. Thank you. Hugs for your heart!

  3. …….. I could have written that. I believe that the way back will depend on being this honest about what the world is still going through. Not easy.
    Thanks Laura

  4. Thank thank thank you ……. wishing you strength and moments of shalom in the midst of the tohuvavohu.
    For years you have taught and lifted me from afar, today you’ve never felt closer.
    Wishing you courage for each step – forward and back

  5. Laura, this is so brilliant and meaningful and so honest! It really is helping me face the parts of me i have not allowed attention- not allowed recognition Thank you

  6. Thank you so much for your honesty, Laura. Sending you love and best wishes. Pam

  7. I figure this has been a lost year — getting older, without anything to show for it. This year’s shofar kavana is from Exodus —

    . . . ” They cried out, and their desperate cry because of their slave labor went up to God. God heard their groaning, God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, “,

    It’s not a new idea.

    I hope both of us feel better, soon.

  8. So true, Laura. And beautifully expressed. Thanks for being so real. Sending love and light and wishes for a brighter tomorrow.

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