Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Shanah Tovah - Bring what you need. Leave behind what you don't.



It began with a conversation about mobile phones. Really there is no need for mobile phones in Shul. For those of us umbilically attached to these miraculous communications devices, Rosh Hashanah is a wonderful way to experience what happens when we limit our inter-personal conversations to those present before us. It’s also a good deal easier to guarantee your phone won’t go off in the middle of the most poignant moment of the services if you leave it at home.


But then there are other things I should be leaving behind on Rosh Hashanah. George Clooney’s character in the film ‘Up In The Air’ suggests that we all carry around a backpack full of stuff that weighs us down. I disagree with his assessment of what should go in the bag, but I agree with his suggestion that the bag deserves a regular sort through and tidy out. The detritus of pretence, partial-truths and prevarications builds up over the years. Out they go. The mis-placed pride, the pain caused to others and the breaking of our promises to ourselves are harder to extract, but should also go. We face a new year. We hope our sins – red as crimson – shall become as white as snow. It’s a good time to work out what we want to leave behind. And a wonderful time to appreciate that which we carry with us into the year to come.


I’m excited to be finally here, on the cusp of this special time. It is a huge honour for me to be able to share this Rosh Hashanah season with our wonderful Chazan, Stephen, and all the community. For my failings I request your forgiveness and offer my own forgiveness in return.


May this year come to all of us in health and happiness and with much sweetness to us all,


Shannah Tovah Tikateivu, May we all be written for a good year.


Rabbi Jeremy

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