It will very soon be Rosh Hashanah. And as in past years, I find myself caught up in the whole shopping and planning and getting ready scenario. I am making lists, planning menu's, selecting recipe's, thinking about what I will wear, reminding myself to wash my sheitel, and so on. None of this is what I consider the REAL work of introspection, (Cheshbon HaNefesh), and attempting to fix what is wrong in my life (ie; behavior, actions, words, deeds, aka Tikkun HaNefesh). Yet the practical aspects of RH dominate. It is not until I enter the shul to pray that I will begin to really FEEL - to experience emotions connected with this introspection and fixing of my soul. I know it will come to me in a rush, a shock that all of a sudden, here I am, how can it be that it is RH already? I think, I should spend, or rather have spent, more time in contemplation, in learning, in working to fix that which is wrong, BEFORE Rosh Hashanah. It is precisely because of this that is the reason why we have this time between RH and YK -- to do that which we neglected before RH.
One might think that as an Olah Chadashah, finally realizing my dream of living in the Holy Land, that I would have stronger feelings. Right now, I don't -- and I do not know if I will. Where I am, is too similar to where I was -- Hashmonaim is very much like Teaneck in many respects. I am witnessing a certain level of gashmius here that I got away from when I moved to Baltimore. I am somewhat hestitant to admit this -- because I am reluctant to hurt the feelings of those who live here, many of whom have reached out to me, and have helped me, and befriended me. The fact is that the gashmius in no way obscures or renders unimportant the goodness that does exist here. People here ARE wonderful. I do feel welcomed. And I do feel comfortable because this is all familiar to me.
But last Shabbat I was elsewhere. I was in a place where people live much more simply. Some may have the money to afford more -- I can't tell. But they live in smaller places and have less. And I was so much more comforted there. I also felt more spiritual -- and I am not so much of a spiritual person. But I was able to emote, to FEEL while I davened...something I have barely been able to do here.
I talk to G-d, all the time. I thank Him for all that I have. I ask him for good things in my life and the lives of my loved ones. And yet....I feel lacking right now, as I approach the Yomim Noraim. I am not sure what I am trying to say...I only know I feel like something (or perhaps someone) is missing in my life....
I pray for a Shana Tova for all my loved ones, family, friends, acquaintances, and co-workers. May you all be inscribed in the book of life for a year of only good things. Amen.