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It is Never Too Late

09/22/2022 10:05:13 AM


Rabbi Sam Trief

“I cannot believe Rosh HaShanah is here again!” I've been repeating this sentiment over and over this past week. And although we are grateful to have made it through the ups and downs of another year, the holidays always seem to come out of nowhere. They remind us that there is much healing to be done in our personal lives, as a synagogue community and in the world at large.

Capitalizing on this sentiment, Rabbi Alan Lew wrote a famous book This Is Real and You are Completely Unprepared. Meaning yes, the High Holy Days are here again, and regardless of how organized we try to be, we will feel unprepared for the magnitude and significance of these most sacred days on the Jewish calendar.

The other day I picked up Lew’s book from Beth Schafer’s desk and opened it up to the following page:

One Sunday, I received two phone calls – the first concerned a death that had just occurred on 27th Ave on the north side of Golden Gate Park and the second concerned a birth that had just occurred on 27th Ave on the south side of the park…my wife wrote: ‘these things are on the same continuum (27th Ave), but there is a park in between, a wild and beautiful place without streets and numbers. Flowers bloom there, and there are lakes where egrets wade. The cypresses are dark and cool. It is a beautiful place, as large and deep as a dream. But I hurry through there almost daily on my way to and from the places where the streets are numbered.”

As this holy day of Rosh HaShanah approaches, I invite us all to take this opportunity to stop whatever it is we are entrenched with and to just take these few days to focus on what we might find in between the metaphorical North 27th Street and South 27th street. What exists in the liminal places, the places in between life and death, north and south? We look forward to seeing you and we hope these holidays will help you find a place of wholeness, peace, joy and love as we enter this new year of 5783.

I leave these words of poetry by Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis to ponder as we approach Erev Rosh HaShanah, and we sincerely hope to see you on Sunday.

The last word has not been spoken
the last sentence has not been written
the final verdict is not in
It's never too late
to change my mind
my direction
to say "no" to the past
and "yes" to the future
to offer remorse
to ask and give forgiveness

It is never too late
to start all over again
to feel again
to love again
to hope again

Sat, December 10 2022 16 Kislev 5783