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What Flips Your Switch?

09/05/2018 11:49:42 AM


Rabbi Ron Segal

While looking over my ‘to do’ list, a small legal pad scrawled with a diverse litany of tasks awaiting attention, I began to consider what “flips the internal switch” to ultimately prompt my attention and execution.  Is it the ease of the task?  The enjoyment derived from a particular activity?  The press of time due to procrastination or perhaps urgent need?  Though not intended as another delaying tactic, the question did invite a few moments of introspection and self-reflection.

With Rosh HaShanah only days away, it strikes me that this same question – “What flips one’s internal switch?” – has even greater significance.  Considering the list of all we hope to accomplish in the New Year, the ways we hope to grow and improve, and the personal goals we hope to achieve, what is it that ultimately touches us spiritually and emotionally enough to inspire our focus and motivate any needed attention and action?  For some, intentional use of the days of Elul will ensure they are ready when the New Year arrives.  Others might have sensed an internal shift this past Saturday evening following Selichot services as the Torah mantles were changed into their Holy Day whites.  Many will look to the exalting High Holy Day music to help propel them into the New Year.  For me personally, it has truly been listening to our remarkable teens who will be chanting Torah and Haftarah during Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur services that has toggled that internal, spiritual switch. 

Looking back to today’s to-do list for the umpteenth time, “Yom Kippur sermon” remains at the top of the page as it has for several weeks.  Thanks to some outstanding Sinai teenagers, I am now ready to tackle it with a bit more clarity and spiritual motivation.  Why not take a moment to reflect what will help you to enter 5779 spiritually prepared and ready to make it a year of growth and renewal? “What will flip your New Year’s switch?”


Tue, February 18 2020 23 Sh'vat 5780