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Back On Earth

09/20/2018 08:47:41 AM


Beth Schafer

Did you ever get an adrenaline rush when you’re about to do something that challenges you or makes you nervous? Or when you know you have to endure something longer than is comfortable? You center your strength, you focus on the task at hand, you psyche yourself up and you go for it. It is exhilarating, it is terrifying, it is all-encompassing. And then you reach the conclusion, you exhale; the intense frequency in which you were vibrating relaxes, echoes of your heartbeat still tapping in your chest. You made it. You’re back on earth. As amazing an experience as it was, you can’t live all the time in that intensity, you can’t maintain that level of adrenaline-it’s exhausting and excludes the mundane things that make life, well…life.

That is what the High Holy Days are for me. People ask why do we need a day of asking for forgiveness? Shouldn’t we just forgive and be forgiving throughout the year? I think we need it because we need that shot of spiritual adrenaline to remind us what we are capable of. We live in this intense, reflective place gripping tightly the prayers and teachings that move us and stir us, only to let go because we can’t hang on that tightly for that long. The Holy Days made us focus, take stock and renew our commitment to leading a virtuous life. But we can’t live on the mountaintop forever. The Gates of Heaven, closing in the last moments of Neilah sent us back to earth, to where we live.

This Shabbat we are back on Earth, to do what we ought to do and be who we ought to be.

It’s good to be back.

Shabbat shalom,



Tue, February 18 2020 23 Sh'vat 5780