This has been a challenging year filled with fear of illness and isolation from one another. We are now in a period of recovery and renewal. Most of us are moving forward, and we now have the mental and emotional space to feel more peace and even gratitude. As we prepare for the High Holy Days, I am reminded of a lovely story.
A little boy used to come home from school each day,
And disappear into the forest behind his house.
After watching him go off into the woods, his father asked him:
“Son, where do you go every day?
Who is it you meet in the forest?”
The boy said: “I go to the forest to talk to God.”
The father gently chided the boy:
“Son, don’t you know that God is everywhere!
God is the same in the forest as God is right here at home.”
“That’s true, father,” said the boy. “God is the same in the forest
as he is right here at home. But I’m not the same.
When I’m in the forest, I feel different.”
In each of our lives
There are special places and unique times
In which we can encounter the sacred dimension of existence.
They are the same, but we feel different when we visit them.
We hear more clearly in these places and at these times
We see more vividly and feel more deeply in these places.
We think with more direction and depth.
For me, one of these places is in the sanctuary on the High Holy Days.
I invite you to join me in finding a sacred space during our services this year.
May God bring us into this New Year gently, sweetly, and with gratitude and peace.
Rabbi Jordan Goldson