Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bread Crumb Soup

Happy new year! Tonight begins a new year for those of us who are Jewish. We'll eat sweet things (because life is sweet and another year of it sweeter still), we'll light candles and say a special blessing reserved for "firsts" — and we'll try to rack up as many firsts as possible, just so we can say it a lot — we'll go to the evening service in a really great mood and enjoy seeing all our friends as well as all the people who don't make a regular habit of attending services.

Tomorrow, we'll go to a river with some crusts of bread. While the kids chase each other around and throw pebbles, we'll each privately reflect. We'll review the things we've done badly, the things we've done to cause hurt, the things we're not proud of. As we hold out each failing to the light, we make a commitment to get rid of it, to do better. And then we...well, get rid of it — symbolically anyway, in the form of a bread crumb. We'll toss it into the river to be carried off where, presumably, the fish and water birds will look upon it with more favor.

There's no question that this sort of exercise will deliver a fair dose of discomfort - tears even, if you're so inclined or so flawed. But it's also a lot of fun. To be sure, getting to be outdoors on a crisp fall day is part of it, but the bigger part is that in spite of the discomfort associated with digging up your shortcomings, the focus is really on the fact that you're getting another chance. You can still do so much; you can change the way you use words with others, change the way you inhabit your body, the way you share your gifts, your time, your heart. It feels great.

At least until next week when we reflect on those who will not be getting another chance this year, whose names are not written in this year's Book of Life, and we fast all day hoping that we've done all we can to insure we're not in that group. But for today, no worries. Have a slice of honey cake. Shana tova.

1 comment:

Vexx said...

I am not responsible for the ads that appear on the page -- I would definitely choose NOT to have a Jews for Jesus ad. My apologies. (But if you click on the ad, they get charged.)