Thursday, September 13, 2012

#BlogElul 26: Readiness

This is the time of the year when people start to greet each other with "are you ready?"

Sometimes they're referring to their holiday menus or food prep.
Are the challot baked?
Kugels ready?
Brisket marinating?
Tables set?
Guests invited?

Sometimes, in the case of rabbis, they're referring to our sermons.

There's a lot to get ready for the holidays. A lot of order to be made from chaos. A lot of arrangements to be made and plans to be created.

But we should all be greeting each other with "are you ready?"

Are we ready to face the New Year having thought deeply about the previous year?
Have we begun to think about where we've been and where we're going?
Is our list of goals and intentions at the forefront of our minds?
Do we have the right frame of mind with which to begin the holy days?

Are we ready?

The holidays will come regardless of our preparation.

But each year I tell the story of the carwash. There are two kinds. The first is the kind where you drive your car in, and the carwash cleans only the outside. When you drive away, your car is squeaky clean. But then you look around and see that there are still cookie crumbs and smudges and a whole bunch of miscellaneous things still left behind stuck to the rug. The other kind of carwash is the one where they open up the doors, and vacuum and dust and scrub the inside and the outside. When you drive away from that carwash, you really feel as though you did something to change your outlook.

When we are ready for the holidays, when we have done the work and the preparation...we open ourselves up. We invite the holidays to help us sweep out the crumbs. Being ready allows us to open ourselves up to the possibilities of growth and change...not just coasting along, waiting for it to happen.

So...are you ready?

The Jewish month of Elul, which precedes the High Holy Days, is traditionally a time of renewal and reflection. It offers a chance for spiritual preparation for the Days of Awe. It is traditional to begin one’s preparation for the High Holy Days during this month with the Selichot, the prayers of forgiveness. We look to begin the year with a clean slate, starting anew, refreshed. All month, along with others, I'll be blogging a thought or two for each day to help with the month of preparation... I will be blogging here, and sharing #Elulgram photos on the same themes at Follow me on twitter @imabima for all the #BlogElul posts, not only mine but others' as well! 

Leave your blog Elul post in the linky below!

No comments: