The crisp feel of the evening breeze, the coolness in the air, and the colors on the leaves of the trees are all evidence that our seasons are changing and we are headed away from the warmth of summer to the coolness of fall. I am always attuned to the change of seasons, but especially aware of this one each year as we move from one year to another.
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel teaches us about his concept of Radical Amazement. He teaches, “Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. Get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”
Each year, I find myself embracing this concept at exactly this point in the year as we move through our High Holy Day season. In December, we move from the coolness of fall to the down-right cold. We bring out our coats and boots, and we prepare ourselves for some serious weather (or in California, weather that is definitely colder than other times of the year). In March, we move from the frigid winter to the spring, filled with drops of rain and perhaps some blooming flowers. We put up our umbrellas and do some serious puddle jumping from one day to the next. In June, we move from the rain to the warmth of summer. We visit the beach, we travel with family, we sit around the campfire and we watch the sunset day after day. And now, in September, as the coolness of the evening sets in and the leaves begin to change, we plant our seeds and prepare for a year of goodness and peace.
May we enter 5778 with open eyes, with a heightened awareness of our surroundings, and may we strive to live in radical amazement of this ever changing world each and every day.
May this new year be filled with joy, with light, and with love for you and yours.
Shanah tovah u’metukah!