Well, here we are in the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, the ten days in between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. In these days our judgments are hanging in the balance, and we are praying for the best. It’s common for people to step up their mitzvah observance in order to merit a favorable judgment. Some people take on certain stringencies during this time.
In theory, this seems pretty simple, right? You want a good judgment, so you make good choices. Should be easy.
The past few years, it did seem easy for me. It was a serious time of year, fate hanging in the balance and all that, so I shaped up, took on some extra customs (like Pas Yisroel), and tried my best to be my best. I felt pretty confident, all super-spiritual and whatnot. Piece of cake!
You’d think that eventually I’d learn that I am not immune to failing. Seriously. I keep thinking I’m perfect, only to constantly rediscover that (surprise!) I’m not.
I don’t know about you all, but I was suuuuper stressed out this Rosh Hashana. My stress level was through the roof. Like, reality-tv stress level. It was not pretty. I felt like I was being given test after test after test. But harder than usual. And also, I was getting failing grades on these tests. Consistently.
Since it’s the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, and I am all too aware that my judgment from Rosh Hashana is, to some extent, dependent on my actions during these ten days, I’ve been feeling a combination of appalled, freaked out, and apathetic about my dismal state of affairs.
However, I finally snapped out of it today. I remembered that I CAN change my reactions and my attitudes to more positive ones, I CAN stop being stressed out and I CAN make better choices.
After all, during these ten days, it’s prime time to start moving in a better direction. This is the time to show Hashem that yeah, we wanna do better. I know that I’ll probably still slip up, perhaps more than I would like, but that I genuinely want to improve, and that I’m putting forth some effort to do so. I’ll make a resolution to improve something small and doable (my friend Ruchi has some great suggestions for that), and daven for success in maintaining it.
May we all have success in improving our choices, and may we all have a gmar chasima tovah!
You may also enjoy:
- Torah Tuesdays: A Month of Introspection
- Torah Tuesdays: Going in the Right Direction
- Torah Tuesdays: Choose who you become
- Torah Tuesdays – It’s all good