Thursday, August 29, 2013

כל ההתחלות קשות

Of course, I'm just a cricket singing my way from hearth to hearth.  But let me tell you what made me change my mind.

The month of Elul is the last month of the Jewish civil calendar.  It leads us into the High Holidays and prepares us for the Days of Repentance.  When done properly, this time period can be extremely intense.  People will begin the process of asking for forgiveness by reaching out to others that they've hurt during the past year.  God will not be able to forgive us for our wrongdoings to other people until those individuals forgive us first- which is not as easy as it may seem.  My favorite custom of this time period is the blowing of the shofar.  The shofar is blown every day (except for Shabbat) from the 2nd of Elul until the 28th.  Some say that this piercing sound will arouse our souls as we prepare for the Days of Awe.  It will inspire us to jump out of our normal routine and prepare us for the Holy Days to follow.

This morning was our first official day of school (and yes, we have a roommate "first day of school" picture).  Orientation took place in the morning and the afternoon was spent in meetings with our Chumash/Talmud teachers.  It seems like everyone is wonderful and this is going to be a great year.  But what was the most memorable part of the day?  Hearing the shofar blown.  I stood there, with my eyes closed, listening to this piercing sound.  Something erupted within my heart.  It was like a fire had been ignited and the light began to spread throughout my whole body.  I felt it deep within my bones, slowly spreading to the surface of my skin.  By the time it was over, I was covered in goosebumps.  Never in my life has a single sound created such an emotional and physical response from me.  I honestly feel so blessed to be in this place in my life where such things can be felt.

In such a black and white world, I've never seen so many colors before.

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