Time is not a line.
How we conceive of our movement through time is a central theme in how we frame our own meaning and existence. We might think that we move from to 5779 to 5780 as if plowing ever forward like a bulldozer clearing trees or like a car driving down a neverending road. That the past is eternally behind us in the rear view mirror and the future is unknown. This is not true.
Time is a circle. We are constantly leaving home and returning to it; experiencing sublime moments and then revisiting those moments as memories or deja vu, or even as the connective tissue between an old peak experience and the current one. Trama, too, is a circle. We revisit old injury and reopen them. We heal, we are wounded, we heal, we are wounded. And sins and mistakes too. Our latest apology is given knowing that we will try our darned-est, but will like fail again.
One of history's most exceptional rabbi, Rabbi Alan Lew (z"l), wrote "If you are moving along the circumference of a circle, it might seem at first as if the starting point is moving farther and farther away, but actually it is getting closer and closer. That is the Jewish calendar."
Tishrei - the penitential season that includes Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the pilgramidge holiday of Sukkot, has come around again. We are returning home. We are departing. We are returning home. We maintain our essential nature of who we are. We grow and change.
Shanah Tovah u'Metukah.
- Rabbi Mark Asher Goodman
Rabbi Mark Asher Goodman is the spiritual leader of Brith Sholom Jewish Center in Erie, PA. These are a collection of thoughts and writings since he joined the community in Erie. For more of his past writings, click here.