Chesbon Ha Nefesh

by Arliene Botnick, September 26, 2019

Selichah – We’re sorry. We repent. We atone.

Really? Is that truly what we have been doing as we have prepared for the Yamin Noraim?

Do we remember all of the misdeeds of which we have been guilty? There is the relative whom we have not spoken to for years, but really have forgotten the cause of our anger. Or perhaps, we remember why we are angry at the person, but have not yet realized it is time to apologize. After all, life is short!

There are the needy lying on vents on the streets to keep warm. They have a paper cup in their hands, asking for coins. Do we open our wallets and our hearts and help them or do we walk by, ignoring them, assuming their predicament is their own fault?

There are our children for whom we often have neither time nor patience. After all, we are busy with work, with supporting them, and children’s problems are minor or are they? We only have to look at the number of our youth who are depressed, are on medication for mood swings, are crying out for help that isn’t always given.

There is our community, our wonderful Solel family. But it is a costly family that needs to pay its bills, but we have so many other bills – our homes, our cars, our vacations, tuitions.

Solel will just have to wait or it will not be able to wait for our support. Will it be able to be there for us if we are not there for it?

Then, of course, there are the misdeeds we can’t remember (or perhaps choose ot forget). Can we atone for those? Are the persons whom we’ve wronged still there to accept our atonement, or are they even willing to accept our apology?

Chesbon Ha Nefesh. This is the season in which we delve into our souls and do our best to do teshuvah. And, like the cycle of life, we’ll get another chance next year. WE are not perfect.

So, next year, each year, during the Yamin Noraim, we get another chance! Thank God!

To you all, a sweet and fulfilling New Year!

Filed under: Educator's Message

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