Rosh ha'Shannah starts at sundown on Sunday no matter where in the world you are. And like many Jewish women, I am wearing my Jewish matriarch hat and I'm having a heck of a time keeping it from slipping over my eyes. Like most Jewish holy days, this one requires cooking and preparation, even if I'm not hosting dinner either night. There are honey cakes to be made, Mam's special brownies to prepare, not to mention my Big Bro is coming in. There's lots to get done before we go join the Junior Son, Mrs. Junior Son, Little Miss and Young Sir, along with the assorted friends and relatives, to welcome the new year, 5779.
For two days, we get to consider where we've been this year, and where we want to go next year...and I don't mean Florence. This is about the inside, figuring out what's important not just to you, and not just within the space of your immediate world, but beyond that, the greater world.
Right now, I'm working on that answer for me. It's never easy, and I never get the same answers two years in a row. No matter what the latest answer turns out to be, however, I know it is reached carefully and thoughtfully.
When I started this blog, I never envisioned something that was read regularly in Russia, the Ukraine, Iran, and China...all places that show up on my audience list. Sure, I think some of them are door-knockers, but based on the emails I get, I don't think it's all trash hits. I never envisioned some teacher in Kiev writing to tell me he uses the blog regularly in his English class. Or my regular correspondent in the Netherlands who has taught me so much about her country...and her garden. Or the university student in China who wrote to tell me that my observations gave him great relief that he and his classmates were not the only ones criticizing elected officials who are silent in the face of their constituency. As Kohelet says in Ecclesiastes, "There is nothing new under the sun."
With those comments comes a sense of responsibility to my readers that I come up with something worthwhile each week, and that ain't easy. I don't always succeed, but each time I sit down at my desk, it's with the desire to say something that will reach someone and be meaningful to that one person.
We, the People are locked in a battle for the very future of our republic. I have used the blog to talk about politics, social issues, and ethics...things that are all too often diametrically opposed. To that end, I have volunteered my services as a writer to a congressional campaign. I endeavor to get the message out. And it looks like one message has gotten some attention. I have been interviewed for a liberal-leaning advocacy group who will remain nameless for the moment, and they are coming to my little town on Thursday to do a video story with me. I have no idea what that means exactly, but not to worry; I'll let you know when I know where it will be seen and when.
As I begin the introspective work of the Yamim Nora'im, the Days of Awe, I can only hope that I've done some good this past year, and I hold dear the idea that working toward a renewed and refreshed Congress of the United States will be successful for all of We, the People.
For those who get the lingo: לשנה טבה תכתבו
May you all be inscribed in the Book of Life for a happy, healthy new year.