Sunday, August 11, 2013

5 Elul: Cycle

The sun rises and the sun sets, and to its place it yearns and rises there.  It goes to the south and it goes to the north; the will goes around and around and the till returns to its circuits.  

The Jewish calendar year is not just cyclical it's spiral.  We return to the same point in time each year (i.e. Rosh Hashanah), but hopefully we have improved and are at a point in space that is higher than before.

I wonder if I improve from year to year.  When I started this spiritual journey, I felt it was obvious that I was spiralling upward.  I wasn't observant and then I was.  I hadn't kept kosher and then I did.  

The last couple of years I have felt more like I am spiralling out of control rather than in any upward direction.  I have a toddler, I lack sleep, I don't learn as often as I had, and I hadn't really done any new Mitzvot.  

My mentor explained to me that in the beginning I was really working on Mitzvot that were between (wo)man and G-d, lighting Shabbat candles, keeping Shabbat, eating Kosher (rituals).  As a mother (and a stay at home one), I am working on the Mitzvot of relationships, being patient, controlling my temper, finding the Divine in the mundane activities of every day...

I have to remind myself of that, each time I feel guilty for not listening to a lecture or reading a book.  It's ok not to be formally learning and to take some time for the practical work.  

This also means I need to do a better job evaluating my relationship Mitzvot.  I know I wasn't always patient, but I feel that I have been more open to solutions this year.  In fact, I had a bit of an AHA moment and I realized I am not as easy going as I thought I was and I really need to chill out.  

The fact is Rosh Hashanah will come and go whether I put any effort in or not.  The choice is mine (and yours) whether to take the opportunity to re-evaluate and work on moving higher along the spiral.  

This is my post based on writing prompts for Elul.  Please join me and link your page in the comments section.

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