5777 is rapidly concluding, and the High Holidays will be bringing with them 5778. As we end one year and begin another, it’s important to consider what the High Holidays mean to us as Humanistic Jews.
In traditional Jewish practice, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur ask that you look back upon the year, give thanks for all that went well, ask God for forgiveness for any wrongs you might have done, and say prayers for those who are no longer with us that we hold dear.
As Humanistic Jews we instead reflect on the past year; did we take an active role in improving our community, and by extension the world. What did we do well? What would we have liked to have done better. Did we act when we were able, or did we walk away? Rather than asking God for forgiveness, we look into ourselves and our relationships with others and ask did we do right? Did we treat others as we wish to be treated? We also admit our shortcomings and look at how we can mend our ways. We all made mistakes over the year and honestly admitting our shortcomings helps us to move forward positively into the upcoming year.
Whom have we lost over the last year that we hold dear? What memories of loved ones no longer with us do we carry in our hearts and use to guide our choices and actions daily? Looking back, remembering, and loving, helps us all to move forward.
We contemplate the year ahead and ask ourselves how will we actively perform Tikkun Olam to repair our little part of the world. We recognize that the power to change the world comes from within and that we must take action to empower that change.
Rather than asking if we are connected to a “spirit” we ask if we are connected to one-another. We examine if we are making positive life, health, and relationship choices.
We know that 5777 brought with it many challenges and that 5778 will have its share. We know it is up to each of us members of Humanistic Judaism, and the Or Adam family, to actively take part in Tikkun Olam, in performing Mitzvahs to make our world better one step at a time. And we know that we will.