ED: The following is a excerpt from the story, “Rabbis Share Sneak Previews of Holy Days Messages” which ran in our Rosh Hashanah Sept. 7 issue.
Rabbi Stan Levy and Rabbi Laura Owens
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be reborn and a time to let old habits die;
A time to plant new seeds and a time to harvest the fruits of our labor;
A time to destroy negative scripts and a time to heal relationships;
A time to break down walls and barriers and a time to build up bridges and deeper connections;
A time to cry and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn what we have lost and a time to dance with what we have gained;
A time to throw away what we do not need and a time to gather what we do need;
A time to embrace what is affirming and a time to resist what is rejecting;
A time to seek new adventures and a time to let go of what is cluttering our lives;
A time to keep what is positive and a time to throw away what is negative;
A time to keep silent and experience the sheer awe of life and a time to speak out against injustice and mendacity;
A time to love what is good and healthy and a time to hate what is evil and destructive;
A time to wage war against what is wrong and a time to be at peace with what is right.
This passage from the book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) is a most profound teaching. Within its many verses, it gives us direction into navigating the passages we live through in our lives, and insights into deepening our understanding of ourselves and of our interpersonal relationships. It is a passage that captures the essence of the High Holy Days/The Days of Awe and expresses what our themes and focus will be for each of our High Holy Days services. How do we face this moment? How do we enter into this new spiritual year? What possibilities does it present to us and how do we determine what to do to make the most of this opportunity for reflection and renewal? What are we doing with the time we have and how do we access both the inner and the external resources we have been given to live our lives with meaning, purpose and joy?