With the coming of the new moon of Cheshvan, we move inward taking with us the deep connection to the One and our community that we have created during Elul and the holidays of Tishrei. On Simchat Torah, I danced with my 2 grandchildren and the Torah outside the Temple on a glorious early Fall evening. The congregation unfurled the Torah scroll and surrounded the children in a large circle. I watched the awed expression on their faces as the rabbi read its holy words knowing we were part of an ancient ritual enacted by many generations that have come before us.
Now, after the soul-full intensity of the holidays and joyful community interactions, we exhale. Especially during this Shmita year, this seventh year of the cycle of seven years, we move into a more reflective space. We know that winter is coming, and we need to confront the commitments we made during the holidays. It is time to go beneath the surface and shift the patterns that have blocked our growth. We surround ourselves with warmth and protection, so we may touch into the difficult places that need to be revealed and released.
Our tradition invites us to savor this time of quiet stillness, this opportunity to rest and integrate all that we have taken in during the past months. Still reeling from the aftershocks of the pandemic, we touch into our vulnerability, our lack of control, our awakened understanding of the fragility of our existence.
We take this opportunity to reconstitute our relationship to natural rhythms of body and earth, to water the roots of our intentions, and to discover a new balance. Like our ancestors, we are all being called upon to re-envision how to live life together on this ark of planet earth that is in danger of flood and fire. We need these moments of quiet contemplation to touch into the inner well of wisdom that resides within each one of us to help us move forward as one people on this sacred planet earth.