As Yom Kippur was coming to a close I found myself divided. The physical me wanted it to be over so I could eat and drink and get on with my life. The spiritual me was in a state of panic in that I did not maximize my soul’s potential, wanting so badly to start the year on the best possible note.
So now Yom Kippur is over and somehow I feel lost.
I want to disconnect with parts of me that I loathe, however the easy chair of familiarity won’t let me budge. I feel a sense of heaviness, weighed down by the sins that should have departed, yet like sticky tape refuse to leave me.
I am comforted by the opinion that the doors remain open until Shmini Atzeret knowing I need every second I can get my hands on to work on myself, rectify the past and achieve divine mercy so that I may be inscribed for a year of only positive opportunities to grow and not suffer, heaven forbid, too much pain.
The performance of Kiddush Levana after Yom Kippur made me think. Change is so difficult because of the moment of darkness before the light appears. Any bad trait that has become habit is easy. We don’t have to think or work it out. It is reflexive and comfortable for us to fall into what we know no matter how dark it is, instead of taking new steps in what is uncharted territory for us. Once we have decided to change we experience a moment of light. That first light we see is when we get an idea of how to replace the bad behavior with something better.However, just like the new moon it can not be celebrated until it is truly viable and we know we can benefit from that light. When we decide to change a behavior it is not until we have done it at least 3 times that it is inculcated into our person. It is at this point that it becomes part of our nature and we may celebrate it as a new behavior.
As I meditate on the promise of the moon’s new light I pray G- d gives us all the strength, both physical and spiritual, to become the better people we strive to be.