The High Holiday season has been well and truly upon us and as it draws to a close, so do the mix of emotions that comes with it.
Every year, I pray with as much passion and sincerity that I can to portray to the One Above that I’m not only sorry for the wrongdoings that I have done over the past 12 months, but I also beg that the coming year is filled with only positive, happy and wonderful moments.
It’s a scary and uncertain time. I can envisage my future dangling in front of me like a strand of yarn to a frustrated feline.
Yom Kippur day – I’m standing there, machzor in hand, staring at the pinnacle words included in the text of B’Rosh Hashana and I do the same thing as I do every single year. I contemplate each term:
מותי ומי יחיה מי – Who will live and who will die?
ובקצ לא ומי בקצו מי – Who in their time and who not in their time?
שאב ומי במים מי – Who by water and who by fire?
יתיסר ומי ישלו מי – Who will be tranquil and will be troubled?
You see, it’s not only me that I can see in the equation. Recently, there have been some real nightmares that Jews across the world have had to endure. The untimely death of innocent children in a house-fire in New York, the cold-blooded murders in a Kosher supermarket in Paris as well as a shul in Har Nof, the safety of European Jewry, the Iran-US deal; and the list heavily continues.
5775 has been an unexpected rollercoaster of good and bad moments. The tears, both happy and sad, have flowed regularly.
But, whilst contemplating my feelings on the holiest of days, I accepted that you can never prevent what may seem to you as hardship because when you look at the bigger picture, those moments will define you. I’m sure there isn’t a single person who wants to go through suffering; I know I certainly don’t. But praying that it never happens is an unrealistic plea.
There are always going to be tough times that make you want to run and hide. But generally, I think we can all agree that it is those difficulties that shape and mould us into the people we are today. Easy lives create simple people; hard lives create strong people.
I’m not hoping struggles rain down on me this year, quite the contrary. There is much I am excitedly anticipating, especially with my upcoming marriage. However, I appreciate life is never going to be straightforward; so what I am truly wishing for is that I have the resources to face whatever the coming year brings.
My future husband, my wonderful friends, some incredible family members – these are the people I daven for because without them, I’d be a nobody with the ability to face nothing.
If there are people, belongings, causes or in fact anything that you cherish in the world at all, it’s impossible to avoid sadness from happening. True reality is not rainbows and candy every single day because that isn’t what the world or any of us was created for.
So this past month I have requested from Hashem that each and every single person who has been there for me through the terrifying and terrific times will continue to be there to help me throughout another year of the unknown.
Chag sameach to all and may each and every one of us have many moments to smile about over this coming year. But, for the inevitable times where things are not easy, I truly hope you have the strength, courage, determination and support to stay strong and prosper.