What can possibly be said about this time of year when we are all starting over again? What has not been said in the past so many times, as we start our routine after the holidays are over? The promises we made over the high holidays the commitments we said we would do are all waiting patiently to be fulfilled. And we are simply heading out into the long stretch of winter. As Jewish people we are constantly repeating and going over and saying again things we have done in the past. However, nothing is ever as it was before and every second is different than the one before it. Just as when it rains or when it snows each drop, and each snowflake have a special mission, and no one is like the other. Each year we grow older and have a better understanding of who we are and of our connection to Hashem.
The human body is made up mostly of water. The holy Torah that we learn and live our lives by, is compared to water, and when water stands still for too long it becomes stagnant. If we are not working on ourselves, we are not in the right place. We’re either going up or going down. There is no such thing as standing still, especially as a Jew, where our whole purpose is growth. A tree, an animal, all matters in the universe grow and change. Things that are inanimate do not grow or change, but with time, wear and tear, break and get thrown out.
This week we blessed the month of Cheshvan, a month without any holidays.
Regardless of what challenges each one has, everyone is still battling with their own issues. The holidays are a time with a lot of family and a lot of emotions. I found myself many times fighting thoughts of sadness and frustration about things that I don’t have yet. The holidays blurred those thoughts and feelings since I needed to prepare for the next festival. But still every time a thought came to my mind of missing somebody I love, a child, family member, grandchildren, I kept reminding myself to think only of the moment. Don’t accumulate troubling thoughts, emotions or memories. Live in the moment when things are very challenging.
The holidays bring with them excitement in my heart. Now that they are all over I need to deal with the boring Monday routine of every day life. My thoughts and emotions seem to have gotten the better of me, after controlling them so well during the holidays. And then I remembered that I was starting over again and that this month is not a boring month. This month is a very meaningful month since everyone is starting over again.
We begin the cycle of Torah reading again, and we begin anew our commitments made on Rosh Hashana. That makes this month of Cheshvan unique. When we have time to contemplate and think about where we want to go and what we want to do with ourselves, we may say the same things over and over again. However, each time it makes us stronger than we were before. The repetition of our actions is a positive thing.
When we exercise we repeat the same stretch or kick many times and that is what makes our muscles stronger. So too with the muscles of the soul. Whenever we repeat something that makes us stronger we are becoming healthier and closer to Hashem.
While in this world the soul we have is what we have to fix and therefore each person has a different soul and a different mission, just like the rain drops. This is why each person feels like they are repeating the same effort each year since they are working on the same muscle only on a higher and better level.
A dancer has certain moves. And when they start dancing their moves are quite mechanical and clumsy. But time after time the same moves become more and more beautiful. And at the end there is a great performance. We too, each have a special dance, and each year we are perfecting those same moves until after 120 our dance is complete and we perform our final dance with a standing ovation. So let us gather our strength and get to work, our audience is waiting.