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Selichot: Regaining perspective on light and darkness

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 10:40am -- Rabbi

Full moon over waterAs we reach the end of summer, and the season begins to change, the waning moon shows us that we are approaching the new year.  Although we see the moon as sometimes full of light, sometimes a crescent, and sometimes completely dark, we know that actually it is always half dark and half light.  It is only our position here on Earth - our perspective - that changes.  The same is true of the moral character of human beings.  We sometimes see others as full of light and goodness, sometimes as containing a sliver of goodness, and sometimes as completely dark.  Yet Jewish tradition teaches us that we are always all a mixture of light and dark, selfishness and altruism, good and bad.  What changes is our perspective. At this season, as we approach the High Holidays, part of our work is to change our perspective - to see others and ourselves in a new light.  From the balanced perspective of the ancients, we can see that the past year may have been full of good and bad deeds and moments, but we can also see the potential for us to push ourselves toward the good in the year to come.  How the good and bad in others and in ourselves balances out is something only God can judge.  Our job is to find the light shining in the darkness and nurture it, helping it to spread over us and over the world.  Please join us in the darkness of Saturday night to sing and pray our way toward the light at our Selichot services, beginning at 8:15 PM in the Charry Sanctuary.  L'shanah tovah u'm'irah - may we all be blessed with a bright and shining year.