YOUR BOOK OF LIFE doesn’t begin … on Rosh HaShanah. It began when you were born. Some of the chapters were written by other people: your parents, siblings, and teachers. Parts of your book were crafted out of experiences you had because of other people’s decisions: where you lived, what schools you went to, what your homes were like. But the message of Rosh Ha-Shanah, the anniversary of the creation of the world, is that everything can be made new again, that much of your book is written every day—by the choices you make. The book is not written and sealed; you get to edit it, decide what parts you want to emphasize and remember, and maybe even which parts you want to leave behind. Shanah tovah means both a good year, and a good change. [Every single day] you can change the rest of your life. It is never too late.
In 72 days, on Rosh HaShanah 5779, we will open a new page in our books of life. 72 days sound like a lot of days left to prepare ourselves for the new year — to organise the usual, and to fix what needs to be fixed.
While I agree that there is enough time left to make arrangements for the Rosh haShanah dinner, to get flights booked for family members to join us, and even to get your new machzorim (High Holy Day prayer books) from the Shul, I often have the feeling there is never enough time to review our past year.
Therefore, I‘d like you to begin with some simple, but important questions, making the next 72 days hopefully more meaningful: Which of the choices you made make you proud—which not so much? Had you time to celebrate achievements—where have you failed and have you had a chance to think about why? When did you last suprise your partner/friend/children—and when did you last apologise to them?
Shabbat Shalom—Rabbi Adrian M Schell
Quote: Rabbi Laura Geller (b. 1949) Mishkan HaNefesh: Rosh HaShanah, Page 5