#BlogElul 25 – Begin
Not only do we start a new year, 5774, on Rosh HaShanah, but we also complete the cycle of reading the Torah at the end of the High Holy Day season.
Simchat Torah is the very last Holy Day, when we finish reading the Torah and immediately begin again from Bresheet, In the Beginning. As we read that majestic poem, with its repeated refrain of “and it was evening, and it was morning …”, the cycle is reinforced again. For every evening, there is a morning.
Sometimes in the dark of that evening it is too hard to see that that morning must inevitably come. We are crushed by the weight of the world, by the darkness that never seems to end. But it does end.
This morning I listened to a Bar Mitzvah boy chanting the last Haftarah of Consolation. That cycle began after Tish’a b’Av, the darkest day of the Jewish calendar, and culminates on the Shabbat before Rosh HaShanah. These readings from the prophet Isaiah promise the desolate People of Israel a new beginning in their relationship with G-d, and the building of a new homeland after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. After every end, there is a beginning.
What new beginnings are you looking forward to this year?