As I write these words, in the middle of July, there is so much we do not know about the approaching High Holy Days:
Will the pandemic numbers rise between now and September? How fast?
Will the CDC and Department of Public Health guidelines for public gatherings hold steady or change?
Will we be able to come to the synagogue, to congregate, to embrace each other, to sing and to pray together or will we be reaching out to each other, yet again, from our homes?
By the time you receive this, we may know more…or not. Sigh. What does Judaism have to teach us about living with uncertainty? Living with uncertainty is at the heart of our holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
At this season, we acknowledge everything that we do not know. Everything that is beyond our control. With honesty and courage, we face the truth of our own fragility. And we declare, “nonetheless, I will choose – hope over despair, generosity over selfishness, community over isolation, responsibility over indolence, life over death.” On Yom Kippur we open our hearts to receive Moses’ final and greatest teaching: “Choose life.”