Writing Our Book Of Living Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue 557

This is an awesome, as in awe inspiring, time of year for many Jews around the world as we celebrate The High Holy Days. Two days out of the Jewish calendar we join together to celebrate the New Year, 5784, and head into the holiest of days, Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement.

The 10 days between these two holidays are known as the 10 days of penitence. It’s the time that we naturally look inward and take stock of how we’ve lived over the past year, good and bad, successes and mistakes. We don’t sugar coat anything, we confess our sins publicly in the plural, for all of us are connected to one another no matter where we are on this inventory list.

We believe in a metaphorical Book of Life, into which we are inscribed and sealed for life and health. I like to think of this book not only as a book of life, but as a book of the living. If we understand it in this sense, we realize that everything we do is noticed and becomes part of the human record of our life. Each day we can make entries into the biographies and we ask ourselves what kind of entries are we making?

Have we made an impact on others in a positive way? Have we cared for those less fortunate, extended our hands to people in need, and made peace where there is strife? These are the ideals we strive for each new year; to make a difference in this world, to speak out and stand up against the wrongs and injustice in our society, and to repair the world we live in as an inheritance for our children, grandchildren and generations to come.

Though many of us are reading E-books, or downloading an audio, this book of life, is one that we author ourselves. We don’t need to win the Nobel Prize for literature, we just need to make sure this year’s edition is better than last years.

Wishing all a happy and healthy New Year and peace in your hearts, homes and world.

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