Sorry guys. It’s not that season yet! Tis the season for forgiveness and repentance.
תשובה Repentance in Judaism is known as teshuva. Literally, it means “return.” As a recent Bat Mitzvah at Surprise Lake Camp this summer, I find myself searching for what it’s all about . . . the holidays, what they represent, and the meaning of life. I realize that this may take a lifetime but hey, I am worth it! The funny thing is that whenever I search, all paths lead me to Surprise Lake Camp. I am fairly certain that I am not the only one that holds true for.
I received a call yesterday from someone in the “camp family” (once you work at camp, you become family!) responding to a question regarding some paperwork. She asked, “can give it to you on Yom Kippur?”, to which I responded “am I supposed to be in camp on Yom Kippur?” After she laughed, she said “it just felt like we all should be there.”
It feels right, not just to meditate on the holiest day of the year, but year round. This is why so many alumni can’t get enough of camp. This is why they rent out lodges in the winter, why they can’t miss Labor Day, or an Alumni event held at camp. It is because being at camp just FEELS right. No matter what else is going on in life, you think of camp and you SMILE. You feel the warmth as soon as it enters your mind. Why? This is simple. It is a magical place unlike any other we have ever experienced. The beauty transcends the land. It is a feeling, a gift, a blessing, and one for which I am grateful for every day.
So, now you ask, why “tis the season?” Last week I had the privilege of participating in Rosh Hashanah services at camp, (go figure – me, of all people!) and after services, we all took part in a ritual called tashlich, which means “casting off.” Everyone was invited to take a piece of bread and symbolically cast it into the lake, ridding ourselves of the sins of the past year. It was a moving experience for me, as well as the others who participated.
Tis the season to examine your life and take inventory. Apologize to those you have hurt and make it a priority to care for the ones you love. Be grateful for all your blessings. This is your chance to start with a clean slate. Be committed being a better person in the year to come and to really appreciate each and every day. Live life to its fullest. Tis the season . . .
I wish you all a Happy, Healthy & Sweet New Year, and for those of you who fast, have a meaningful and easy one.