When I started this blog I didn’t want to write much about Jewish related things because I wanted to write about things in the world from how I saw them independent of my religious identity.
But as time has gone on I have come to realise and accept that my Judaism is an intrinsic part of who I am. So to attempt to write about myself and my thoughts and purposefully ignore something that shapes who I am seems foolish and naive.
My thoughts and my opinions and my beliefs are formed on the basis of my religious values and while I used to feel ashamed to share that lest I portray myself as a religious zealot I have come to understand that it is not something that subtracts from my view of the world. It is not blinders but rather an added element of my life that helps me to see things with the aspect of my own religious morality that I can’t ignore. Or at least, I no longer wish to ignore.
So anyway, last week was the Jewish new year which begins a month of lots of different Jewish holidays that provoke a lot of reflection.
Over the course of the holiday, I found myself reflecting on the so many dramatic highs and lows of the year, overcome with emotion in realising just how much has happened.
New Years tend to evoke the idea of new resolutions, of promises that are easily made and broken in the same month. But to me, the new year feels like the first taste of water after you’ve been thirsty for a long time. It is the sweetness of honey and the tart flavour of an apple bursting on the tip of my tongue and I am all at once transported here there and everyone.
To a large extent it is the wish for a happier tomorrow, the heart felt prayer for a better, happier, healthier year for everyone you know. And for me, it is the time where I spend some time to note all the amazing things that have happened this year and the things that people have done for me.
It is fresh and exciting and new. And while it isn’t marked by fireworks and a midnights kiss it feels like the first day of spring when daylight begins to grow and promise feels fresh and fierce.
This New Years I found myself being incredibly grateful and also incredibly morose over all the suffering that people have experienced this year.
I think it is a time where some people become apathetic and resentful. They question what the point is given what has happened and the certain inevitability of what will happen anyway.
But I don’t look at life or anything like that. Because I have to choose to believe that tomorrow will be better. So when I bit into that piece of apple drizzled with honey, it tasted like gratitude and the future. The open horizon and first steps towards doing it all again.
Completely different and yet weighted in hundreds of years of tradition.
It’s a sweet bite.
If that’s how you want to see it.
To New Years. New starts. To giving it another go.