Beginning. Again.

Life is full of beginnings.


Every transition, every turn, every corner… a clean slate, a fresh start.


So, if that’s the case - if we are constantly experiencing beginnings - why do we make such a big deal about dividing up and celebrating measured windows of time?  


For example, let’s take the new year...


Think about it: Our annual interstellar voyage around the sun simply ends… and then begins again. (Not ironically, most of us fly that round trip on a deep, deep-discount coach ticket). Seriously: aside from fact than that we employ it as a measured way to mark the milestones of our lives - why does the new year seem like a particularly poignant chance to start again?


Truth – If we employ a widely-cast but nonetheless accurate definition of the phrase, each of us “starts again” at least 1000 times per year.


Yes. This is certainly true when referring to the beginnings of more “concrete” things (like songs, letters, dinners, road trips, books, laundry, movies, games, etc.) but it’s also true when referring to emotional values, spirituality, and opinions about local restaurants, public policy, fashion trends, and the purported demise of professional baseball since the introduction of the designated hitter… 


What would we call that? Beginnings per year?


Better: BPA. Beginnings per Annum.


(That sounds like a Bill James statistic).


Life, in a true (but never simple) sense, moves in the seemingly perfect shape of a circle. We begin. We learn as we go. And then, something is revealed, and everything changes…


We are lifted to a new place… a unfamiliar place where we have no choice, but for the circumstance of the moment, to begin again.


And here we are now, once again, sharing our beginning.


To our credit: we’ve chosen not to simply cross a threshold and suddenly begin again.


We’ve slowed down.


We are paying extra attention as we approach; looking around, taking stock, and reflecting on the lives we chose to lead during a time that is no longer.


Today is much less about simply marking time, much more about the fact that we engage in serious and significant self-reflection while hitting our reset buttons during these days of awe.


In this season we celebrate the harvest while planting new seeds within ourselves; seeds that will grow through the year to come. We do this over, and over, and over again. Every year. We return.


Judaism carries a universal narrative. We retell it constantly as we connect to the historical texts of our community.


This narrative is simple:


Creation -> Revelation -> Redemption.


Today, let this narrative, this ever-repeating plot that underlies the human condition, shape the lens through which we see ourselves and see our world.


Shana tovah.