This year, tax day is coming on September 24. Most people think that Rosh Hashanah celebrates the Jewish New Year. Except, Rosh Hashanah is one of four new years in the Jewish Calendar. * So clearly it is not like New Years Eve American style. It is actually more similar to April 15 when we account for what we have and what we don’t and we deal with the reality.
Except on Rosh Hashanah we are not counting our net worth; we are counting our self worth. The rabbis of the Jewish tradition did not take this process lightly. Each one of us is required to take a Heshbon HaNefesh, an honest, unabashed look at our soul. And it is not as simple as saying, “I am a good person.” Rather it is taking a serious look inwards.
Rabbi Sharon Brous of Ikar writes in Being with Krista Tippett we need to ask ourselves: “Who am I? Where am I in my life? In what ways have I let my insecurities, my self-doubt stifle me? In what ways have I hardened my heart to the people around me? What relationships am I in that diminish my dignity? Have I let myself love? Have I let others love me? What pain have I caused? What potential do I have? Has my year been marked more by longing or gratitude? By brokenness or wholeness? By distrust or faith? By animus or by love?”
These questions are just the beginning. The more you search inside the more you may be able to:
1. Realize what are your strengths and what are your stretches. (Much better word than weaknesses).
2. What to focus on and what to set aside in the coming year in your work and personal relationships.
3. Do damage control by discovering issues that need addressing.
4. Discover that you are a WIP (Work in Progress).
And when you are done, realize that while tax day is hard; it will not crush you. It should inspire you to do it a bit better in the coming year which is the entire essence of Rosh Hashanah standing on one foot.
Happy and Healthy.
* For more information: see Why are there Four Jewish New Years?