Over the years I’ve been fortunate to visit close friends who live in the Marais, the old Jewish quarter in Paris (roughly akin to the lower East Side of NYC; most of the Jews in Paris now live in the 17th arrondissement). Since I don’t know any French, I find myself approaching everything with Beginner’s Mind. Restaurants, stores, museums, outdoor markets, the metro, the synagogues where Tom and Pauline serve — while I’ve been here several times, it’s been six years since the last visit, so once again — it’s all new and different.
I’m reminded of a phrase in the morning prayers in which we describe God as renewing Creation each day. This experience of opening our eyes and feeling renewed awakens in me a sense of gratitude as well as hopefulness. A short break from our zip code helps freshen our perspective. 2023 is upon us. And we might well feel beset by so many challenges large and small, near and
far. Press the reset button. It won’t chase away all our worries. Still — we create important moments to regain balance. From washing our hands (optional and recommended splash of water on our face!), to lighting shabbat candles, to shutting down the machines, to joining a friend in raising a glass of an attitude adjustment beverage… It’s the most important step back, to charge
Last but not least, a huge thank you to all of you for your love and support. I feel fortunate to serve and to live in our community, finding ways to kindle a flame, plant seeds of possibility.