A Prayer for the New Year

Keeping Connected  September 2023

Dear Friends,

Over the years you have perhaps learned that my soul is time and again inspired by nature and observation. There is so much wisdom, sometimes beautiful, sometimes poignant, to learn from the world around us. As I prepare for the Yamim Noraim, the High Holidays, both as a rabbi and as an individual on her own spiritual journey, I am especially attuned to what is going on around me, looking for inspiration. All summer long I feel as though I am squirreling away ideas, thoughts, images and more, all with the hope of being able to share with our community experiences and words that might stir and motivate you in your own inner work of these Days of Awe. Early in the month you will receive a letter with the details of our service schedule, but in the meanwhile, I would like to turn away from logistics and share a poem that I recently read; one that I found personally meaningful. I hope in some small way it inspires you too and that this new year will bring you renewal, growth, hope, and purpose.

L’shanah Tovah,

Rabbi Shoshana M. Perry

A Prayer for the New Year
a poem by Rich Orloff

As the New Year approaches, I pray:
May I be more open to love
Recognizing it in its myriad of disguises
Letting it sneak through guarded borders to soothe my wounded soul

May I be more open to life
Not comparing it to my unreasonable fantasy
Of what life should be
But embracing life as one would a tender child doing their best

May I be more open to myself
Admitting my foibles and respecting their place in the constellation
May I deepen trust in my friends
And notice every time I meet a trustworthy stranger

May I let go of grievances that have become relics of history
Accepting that the past can never be changed
May I lose my attraction to suffering
And resist its seductive lure

May I nurture and encourage others
May I enjoy forgiveness
May I embrace grace
May I allow love to inspire action

May I be inscribed in the Book of Life
But as importantly
In each day and with each breath
May the Book of Life be inscribed inside me