Last week marked Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish New Year. I am not, nor have I ever been, a religious person, having been raised in a secular household, yet I have always been aware and observant, at least in a casual way, of this most serious of Jewish holidays. The idea of taking the time to repent for relationships gone awry and making amends to repair damage - or at least take responsibility - is a practice I hold in high regard and try to uphold.
But in addition, one of the beliefs associated with Rosh Hashanah is the belief that a person’s fate for the coming year is decided during the High Holy Days, and this I find most interesting to contemplate. Of course I really don't believe such a thing is possible, as it seems to imply that there is a loss of determination of one's life based on the actions of every single day. But what if? What if it was possible to seal your fate based on the actions you took during a particular 10 day period? What might you do differently?
This seems the stuff of movies and romance novels, of science fiction and fairy tales, of operas, both musical and of the soapy variety. I had a couple of dates planned during these 10 days with a man I am most keen on, but to put the pressure on those dates that the actions from them might seal my fate for the next year? Unfair to both him and me! I have some really interesting business meetings coming up within this same time period, but again the pressure to have them determine the year's outcome seems to suffocate them before they even happen.
I realize that how I behave does have a longlasting effect whether in relationships of love or business. Both kinds of relationships are so much more complicated than to have their fates sealed by a 10 day window, yet having the marker of a holiday to remind us that WE are in control of our actions, that WE are responsible for how we act and treat others, and that WE are not above apologizing when we behave badly is most welcome.