A new year


The Talmud speaks of four different new years that mark different cycles of time (Tractate Rosh Hashanah 2a).  The ancient rabbis teach us that each of these moments–from Rosh Hashanah to Tu BiSh’vat to the month of Nisan in the spring–is an opportunity for reflection, celebration, and renewal, and that we should take advantage of the chance for growth that each new year offers.  So although the change from the year 2018 to the year 2019 is based on the Christian calendar, this new year has become part of the cycle of time in the U.S., and it gives us yet another opportunity to reflect that we should not miss at this season of the year.  Looking back toward Rosh Hashanah, how are we doing on the promises and commitments we made to God and to ourselves for the year?  Looking ahead toward the spring, how are we orienting ourselves toward newness and rebirth in coming months?  May our marking of this time of year propel us toward refreshment and renewal for all of the new years to come.