Beginning again


In the Torah scroll, the very first letter, bet, is written much larger than the others.  The ancients teach that this letter begins the Torah because its opening points forward, to the left, to all of the stories and teaching that the Torah contains, all that we have to look forward to as we begin our cycle of Torah readings again.  During the High Holidays we examined our past, the doings of the past year, good deeds and bad, mistakes and triumphs, joy and sorrow.  Whatever the outcome of our self-reflections, it is now time to focus ourselves in the other direction, the direction of the bet:  to look forward, to open ourselves up to the new experiences, opportunities, and lessons of the year that stretches ahead of us.  The end of the holiday is a punctuation point.  As we read about the beginning of the universe, may we allow ourselves to turn toward a new beginning for us, a feeling of renewal and energy, as we lean into the blessings of this new year.