Checking Up on Ourselves
September 6, 2018
Rabbi Hillel Silverman tells one of my favorite anecdotes for this season of the year: A young man was sitting in a diner, talking on his cell phone. The waitress couldn’t help but overhear his conversation. The young man was apparently talking to the manager of a firm, asking whether a certain position had been filled. The answer was yes. The young man asked if the new employee was satisfactory. The answer again was yes. The young man thanked the manager and ended the call. The waitress approached the young man and, apologizing for the unintentional eavesdropping, asked if he was looking for a job. “No, thank you, I have a job,” he answered. “Then why were you inquiring about the position on the phone just now?” the waitress asked. He explained, “Oh, that was my job. I was just checking up on myself and how I was doing!”
Isn’t that the purpose of this season of the year? To check up on ourselves and see how we are doing? As we prepare for the High Holy Days, we take moments of reflection and introspection. What have we done this past year that we are proud of? What do we wish we had done better? Whom have we hurt? Have we asked them for forgiveness? Are we ready to begin a new year with a new slate, aiming to return to our truest selves?
One opportunity for that type of introspection is present again in our lobby this year. We have a “Selichot Board,” enabling anonymous, public confessions of ways we have gone wrong and things we are sorry we did this past year. Come in, fill out a card (with no names), and see it join others from our community, as we individually and collectively, check up on ourselves.
May it be a good start to the New Year. May 5779 be a year of great blessings for us all!