Count Your Change

RabbiWQAidzerheadshot-206x259September 13, 2018

Long ago, before there was Apple Pay, Venmo, PayPal, even before the wide use of credit cards, people used to pay with (gasp!) cash. And in some businesses, right near the cash register, they would put a sign that said, “Count Your Change,” reminding customers to make sure that they had received the appropriate amount of cash back so as to ensure that the transaction had been completed fairly.

As old-fashioned as using cash and coins might be, the advice is particularly important for us during these High Holy Days. As we look back over the year that has passed and look forward to the year ahead, we should be counting our change, namely the changes we have made in our lives. Are we kinder than we were a year ago? More likely to say a nice word or give someone a complement? Less likely to fly into a rage or lash out in anger? Have we changed our perspective on people or events, looking for the good instead of focusing on the bad? Have we changed our eating habits, our exercise habits, our routines, for the good? Are we more sincere in our relationship, more honest with ourselves, more open to the world around us? Have we changed? How?

Certainly, change is coming to our congregation. On Rosh HaShanah, we showed the first draft of our architect’s vision of our new congregational home at 660 Kinderkamack in Oradell. (Posters of the drawings are still viewable in the Temple lobby.) And we revealed the new name we will take next year when the merger with Temple Beth Or is complete – Kol Dorot: A Reform Jewish Community. (Check out the new website and Facebook page!) We are counting these changes, in advance, as wonderful ways to enter into the new year.

These High Holy Days help us remember that change can be good for us. We want to change, to improve, to continually seek to be our best selves. We count our change to mark our growth. As we head towards Yom Kippur, I hope that this season of change finds you able to acknowledge the changes you’ve made and hopeful for the changes yet to come.

May this year be a good year for us all!