Imagine for just a few moments that you are standing in a house filled with mirrors. Full length mirrors in 4 D. Your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions will be manifested and reflected in these mirrors.
When you enter your cooking area you will see how many avocados, tomatoes and garlic cloves you have eaten this year. The olive oils, celtic salts and balsamic vinegars that have dressed the many delicious salads you have consumed. The foods you have bought at the Lidl or the Marqt. The sweet potatoes you have drenched in agave or honey and added sweet fresh butter to taste. The rotis , french fries and sausages you have gulped down greedily when your body yearns for fats and sugars and carbs. The ice creams you have bought on hot sunny days when you are biking in the Dutch countrysides and yearn for cool refreshments of ice cream and cold beers (or both). You look in the 4D mirrors and see the chickens and beef and pork you have prepared in frying pans, woks, slow cookers and on bbq grills throughout the past year. You wonder if they have had a healthy and “good” life. You watch the boiling pots of white potatoes, brown and white basmati rice steaming to perfection in rice cookers, potatoes rolled in tin foil placed on grills and strings of tagliatelle boiling to al dente perfection in these your reflections of the passed year.
You move into your living room and take a seat on your Ikea couch. The mirrors surrounding you reveal the countless judgements and assumptions you make against yourself and others. These little mental snakes crawling in and through your thoughts, getting swollen with adrenaline and fear are moving across the mirrors of your memory. I am too fat, I was a coward, I gossiped, I did that perfectly, I lied to my best friend, I did not pay back that loan, I promised to volunteer at the refugee shelter… The list can be long. The list can be complicated, You can try to untangle yourself with: I wanted to, I should have, the reason I did this was because…. The mirrors of your memories are snakes dancing across the mirrors of your thoughts, your beliefs, your assumptions, your fears. They become concrete and heavy beings before your very eyes. You may cringe and become small in the shadows of your fears reflected in the dimly lit mirrors of your living room.
You enter your bedroom. Your unmade bed and piles of unfolded clothes and unopened books manifest themselves in these mirrors. It is here in this room that you see the chaos of your life. The choices you have or have not made about your sensual and sexual being. The gendered geared dogmas you have gobbled up. The joyous juices you have drunk. The half filled glasses knocked over by sleepless nights and noisy morning rituals. You see this in mirrors, haunting you, enhancing you in this your room of emotions. Indeed I am not enough, I am not good enough, I do not understand, I understand too much, float across your mirrors as quickly as gazelles jumping across green fertile fields. These thoughts, these emotions have been transferred through blood lines of memory, crawling into bed with you since your birth. It are the mirrors that help you to see and remember.
And now you can enter into the bathroom. Splatters of water drops splash onto the mirrors engulfing you. You sit on the toilet seat and the waters of your previous days and nights flush out of you. You brush your teeth with water, gargling water to cleanse your throat and mouth, your thoughts and words. You enter into the shower. Water drops onto your skin cleansing and clearing the accumulated filth of your daily life’s journey. Water retains the memories. Water releases the load of carrying them.
Preparing for Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, October 2-4 2016, is a total immersion into our lives, perceiving the images surfacing on the mirrors of memories. It is a time when we are being prepared to fix the broken insides of our past deeds, thoughts and actions.
It is a time when we confront and talk about what is happening inside of us, on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. It is a time of the year when we learn to look at what has passed through us. It is a time of deep significance. A time when we realise that small fixings are important. Extending our apologies to those we have offended is of great importance.
Paying back is a means of moving forward. Insight, overview and moving forwards is the essential meaning of Rosh Hashanah. Wishing you a memorable and meaningful New Year.
Sjanah Torah – Happy New Year for us all.