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To Serve the Light

Karen Berg
September 18, 2023
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This article on the portion of the week was previously published in 2019.

This is a very important and significant week, as it is the week that follows Rosh Hashanah and the week that leads us into the holiday of Yom Kippur. We learn that on Rosh Hashanah, the shofar acts like a laser, literally tearing asunder the negativities that we have done. It brings us to a place where we are a born anew, a changed person.

"Are we to be a servant of the Light, or a servant of ourselves?"

The 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur -- the period of time that we are in now – are spiritually significant as the jury is still out. Our consciousness and our actions during these days determine whether what has been written for us on Rosh Hashanah will be manifest in the coming year, or if by the course of our behavior in these ten days we can show that we are a changed individual and rewrite our destiny for the better.

It is common when we leave the frame of a very powerful holiday like Rosh Hashanah to can experience a dip in the energy level. We can see all our faults clearer than we have ever seen it before! How can this be? Should we not feel exhilarated? This is because the difficult times in our lives, when feel the most sorrow, are the true moments when we are being tested; and the question with each test is the same: Are we to be a servant of the Light, or a servant of ourselves? 

"It is we ourselves alone that will decide what the year will bring for us."

It says in this week’s portion Ha’Azinu that only when a seed is planted in the ground, covered with dirt can it be touched by the rain, and thereby allowed to push through the darkness and emerge in the beauty of the Light. So too it is with us. As human beings, we are called upon to push through. This is what it means to be a servant of the Light, to reach for the Creator even in darkness. To share when we feel at our lowest point. To give when we feel we have nothing left to give. To be with others when we most want to isolate. To see the good when it takes much less strength to complain.

You know, we may not look like changed person yet. We may not even feel like a changed person. But what is most important in these coming days is that we act like a changed person; that we behave in a way that is becoming of that higher self that we told the Creator we want to be, and not when there is lots of energy and it is easy to do so, but when there is a dip. That is when we are tested to the full measure of our desire. It is then that we can reveal the kind of person we want to be in the coming twelve months.

It is we ourselves alone that will decide what the year will bring for us. Perhaps with our combined efforts to be more, care more, and be there for each other more, we can tip the scales towards greater positivity in the coming year for ourselves and for the world.

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