by Julie Sullivan, Administrative Director
As someone who did not grow up celebrating the High Holy Days, I find myself seeing them perhaps through a different lens than those for whom these days have been a part of their lives since childhood. Celebrating these holidays has only been a part of my life for the past few years, but it has quickly become one of my favorite times of year.
Pausing to reflect on the past year is such a powerful thing if it is done with the fullness of your being. To me, that is what these days ask of us. We lay bare our faults and struggles, and we strive for truth within our lives and our hearts. This season reminds us that in order to become a more authentic version of ourselves, we must reflect on and embrace both the good and the bad. We must contemplate where there is balance and look with gratitude on both the joys and struggles of the previous year.
Challenges both big and small are just a part of this human experience we all share. Life cannot be all joy and (thankfully) it cannot be all sorrow; there is always an ebb and flow between the two. If we take the words of the prayer Avinu Malkeinu to heart, we ask for guidance to be better humans, better Jews, and better citizens of the world. What a gift to be able to have these days of self-reflection every year.
This is the perfect time of year to find some moments of quiet reflection in whatever way is most meaningful to you. This is why it is one of the busiest times of year here at Mayyim Hayyim. We are so grateful that so many in our community come to immerse in the mikveh to mark these days – to prepare, to contemplate, to reflect, and to look ahead. Hopefully they leave with some more peace in their minds, bodies, and spirits. As always, we encourage people to take what they need from the experience of coming to immerse.
However you celebrate and mark these days, I wish you moments of profound gratitude for what was and moments of profound hope for what will be.
There is still time to immerse before Yom Kippur – book your immersion today and let the waters of our mikveh give you a quiet, reflective space to turn to forgiveness, let go of the past, and emerge with an open heart for the year ahead.
Julie Sullivan is Mayyim Hayyim’s Administrative Director.