A Message from Mimi David

(reprinted from 2017)

Dear Sisters,

Every store I went to this week featured some kind of New Year’s celebration.  Whether it was food, drinks, paper goods, or similar, it seems that the new year is on everyone’s mind.  The secular new year is actually meaningless from a Jewish perspective.  Our new year begins on Rosh Hashana, is celebrated with meaning and joy, and in a very different way than the secular year is welcomed.
Having said that, it is always a good time to make resolutions and to start fresh, even if the Jewish calendar has not designated this to be a time for doing so.  I am all for turning over a new leaf, and if the secular calendar is what motivates us, then let’s go for it!
The dreary weather outside has most of us in the mood to stay inside, wrapped in a cozy blanket, sipping a warm drink.  The cold and the frost certainly do not inspire us to go out, neither physically into the cold, nor spiritually out of our stagnant comfort zone.  Most of us would rather just stay where we are in many dimensions.
Imagine, for a minute, getting on a plane that is headed to a different city.  You are settled in your window seat, looking out at the frozen, gray world that sends shivers to your bones.  You keep watching out the window through takeoff, and as the plane ascends you see more and more dreary grayness and lots of menacing looking clouds.  And then suddenly, at about 15,000 feet, the plane breaks through the clouds and your view is completely different!  The sun is shining, the sky is a clear blue, and the world looks wonderful!
The situation that we are stuck in can be dull and depressing.  The environment around us can make us feel so cold and unwelcoming.  We can be pulled toward stagnation, or even negativity.  In order to change that, get on the plane of a new outlook!  Sometimes we need to “rise above” in order to change our perspective.  Pull yourself up and out and see the world from a whole new vantage point!  Break through the obstacles that cloud your vision, and feel the warmth of clarity and purpose!
Let us use this time of year to rise above the things that hold us back.  Let us find the strength to face the naysayers and the negative voices with the sunshine and blue skies of courage.  Starting this week, let us bring the warmth of Shabbos into our homes, whether with candles alone or a festive meal.  Together we can chase away the gray, and elevate ourselves with purpose.  Together we can rise above.
Have a wonderful and warm Shabbos,
Mimi David