Posted by on Sep 29, 2011 in Photographs, Sacred Rituals | 0 comments

I happened to meet my old high school teacher at the card store the other day. He was shopping for a Rosh Hashanah card. I’d admired this man for years and was taken by the care he was demonstrating in making his choice. “What does Rosh Hashanah mean to you, Mr. K.?

“What does it mean to me?” His face lit up with a grin, as he recognized me. I remembered that lopsided smile, and knew what was coming. This was a man born to teach.

“I don’t know if you know this but Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year . . . literally means, “Head of the Year. It’s a time for family, for prayer and going to the Synagogue, but most importantly, it’s a time to forgive and be forgiven. How can you beat receiving a gift like that each year?

“You seem so happy about all this. Do you give presents?” I asked.

“No, but that doesn’t matter, because I give myself a special treat at this time. I forgive myself. It’s such a pleasure to be able to start your life anew like this each year. Who couldn’t be overjoyed about that?”

I felt a small shiver of awe go down my spine as he spoke. After all these years, I realized what made me admire him as a teacher; he teaches by sacred example.

 ~J.K. Ingersoll

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