Monica Rozenfeld moves to Brooklyn with two roommates — a Catholic and an observant Jew — and they each seek understanding of what it means to be religious.
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A new year is a new year is a new year
I think every day has the opportunity to been seen as a start to a new year. I mean, every day I wake up in the morning and I say Modah Ani lifanecha melech chai v’kayam shehechezarta bi nishmahti b’chemlah, rabah emunatecha. I offer thanks before you, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great.
Imagine that. Every day we have the opportunity to see our life anew. A fresh start to reinvent ourselves.
My first new year began on my 28th birthday this past June. I’ll be honest – it was rough. It still is. I hated adding another number to my age since I was in high school, but I got over it through the years. Until this year where the increase of a digit just made me…well…sad. That’s why I so looked forward to Rosh Hashanah in September. I wanted a real fresh start and a connection with G-d that would help me achieve that. I needed to believe that I had the power to control my year. So far, it’s really amazing to have reminded myself that the energy of Tishrei (the month that includes Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah) is able to stay with me for as long as I like. I have the ability to pause, think back to the feeling I had when the shofar sounded, remember what it was like to ask G-d for everything and anything I wanted, feel the power to bring positive change into my life, and make it happen.
And now the secular new year has offered another opportunity to reflect upon the past year and reconnect with my goals and aspirations that I had during Rosh Hashanah. Even though the Jewish and secular new years have come and gone, every day offers the opportunity for a new beginning.