The Gates of Contentment Open

Dear Community,

As we prepare to inaugurate the New Year with the setting of the sun this evening, we think about how much self-control and discipline we have — especially concerning our appetites, our emotions, and our desires.  Going forward, is it possible to regulate what we feel and what we do?

Envy is rotten to the bones.
-Proverbs 14:30

How regularly do we feel a fear of missing out (FOMO)?  Of not being included?  Of seeing our life slip by, or grind to a halt?  As a response to these feelings, how can we decide to be happy with our portion?
How can we locate a joy within ourselves as we encounter our troubled world?  How often do we measure our success by comparing ourselves with other people?  Do we get jealous when we hear of someone else’s good news?  How selectively do we represent ourselves on social media as we choose to share?  Do we look up long lost friends online, imagining that we can rekindle out-of-date friendships at the expense of our current ones?  How much do we take solace in our postings, thereby choosing to disregarding the more mundane aspects of our lives?
It’s the last day of 5777.  We have put the shofar away until tomorrow.  Be the shofar today.  Help someone in need.  Show up in the most helpful way, for someone.  Offer your love to someone, unconditionally.  Besides what you really need for the next three days (Rosh haShanah and Shabbat), try not to buy anything today.  Really decide to be happy and grateful today — and distance yourself from people and experiences that can cloud this attitude.  Decide not to answer your phone so you can concentrate more on what you are currently doing.  Count how many times you say please and thank you.  Sing your favorite song with someone.  Read an uplifting short story.  Unencumbered, go outside and marvel at what you see and what you feel as you come to a brief resting awareness.  Prepare to celebrate the New Year, coming to the synagogue in these days, preparing to trust in God with all of your heart.