As I think about the last year, I recall feeling a mix of emotions ranging from love to loneliness, gratefulness to thanklessness, humility to arrogance. I suppose that I am no different from any of us. one particularly challenging time for me occurred just last month when I was hospitalized for pain management following surgery. In those solitary moments when I was left alone, wondering my fate, I asked if I could find purpose in the agony of recovery. Now, as I am in the final stages of physical healing from that ordeal, I reflect upon the meaning of my dark night of the soul. And I find that what carried me through were the moments in which I felt connected: to my wife, to my mom, to my clergy, to my therapist, to my patient advocate, and to my dog. I also noticed a profound shift from the moment that I asked to be put on the Mi Sheberach list.
Sometimes I get so caught up in my own stuff that I forget that I am part of a community. Better stated, I forget that I am at one with my community, and that as a congregational community, we are all one together. As we each feel the divine spark of holiness kindled within ourselves, aided by the import of these Holy days that we are entering, we feel our connection to G-d. And as we look around to our friends and fellow congregants, we can tune into the holy spark of each other, feeling how we all share the miracle of heartbeat. We can look into each other’s eyes and know that we are part of a community, part of a family together. We can know that we are all loved, and that the petty differences that we may harbor between each other become pointless when compared to the joy and comfort we may feel as part of a community. I encourage us all to invest in sharing love, sharing our divine spark, and letting the spark in others provide to each of us warmth and comfort in the coming year.