on Wednesday, 02 September 2015.
“Transition” is a word that has gained new meaning in society as of late. A number of highprofile transgender people have shared their journeys, giving hope and encouragement to a population that has historically experienced terrible discrimination and misunderstanding, often to the point of hatred directed at them. We can be grateful for ways in which this understanding can decrease the potential for suffering, violence or despair.
In Judaism, “transition” is well represented by the cycle of Jewish time. As individuals, we move from birth to death - growing and renewing ourselves through times of happiness as well as times of loss. From year to year we celebrate the holidays and holy days that take us from one season to the next. The promise of the new year metamorphoses into the thanksgiving of Sukkot. Chanukah brings us the inspiration of religious rededication, and in the spring we celebrate our freedom as an indispensable Passover ritual. As we move between seasons, the seasons’ essence moves through us. Each transition brings transformation. Whether for better or for worse, we are changed. But without a doubt, the potential always exists to become our better, truest selves.
At junctures in Jewish life, both holiday and life cycle, we say the words of the shehecheyanu to bring holiness to these moments of transition. We praise the Eternal for giving us life, sustaining us, and bringing us to this season. May this New Year bring each of you not only sweetness, but also the blessings of renewed life and strength.
From my family to yours, a warm Shanah Tovah.
Rabbi Debra Dressler