11 Sep High Holy Days Compel us to Ask Serious Questions
Have I Wasted Most of My life?
The answer to this question is ‘yes’ for every one of us. You may ask how anyone can make a statement like this in such a definitive manner. The fact is that everyone spends most of their time eating, drinking, sleeping, earning a living and performing menial daily tasks that simply sustain existence. Menial tasks are necessary to sustaining life. How we spend our time outside of the mundane is the defining factor of time well spent and a life well lived. The High Holidays are an opportunity for all of us to use that limited time wisely.
The difference between a human being and an animal is that humans find meaning beyond the bare requirements of existence. Repentance does not sustain life. Repentance does not fall into the category of an everyday physical need. Fasting and going to synagogue are physical representations or symbols of the deeper act of repentance. Jewish scholars agree that fasting is an activity that is secondary to repentance. In other words, actions speak louder than words.
Jewish sources consider charity to be an outward expression of the desire to repent. As we prepare for the future, both in the coming year and thereafter, we ask you to please not lose sight of the residents living at the Louis Brier.