As the summer soon draws to a close, and a new school year and new Jewish year are soon to begin, here are six thoughts from different people on the nature of beginnings. Share the questions with your family or use them at your Shabbat or holiday table to inspire meaningful discussion about the nuances of the year past and year to come.
All beginnings are difficult. Mechilta de Rabbi Yishmael
Why is it that beginnings have to be so difficult?
It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy. Lucille Ball
How might you become able to recognize what makes you happy this year?
There will be a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. Louis L’Amour
Was there a time this past year when you believed everything was finished? How were you able to begin again?
A time comes when you need to stop waiting for the person you want to become and start being the person you want to be. Bruce Springsteen
Who is the person you want to be in the coming year?
What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. the end is where we start from. T.S. Eliot
Did this past year contain more beginnings or endings for you? How did that shape your experience of the year?
May this year’s troubles end, and a year of blessing begin. Abraham Hazzan Girondi
Which burdens will you lay down this year and which blessings will you raise up?