Welcome to July and the start of summer season in Winnipeg, and here at Temple Shalom. For many of us, this is a chance to slow down a bit, actually see our neighbours or those tiny kids with huge smiles as they ride by on their tiny bikes; or visit with family and friends (at a distance) or experience moments in nature — the great gifts of Manitoba summers. We have time and space in our lives, and the question arises: What are we going to do with it?
I have a secret to share with you. Cantor Len and I are actually quite far along in planning for the High Holidays as June comes to an end, and we look forward to sharing our vision with the Temple leadership and eventually with you. Why so soon? It turns out that the month of Elul (the run-up to the High Holidays) is only a month-and-a-half away, starting in mid-August!
By tradition, Elul is when we start to contemplate where we have been, ethically and spiritually, and where we would like to go as human beings. Here’s another secret: these summer months give us every opportunity to connect in meaningful ways with the people in our world, and to be the best of who we can be – well before Elul hits. We do this in small ways and small acts, done one day at a time. When we do so, we feel better about ourselves and it makes Elul and the High Holidays a whole lot easier, and the “list” a whole lot shorter. The real bonus is that truly, having these good days makes our lives and the lives of those around us so much richer.
So: Play well, be safe, love lots!