Friday, March 30, 2007

Chag HaAviv: A Time of New Beginnings

Pesach is upon us once again, and this year, I’m feeling even more joyous than usual. Everywhere I go these days, I am reminded that it’s spring: the blue skies, sunny weather, and the feeling of freshness that pervades the air. It is a time of new beginnings, a time when what seemed dead in the winter suddenly sprouts new life.

Right now, I am home for the weekend, before my family jet-sets to sunny LA for Pesach on Monday. Though it is not overly warm here, the sun shines, and outside my window our cherry tree is covered with small pink blossoms. On a personal note, I lately completed a project that had been occupying the majority of my time for a while, and am embarking on another new beginning even more exciting than the last.

Pesach also signifies a new beginning for the Jewish People. It marks our emergence as a nation, our departure from slavery into freedom—an entirely new start filled with endless possibility.

A close friend of mine always uses Pesach as an opportunity for reflection. Before Pesach she creates her own mini-Yom Kippur, a midyear checkpoint, and examines her progress over the year, noting areas that could use improvement. I think this is a fantastic idea, as anytime is a good time for introspection. But to me, a Pesach checkup feels different than an Elul one. During Elul, resolutions (for me anyway) are mainly marked by regret and sense of inadequacy. However, now it is springtime. The season itself inspires hope, and my self-reflection is infused with a feeling of endless possibility and optimism. It is a time of new beginnings, and no task is too great to achieve.

So this Pesach, I wish you all a chag kasher v'sameach, a chag in which we all embrace the season, leap at a new start, and remember that we each have the potential to reach our highest goals. Have a spectabulous Pesach, everyone!