Cheshbon Nefesh – Accounting of the Soul

I was standing in front of my closet for the ever challenging task of picking out the best outfit for the day.  As I stood there, I realized that there were garments, which in spite of the move have not seen day light since I was married.  This made me start to think about all the items in my life that I have not thought about for an equally long period of time.

I contemplated all the changes of circumstances in my life – from being a student, an intern and newly married to being a rabbi. I contemplated how my relationships with my friends and family have evolved along with my change in circumstances.  Lastly I started to contemplate how I have evolved and in that process and I began to wonder.  I wondered if I have done or said anything to anyone from my closest friends and family to those I have not spoke to in the past several months which I could have done better. Was I carrying extra clothes on my back because I did not bring to light inside of myself how I behaved toward them?  Did I need to pick up the phone, send an email or text and bring them forward from the closet in my life?  It is that time of year when the answer is yes.  I need to spend sometime contemplating the last conversation I had with them, request forgiveness if I did anything in the past year that offended them and forgive myself.  As we read in Perkei Avoth, “The day is short, the work is great, the workers are lazy, the payment is much, and the Boss is pressing.” It is a daunting task, to check in with everyone, apologize and work on cleaning out the closet that is our life.  But perhaps we can walk lighter, carry less weight on our backs as we head into the New Year with a fresh start and an uplifting outlook.

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