Holidays & Time Zones

Choosing Life

We have arrived at the week prior to Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the new year. Rosh Hashanah, or Head of Year, is the birthday of Adam, and therefore it is the birthday of all humanity. As during our own individual birthdays, we take the time to reflect on the state of our lives. Where have we been and where are we going? What are our dreams for the coming year? Life can just pass us by if we let it and we can find ourselves in a place of default. Like a leaf just blowing in the wind, we may realize that we never took an active role in choosing the course of our life. Perhaps our family decided our careers, or a parent told us who to love. Maybe we let society tell us what to do with our lives. It is important to connect to our inner voice now, to discover the truth of what we authentically want. What is our heart’s desire? This week, the week prior to the birthday of humanity, we stand before the coming year and see the multiple paths that lie ahead. The Universe is asking that we choose our direction and spiritual path. It asks that we take an active role in deciding our destinies for ourselves. While it is true that we are always given the free will to follow any path we wish, this week the Creator is whispering in our ears and our hearts. He is encouraging us that this be the year we choose to commit to the path of love. For when we do so, we are choosing life itself.

Our guide to the cosmos this week is the portion of the Bible called Nitzavim. Nitzavim means “you are standing before.” Moses continues to address the Israelites, but this time with more conviction than ever. Moses, lecturing from the heart, reminds them that they are standing before the Creator, as well as their relationship with Him. He asks them to fully understand the gravity of their connection with the Creator and to continue to choose Him. He reminds them, yet again, that they have a bond with the Creator that was established with their forefathers. He encourages them to cherish it and remember it. In doing so, they are assured continued success and blessings for all the years of their lives. The Israelites are warned of the negativity that they can potentially create if they veer off course of the Creator’s path. Behaving in ways of intolerance or lack of human dignity will only generate negativity for themselves. Moses, with earnestness, expresses the dire need for the Israelites to choose love in their hearts for each other, themselves, and the Creator. He promises that the Creator will help in this process, by softening their hearts, allowing them to be open to love. Moses assures them that their Promised Land is waiting if only they commit to the path of the Creator. In what seems to be his greatest and final plea, Moses says, “I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore choose life, that you may live.” It is a powerful moment in the Bible, one that is almost like being shaken from a deep sleep.  A sleep that may have been preventing us from acting in a way that serves our own best interest. We all desire blessings in the coming year. Now is the time to meditate and ask for exactly our heart’s desire.

Sometimes, however, our desires are not in alignment with our own best interests. Sometimes a lack of desire is our greatest obstacle, causing us to settle for so little. It reminds me of the fable in which a wife was decreed to die in childbirth. When the time came for the wife to give birth, both she and her husband begged the Creator to overturn their karma and reverse the decree. At that moment, their tears caused the gates of Heaven to open, but they unfortunately made the mistake of asking the Creator for just one year in which they could all continue to be together. Their prayers were indeed answered and they lived happily together for one year, and then the wife passed. Yet, with the gates of Heaven open, they could have asked for an eternity together, and they would have received it. 

A strong desire is our greatest asset in this journey of life. The Creator wants for us all the blessings that life can offer, but do we share the same desire? Do we settle for too little? This week, the Creator is helping us to choose life, knowing what truly resides in our heart of hearts. To assist us, in this portion of Nitzavim, we are given the invaluable gift of the energy of Yom Kippur, the day when the greatest cleansing of the year occurs. On Yom Kippur, our selfishness is removed, and our hearts are opened to the Creator and to love. In Nitzavim, we have the 10th incident where "dots" appear over words. This 10th incident of dots provides us with the energy of the 10th day of Libra which is Yom Kippur. Remarkably, this week, we are cleansed of the blockages that may keep us from desiring simple love. We are able to see the truth that love is the answer to our problems. Love has a way of drawing the happiness and fulfillment we seek. We are given this gift designed to support us in planting positive seeds for the coming year. The Creator knows that when we finally open our hearts and desire simple love, this love will permeate and influence our entire world. For when we choose love, we are indeed choosing life.

In your meditations this week, see that we stand with the Creator, like a father and son, like a mother and daughter, and like two soulmates. We stand with the Creator at the mountain side, holding His hand, as we face the bright sun of the coming year. We peer into the future and see all the good that will come our way. We see the blessings, the good fortune, the prosperity, the joy, and, most importantly, the love. We feel love blooming in our hearts. We choose to walk with the Creator, hand in hand, on the path of human dignity and awesome love. We can now finally understand and see that when we are beings of love, the Light of Life is always with us, and this is the life we choose.

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