Aisle Of Wit

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Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die?

Today is Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.  I will spend the majority of it at my newly chosen temple, praying for the opportunity to maximize what bodes to be the most challenging year of my life to date.

One of the most powerful prayers on today’s docket is the Unataneh Tokef, which asks the crucial question “who shall live and who shall die?”   That particular prayer has taken on a deeper meaning in recent years, particularly since December 2019, when I suffered a near-fatal sepsis attack that triggered a series of life-altering moves on my part on the heels of the onset of the pandemic.  I lost many dear relatives–some older, some before their time–and countless life-long friends–and some extremely special new ones–as the ramifications of my decisions played out.  2020 was, by every measure, an unprecedented personal journey that shut many doors forever but also opened up many new ones.

2021 has played out even more challengingly.  To date, it has provided even greater personal growth and distance, but also even greater heartbreak.  False starts, starting with the failed promise of the summer of rebirth that we were promised, with a fall and winter of re-isolation hanging over us like a sword of Damocles.  False promises of relationships that seemed possible but which fate has deemed not the time for.  And just this week I learned that I will have to undergo another surgery, a smaller one than the one the sepsis attack triggered, but one that will once again put me under anesthesia, which is, in my mind, a momentary death.   I will most likely wake up, of course.  But the mere fact that the past 20 months have placed any doubt in my mind of that once-certainty leaves me more vulnerable than ever to the reality that who shall live and who shall die is indeed a question and one that demands my fervent and undivided passion in the belief that it shall be answered favorably.

As 5782 begins in the Jewish calendar, and as 2022 looms, even greater challenges loom.  Significant financial obstacles await.  But so too does opportunity.  At least one significant business assignment will begin next week, and other opportunities continue to burdgeon.  New friendships are blossoming; newly discovered relatives filling the void of those who have chosen to have less of a presence in my life.   Some relationships die like some people do.  But as the Unataneh Tokef reminds, prayer will lessen the severity of the decree.  Life WILL go on.  I intend to be a significant part of it.  I intend to be even healthier, even more loving and even more a paragon of Leblanguage than ever.

I intend to make the next year the best one ever.  And I truly hope anyone that reads this will join me for the ride.

Until next time…