Anat Gopstein’s latest column in the online Shabbat leaflet, Gilui Da’at:
A New Beginning
“Are you sorry for the change you made?” I asked someone who went through a process with me. “No, I’m not sorry, but you must understand that it’s hard to make a change”.
“Today, looking back, would you have taken this step?” I asked. “Yes, with a full heart”, she said. It’s not easy to make a change, a new beginning arouses fears, concerns and fantasies. Most people are looking for stability, and they fear making a change in their lives.
A person looks for a change when he believes that he can get to a better place in life. He needs strong motivation and the ability to adjust to another situation. To leave his comfort zone and lead the way to a new reality.
This year we all experienced a challenging year, a year when we were forced to make big changes in our lifestyles. Time seems to have stopped, the pandemic has stopped all of us. Everything instantly closed down, no classes, no work, no daily routine, one day just blends into another, and it doesn’t seem to end, as if there is no “tomorrow”.
We believe that everything Hashem does is for the good, and that for each bad thing, there’s also a good thing. There is a Divine process here, there is Someone Who manages the world, and we should stop sometimes and think and see life from another direction, to develop flexibility and to fit ourselves into the new situation.
This year we learned that it’s possible and important to be alone, too. In order to link up with another, it’s important that we be connected to ourselves. To feelings, to emotions and our desires. And to connect, and most importantly, to be happy. Feeling happy inside.
And through feeling like this, that we can be happy and dance and feel joy, we don’t need the crowd! We can sing, be happy and dance with YouTube and Zoom.
We learned that we can keep the Torah anywhere and in any situation. We can go it alone, we also have prayer and there is a future and there is hope. And there is a dream.
And there is no despair in the world at all.
Shabbat Bereisheet comes to teach us about the power of renewing ourselves, to start each time all over again. Creation renews itself, and every day is a new opportunity. We get up in the morning brand-new, even if we have failed. We have the possibility of fixing things, and that’s so that each one can renew himself at the beginning of the year, because at that very moment we received a new head, new strengths, new hopes! With faith and trust to renew ourselves and to move towards refreshing changes in our lives.
An ending is always the beginning of something else.
We can look at the year just passed as a type of journey, an internal process of looking for meaning in our lives. What insights we’ve gained. What we felt, and where we stand in our life’s journey. And to march with renewed strengths to a good, beneficial year. And to believe that just over the horizon, too, there is opportunity for a new beginning.