On Rosh Hashanah, we stop to count our blessings

Rosh Hashanah is a time when Jews look back at the year just passed as well as forward to the new. Even if we’re not religiously observant.

For help with this retrospective, I turn to my modern version of the gospels: Facebook. Some friends of mine check out others’ pix but don’t post themselves. I think FB voyeurs are missing a bet. In posting happy moments all year long, I have an instant Highlights of the Year in review.

A quick check of the last 12 months reminds me of so much I’m thankful for. Number one: l2 years cancer free. Without that, nothing else would follow. But thank God, and Burton (my medical advocate) and Karmanos Cancer Institute, I’m still here. And so is our whole healthy family. Thanks to ReadTheSpirit, I’m in touch with you weekly. I’ve met many inspiring people and shared their stories. This column also provides a chance to express my thoughts when a special friend, like art dealer Gertrude Kasle, has died. I’m grateful to Editor David Crumm for taking this technically challenged blogger under his capable wing.

Some highlights of the year, as brought back to me by Facebook: a trip to Miraval Spa in Tucson with my daughters-in-law (best relationship building place on the planet), bridge lessons with friend Barb Mehnert (who never gives up on me), captaining the winning team of the Ladies Draft golf tournament (a foursome with two cancer survivors), Farbman Group’s 40th anniversary celebration, discovering my grandmother Mollie Kahn’s memoir.

Other highlights: watching my son David pitch to his son Hunter at Little League baseball games. Working with my son Andy to renovate the On Shore (new family office in downtown Charlevoix). Arranging for my sister Anne’s kids and grandkids from California to get to know ours at a family reunion up north at the farm. Enjoying daughter-in-law Nadine’s 40th birthday celebration.

I’ve read many good books (favorite: Avner’s The Prime Ministers), seen a superb Broadway play (The Humans) and made my first Broadway “investment,” in Wiesenthal. I’ve visited Cuba with friends and New York with my sister. And so much more.

Every year I touch base with Judaism at Yom Kippur services. I take our prayer books to Temple Beth El and have them signed by whichever family members join us. I look forward to acquiring a few more signatures this year.

Yom Kippur is a time to reflect on how we may have wronged God or others. I don’t think I have much to atone for, but each of us can do better and be better. Each of us can pray for a more peaceful world. The prayer I most look forward to at this time of year seems especially meaningful in light of recent worldwide unrest:

“Grant us peace, oh thou eternal source of peace, and enable Israel to be its messenger to the peoples of the earth. Bless our country, that it may always be a stronghold of peace, and its advocate among nations. May contentment reign within its borders, health and happiness within its homes. Strengthen the bonds of friendship among the inhabitants of all lands, and may the love of your name hallow every home and every heart. Blessed is the Eternal God, the Source of peace.”

The 10 days between Rosh Hashanah (starting at sundown on Oct. 2) and Yom Kippur (Oct. 12) are referred to as the Days of Awe. Whether you’re Jewish or not, fall’s a fine time to reflect back on the past year. I hope your Days of Awe bring back days filled with awe.

Happy and Healthy New Year.

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8 thoughts on “On Rosh Hashanah, we stop to count our blessings

  1. Suzy Farbman Post author

    Thanks, Jill. Honored to have you as a reader. “Touching and inspirational?” High praise from someone I deeply respect and who’s helped me through tough times. Happy and HEALTHY wishes back at you and Danny.

  2. Suzy Farbman Post author

    as emailed from Dr. Jill Syme, PhD
    Wishing all the Farbmans a very happy and HEALTHY New Year. I loved your post, and though I don’t comment on all of them, they’re all touching and inspirational. Reading them prompts me to pause and ponder and also to recognize my blessings.

  3. Deenie

    Beautiful!!! I hear my Dad’s powerful voice reading that passage from the prayer book and miss him so much . We all have much to be thankful & greatful for and some atoning to do! I wish you many more happy years filled with wonderful memories!

    1. Suzy Farbman Post author

      Your Dad, Dr. Richard C. Hertz, married us. Still grateful for that as well. His is the voice I also hear reciting that prayer. Thanks for the lovely comment. Best wishes.

  4. Stan

    Jackie joins me in wishing U and your beautiful family, a Happy New Year, filled with Good Health, Happiness, and Peace.

    LOVE to All Jackie & Stan

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