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Friday, September 4, 2015

Elul 21 - by Liessa Alperin

"I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” Lewis Carrol

We can’t go back, nor should we.  Oh how sometimes I’ve thought about it though. I would like to think that I’m not the only one.  Not the only one who sometimes, in a moment, takes a quick glance back? 
During the month of Elul we are instructed to begin our asking for forgiveness.  For this, I look towards the past to search for those for whom I have hurt, whether intentionally or not, and ask for their forgiveness.

I ask for forgiveness from those who…
I have hurt.
I have broken trust.
I have not approached with an open heart.

I ask for forgiveness for…
the times I listened to little and talked to much.
when I saw what I wanted to see instead of really seeing what was going on.
when I chose to keep going when I should have paused for a moment to understand.
forgetting how truly important it is to be kind to others...and to myself.
seeing the forest, but forgetting to see the trees.
refusing to open my heart to the possibilities around me.
hurting others in ways that a band aid will never repair.
not understanding that all I needed to do was just be present.  That's all. Nothing else.
not being 100% honest with others, or myself.
when I said yes, when I really meant no.
when I said No, when I really meant yes.
not always being the best ME that I could be.

I can’t go back to yesterday. I was a different person then. Having asked for forgiveness, I hope to be a better person now as I begin this New Year filled with hope, trust, honesty, grace, love, and joy!
Liessa Alperin, Director of Religious School at Shaare Emeth

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