High Holy Days Journey with Amichai Lau-Lavie: 40 ways in 40 days to find your focus





My mother used to get my brothers and I new white shirts for Rosh Hashanah, and then we’d wear it for Friday nights through the winter, and get another new one for the Seder. The tradition of wearing some new clothing on the first day of the New Year is part luxury and part law. One of the blessings in the Rosh Hashanah liturgy is Sh’heceynau – the blessing of celebrating the present moment and good new things. Jewish law requires that the blessing be attached to a concrete moment – or object – of newness. A new shirt, or even a bite out of an exotic food you haven’t eaten ever or in a long time, is another possibility.


In recent years I sometimes went for a new pair of socks or a new suit or belt. This year I’m back to a new white shirt.

This is where the Yard Sale exercise from a few days ago comes in handy – once I’ve gone through the closet and got rid of some clothes whose time has come and gave those away – I have room for something new.

It is a long holiday weekend, and shopping, if intentional, can be a spiritual experience. Go for it.


On this last Sabbath of 5770 with summer fading away into fall, I wish us all the simple pleasures of enjoying what we already have, with people we love, unplugged, more present.


Shabbat shalom.


20 min. report: cardio

Day 24 9.2 SEND A WISH
Day 26 9.4 PAUSE