Tuesday, 28 September 2010
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֶלוֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הַעוֹלָם שֵהֵחְיָנוּ וְקִיְמָנוּ וְהִגִיעָנוּ לַזְמַן הַזֶה
Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha'olam shehehiyanu v'kiyemanu v'higiyanu lazman hazeh.
"Blessed art thou, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (also translated as 'moment' or 'occasion')."
This gorgeous prayer is known as the Shehechiyanu, a prayer said in moments of great joy or upon experiencing something good for the first time. So it is said at the beginning of a holiday, the first time a ritual is performed in a year or a lifetime, the first time food is eaten in a season.
But most Jews I know use it at so many other times - when a child is born, when a difficult time is over, at any moment where they feel moved to thank G-d.
It is one of the prayers said over the lulav and the etrog at Sukkot - it was as I was looking these up last week, as Sukkot began, that I really started thinking.
What if, even in the most difficult moments, when it seemed darkest, I recited the Shehechiyanu - as a reminder that whatever G-d has brought me to, I am grateful that He has brought me to this moment, that I am not alone - no matter how painful, no matter how hard the moment may be?
What if I said it EVERY DAY - no matter how ordinary the day, no matter how frustrating, no matter how simple the pleasures? No matter that I wish for much that I do not (yet?) have?
Would life look different? What would shift, change? How would I live? Who would I become?
I've decided to give it a try. I may not have everything I want, but I have so, so much. It's time I said, "Thank you": because to everything, there is a season - and I have, through countless others, been brought to this one - whatever it may hold.
Baruch atah Adonai eloheinu...