Summer is over, September is here, and Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur lie just around the bend.
During this time of preparation for those Days of Awe, our tradition enjoins us to take a kind of spiritual accounting of ourselves, known as cheshbon nefesh. We look back upon the year gone by, consider our failings, and focus our energy on how we can do better in the coming year.
One of my goals as I enter this sacred season is to learn to get better at asking for help. I recently finished reading M. Nora Klaver’s excellent book, “Mayday—Asking for Help in Times of Need” and have since been reflecting on why most of us find it so difficult to request assistance. I’ll be speaking on this topic on Yom Kippur morning and it will also be the subject of our Yom Kippur study session to follow.
Ms. Klaver describes numerous attitudes and fears that deter us from turning to others in difficult times. I’ll share many of these in my sermon. But I’d also like to include some of your own thoughts on the topic. So, please, take a moment and send me a short email, email@example.com, in which you share your musings on the challenge of asking for help. Let me know what makes it challenging for you—and how you have managed to overcome the challenges and request assistance, despite your fears. And if you have stories of how asking for—and receiving—help made a positive change in your life, I am very eager to hear them! I’ll try to weave some of your collective words of wisdom into my Yom Kippur morning sermon, anonymously, of course.
Meanwhile, may this ongoing month of Elul be a time of reflection and growth for us all.