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Time is a Mystery

by Rabbi David Zaslow
August, 2012

Time is a mystery. Time is precious. Time is a precious mystery.  The unusual word “anamnesis” describes memory as an actual recall of a past event. When I say “actual” I mean that the event in the past is experienced as if it were still occurring in the present. To our Christian friends this sense of anamnesis is experienced at every mass. In Islam it is experienced during the Hajj. In Judaism this sense of actualizing the past is experienced on Friday night when we recite the kiddush over wine, and at our Passover seders. 

With the month of Elul upon us this looking back and looking forward is a natural tendency in each of us. The Romans even thought of the sensation of looking at the past and the future as a god Janus was their god with two faces – one looking into at yesterday and one looking at tomorrow. From Janus we get the name “January,” the month that begins our civil calendar. At this time of year each of us is yearning, longing, and hoping. Yearning and longing for something in the past, and hoping for something wondrous in the future.

May the memory of all that is been miraculous and wondrous in your life be the Ruach spirit that guides us gently into the horizon of 100,000 tomorrows. May the teachings of all our rebbes be the guiding energy that links us in the deepest ways to our communities and to the Shekhinah. May God to bless each of with an incredible, miraculous, transformative, and healing Days of Awe. May the Holy One bless us to remember that memory is a living force; that memory does not die; they life is really light; that life is eternal; that light linked to life makes all our remembrances actual, really actual. May we remember that when we remember it is God’s guiding force moving through each and everyone of us, and that this force is especially discernible and available in the season we call the Fall, in the days we call the Awesome Days.