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  • Writer's pictureRandy Lubratich

13 Elul 5783/August 30, 2023

Changing Our Ways by Changing Our Direction

by Rabbi Glenn Ettman


I was walking in my neighborhood in Los Angeles when my attention was suddenly grabbed by pink chalk writing scrawled on the sidewalk street corner:

“When life doesn't go right, go left.”

Appropriate for this statement to be on a literal street corner, but a more profound message for us during the days before Rosh Hashanah, when we set our intentions to make changes.

When life doesn't go right, going left reminds us that we have a choice, can alter our path by altering our direction, and can change. We must determine our focus and know that we can change our direction and perspective. It may not be easy, but it is possible.

I am sure everyone of us has had a moment this year where life did not go right. For some of us, that reality can be paralyzing and stop us in our tracks. These days before the High Holy Day season begins is our time to set our course and change our direction.

The Talmud reminds (Rosh Hashanah 16b) that if we change our place, we can change our luck or destiny. My prayer for each of us is that we have the courage to make the changes we want to make and always remember, as hard it may be, that when life does not go right, changing our direction can alter so much more. And that can make all the difference.


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