6 Elul 5783/August 23, 2023
by Rabbi Ben Sharff
This has been a big year of change and transformation for me. I switched congregations and moved with my family halfway across the country. One of the most important conversations about this big change in our lives was what we were going to take with us and what we were going to leave behind. There were many items of furniture that simply would not fit in our new house. And there were unopened boxes and unworn clothes that needed to be donated.
But there was also the psychological component as well. What past behaviors did we need to leave behind? How could we be more open to others? How could we be more considerate? How could we be more deliberate in creating genuine and honest relationships?
Moving is one of the most challenging experiences one can go through in a lifetime. Part of it is trusting others with your lives, if you are so blessed to be able to afford others to move you. Part of it is navigating a new town or city. But it is also about starting fresh. It is about metaphorically leaving some boxes behind, while being ready to be open to new possibilities.
Any change, any transformation can be a scary, overwhelming and stressful experience. Moving so much the more so. And yet, starting new. Starting fresh can also be one of the most invigorating times of a person’s life as it is not just about a new place, but a whole new world.