Saturday, September 5, 2015

#BlogElul 22: End

I wonder what constitutes an end.

Yes, people die at the end of their lives, but through our memories, remembrances, and actions, they live on in us and through us.

And, yes, each year on Simchat Torah, we read the end of our people's story from one scroll:
Never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses -- whom the Eternal singled out, face to face. for the various signs and portents that the Eternal sent him to display in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his courtiers and his whole country, and for all the great might and awesome power that Moses displayed before Israel.
But immediately, we begin again in a different scroll:
When God was about to create heaven and earth, the earth was a chaos, unformed, and on the chaotic waters' face there was darkness. Then God's spirit glided over the face of the waters, and God said, "Let there be light!" -- and there was light.
Likewise, we delight in the spin of the earth around the sun, year after year after year for all eternity, as captured in the lyrics to Turn It, a song by Ken Chasen and Josh Zweiback of Ma Tovu:
Every morning the sun comes up
And every evening the sun goes down
It's a beautiful thing the way it all works together

And the world goes round and round

The minutes and the hours and the days pass by

Months turn to years, but I don't know why

God makes it all happen right before our eyes

And the world goes round and round
Joni Mitchell, too, had the same idea:
And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game
As we spin through the universe, living our lives...
what, indeed, constitutes an end?

Inspired by Ima on (and off) the Bima,this #BlogElul post is one in a series marking the days of the Hebrew month of Elul, which precedes the Jewish High Holidays and traditionally serves as a time of reflection and spiritual preparation for the new year.