In the Hasidic world of Eastern Europe in the late eighteenth century, there lived a sage by the name of Rabbi Zusya of Anipol, who was loved by all who knew him for his piety and his humility. As he grew old and feeble and realized that death was near, he became agitated. His disciples said to him, “Master, you have lived such an exemplary life. Surely God will reward you for it. Why then do you tremble at the prospect of dying?” He answered them: “When I stand before God, should God say to me, Zusya, why weren’t you another Moses? I will have an answer for Him. I will say to Him, Master of the Universe, you did not grant me the greatness of soul that you granted Moses. Should He ask me, Zusya, why were you not another King Solomon? I will say to Him, Because You did not bless me with the wisdom to be another King Solomon. But alas, what will I say to Him if He asks me, Zusya, why were you not Zusya? Why were you not the person I gave you the ability to be?”
That is the meaning and the challenge of the High Holy Days for all of us. To draw upon the power and the wisdom that God has implanted within us, and to resolve yet again to become that something more of which we know ourselves capable. For sure, it means something different for each of us, but mean something it does.
Come this Sunday evening, we will welcome the year 5780. I hope that it will be a good and gentle year for all of us. A year of good health, much loving, and great fulfillment.