Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana

In about eight hours, the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana (translated as “head of the year”) will be upon me and all Jews on PST. For those in other areas of the country or in other parts of the world, the sun may be setting or already may have set, the yom tov (holiday) candles may have been lit, and the new year observance may have begun. I’m still in preparation mode. Well, actually, I’m still in work mode.

And it is work — actually a year’s worth of work — that weighs on my mind as I approach the New Year. A book project of mine that took up all 12 months of 2005 ended up back in my lap almost two months ago, despite the fact that I was contracted to do the project by the publisher and the publisher was set to publish it. (It’s a long story not worth going into now…I dont’ want to dwell on the past or on anything negative as the energy of the next 10 days descends upon me.) I’ve sent it to two agents, and the second today– just now — rejected it. My liason with the first publisher, the man who actually got me the job, also put me in contact with this agent. Despite the fact that he thinks I have a great “opportunity” to sell this manuscript, which he says “will sell” and be successful, to a bigger publisher now, I am struggling with the rejection and wondering if I’ll ever see the fruits of my labor in the form of an actual book.

When he heard the original publisher was giving me the chance to cancel our contract and pursue a bigger publisher, my liason said, “What good news!” and assured me that this was “for the best.” At that time, I managed to get past my anger and frustration at having to try and get the manuscript sold and to grasp the fact that, indeed, maybe this was an opportunity for me to make the book more successful — and maybe to even make a little money on it while still contributing 10% to charity. Today, with the words of the agent still ringing in my ears, I am forced to grapple with this concept of “for the best” again. How can it be for the best if I am forced to take my energy off of the other work I’m doing — work that a different agent is actually interested in looking at soon — to find an agent who believes in this other book and is willing to find it a home at some publishing house?

In Judaism there is a saying, “Ein ode milvado,” “There is nothing but God.” This quote from the Torah, the Old Testament, serves as a reminder of God’s presence in every situation — good or bad. The Jewish mystics, or Kabbalists, taught that nothing in life is a coincidence. Whatever we experience provides us with the means to experience God’s goodness. While this goodness often is concealed from us, it the spiritual transformation that occurs as we deal with what life throws at us that brings us closer to a realization of our connection to God. Ultimately, what we experience is that everything is one, it is all part of God and filled with the light of the Divine. We are supposed to realize that despite our free will to respond to given situations in our lives, the “movie” of our lives is one run by the Divine Creator. In other words, no matter what we experience in life, even difficult or painful events, possess a Divine purpose or reason. What is that reason? To experience Go’d inifite goodness.

Today, as I contemplate this idea and say to myself over and over again, “Ein ode milvado. There is nothing but God,” I am trying to remember that things happen for a reason, that something good can come out of this situation. I do believe this at my very core. I do, but today it is hard to understand why this agent rejected my manuscript — and me — and why I am in this situation of having to sell a manuscript I was asked to produce at all. I have all sorts of questions….This was not a project I would have taken on unless asked. Why was I asked to take it on if it was going to end up a weight on my shoulders? Why would God want me to have wasted a year on a book that doesn’t look like it will get published? Why can’t finding a agent and a new publisher be easy? If this is for the good, shouldn’t finding an agent and a publisher be easy?

The only answer I get comes softly, quietly. It’s the Still Small Voice saying, “Trust. It will all work out for the best. You’ll see. Just be patient.”

And I think to myself, “If this agent didn’t take my book, she must not be the right agent. The right agent must still be out there.”

And then comes the other voice…Whose is it? Doubt? “Maybe the agents are right, and the book is not worth publishing.”

And then I have to forcefully tell myself, “Trust! Remember what you were told…’This book will sell. This is for the best.’ It will all work out.” I add, “Ein ode milvado. God’s hand is in this, too. There must be some reason why this is happening, and I just don’t see it yet. This, too, is of God.”

I realize today, as the time to light the yom tov candles draws nearer, as I must stop my work and move into the kitchen to begin cooking for our festive meal, that now, as the energy of Rosh Hashanah begins to seep into my experience, it becomes all the more important for me to focus on trust, on knowing that the movie is unfolding in this way because the Director has a plan for it’s conclusion, on believing that all is well in my world even when I only perceive what is wrong in my world.

The next 10 days are a time of great promise. While our common Jewish liturgy says that at this time of the year we are “written in the Book of Life” for another year — or not, the Kabbalists say that during this time, a person’s spiritual makeup is rewritten. In fact, it is rewritten according to our desires. We are supposed to visualize ourselves a year from now — What do we want to have accomplished? What do we want our lives, our relationships, our selves to look like? We must visualize our greatest dreams, our greatest selves, coming true, and in so doing, this lays a foundation for this to actually manifest these things in our lives over the next year.

I will stop writing now and spend some time visualizing…praying…combining the thoughts and feelings of having what I desire in the next year so that I experience it in this moment, in this Now, as if it already exists. I know that is the key…and the subject of another blog on another day. Maybe some of you will join me in this endeavor, for by all visualizing and praying in this manner to achieve our best selves in the coming year, we also raise the energy and consciousness of the planet as a whole. Not a bad thing either…. I’ll visualize and then feel that connection with God that comes with knowing that everything is God — the good and the bad — and the feeling of trust and anticipation of positive outcomes to the current events of my life. And I’ll end with a small plea of sorts, “Ken yehe ratzon. May it be God’s will,” and know that the Director of my life movie will hear it. And hopefully when I open my eyes I will have experienced the oneness of all things. And I’ll be ready for the next holiday, Yom Kippur, the Day of At-One-Ment.

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