Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Turn, Return, Overturn

Everything is turning: the leaves are turning; the hands of the clock are turning; the wheels are turning; my mind is turning; the pages of the book are turning; the world is turning.

The present turns into the past. Tomorrow turns into today. Today turns into yesterday. Yesterday turns into history. Everything gets its turn to turn. Motion never ceases; energy never relaxes; movement never lies still.

Now, you can hear the voices of the past echoing in the valley of history, but you can never silence them. Now, you can build on the things once done, but you can never undo them.

What of things regrettable, I ask, can they never be undone? Naturally not: once you turn, there is no turning back.

Enter Yom Kippur, a time on whose watch one can never be “at the point of no return”. Yom Kippur says, true everything in this universe turns, but we have something inside of us that can also return: we can ascend to a place above sharp turns, above blunt limits, above time.

On Yom Kippur, a “Time of Return” (RaMBaM, Laws of Return, I, VI), we have the ability to take the regrettable turns in our lives, and (through returning) overturn them: when one ascends to a place above time, where past, present and future are not in the vocabulary, then one transcends time, making it timeless and, for that matter, timely.

This is why the RaMBaM calls Yom Kippur a “Time of Return”, seemingly an oxymoronic phrase (either it is a “time” – a thing limited – or it is “return” – a thing unlimited –): you see, when one transcends time, time itself, the turn of creation, becomes transcendental – it becomes not an end in itself but rather a means to return back to perfection.

On this day of chances, Yom Kippur, we are reminded that no matter where the turns on the road have taken us, we can always overturn them – and no matter where we have been, we can always return home – that is, to our true selves.

In our quest for a perfect world, may everything take a turn for the better, may no stone be left unturned, and may we see not only an investment but also a return.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

very eloquently written........may we finally return to our Holy Land and may our Holy Temple be returned to us!

10/11/2005 8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are quite the fan of the pun...

10/14/2005 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you abandoned your "jakespeare" blog?

10/14/2005 5:24 PM  

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