I’m going to try not to write so much detail about my daily activities, to be less focused on what I’m doing and try to be less fixated on Doing Things. I will say that I did some work on my novel today, still at the planning stage. I’m wondering if it’s realistic to finish researching and planning my novel by Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) in about eight months time. I’m not sure.

One thing I have been thinking about today is the concept of teshuvah in Judaism. This is usually translated as ‘repentance’, but in fact means ‘return’, meaning returning to God or returning to one’s true self. However, it occurred to me some time ago that it has an additional meaning of ‘answer’, meaning the answer we give to God.

Teshuvah is important to me. It used to be that Jews would do all mitzvot (commandments) on a basic level, and focus on one that spoke to them on a deep personal level that they would ‘beautify’ and that would be a key part of the their relationship with God. This idea has fallen out of favour and been replaced with trying to super-focus on everything. Be that as it may, I suspect that teshuvah in the sense of return or growth is ‘my’ mitzvah.

Maybe I’ve been too focused in the past on the idea of teshuvah as return to some kind of impossible level of perfection of the soul or a perfect relationship with God. Maybe I should focus on finding my ‘answer’ to God’s question about who I am, which at the moment would involve writing (fiction and divrei Torah (Torah thoughts)) and building a life with E; less so pressuring myself to work more, go to shul (synagogue) and so on. It’s something to think about anyway (and, yes, I know it’s completely the wrong time of year for thinking about teshuvah).

4 thoughts on “The Answer

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