Sometimes counting is straightforward.
- How many places do we need to set at the table?
- How much brisket should we cook?
- How many pounds of apples will we slice?
Sometimes counting defies simple arithmetical calculations.
- How many times have I missed the mark?
- How much more could I have done as a friend… a wife… a daughter… a sister… a Jew?
- How many times will I choose to open my heart rather than harden it?
Cheshbon hanefesh, an accounting of the soul, is not nearly as clear-cut as the problem sets I used to churn through in math or physics. I can’t write a few lines of code to speed up the tallying. It’s hard work, this inventory of deeds done and undone and not done quite as they ought have been, and a knack for numbers isn’t much help.
Does effort count? I certainly hope so.
#BlogElul, the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, invites participants to chronicle the month leading up to the Jewish High Holy Days through blog posts, photos, and other social media expressions.