Leap of Faith: It’s time to give ourselves a break

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Leap of Faith: It’s time to give ourselves a break

Moses became a great leader when he realised that he could not do it all on his own

I love my kids – they are wonderful! But being a parent is hard work, especially in the summer holidays and even more so when your kids are small. As mine have not grown older, this was the first year that I felt bereft as school started again.

It has been wonderful this year spending time with them over the holidays as well watching them be old enough to make their own plans and entertain themselves. Then there were also the two weeks when all three of them were on LJY-Netzer’s summer camp, Kadimah.

Not only was that a chance to run to my own clock for two weeks, to work without guilt, to even go out and see friends, but they had the most amazing time and watching them come back more Jewishly articulate, more socially confident and just tired and happy is a gift I am so grateful for.

And now… they’re back at school and I am back at work – or rather back at balancing and juggling and the perpetual guilt cycle.

At this time of year, as we stand on the edge of a new year looking backwards and forwards at the same time, we s often feel guilty about what we got wrong and feel optimism for the chance we have to get it right this year.

Now I wouldn’t dare compare myself to Moses – who after all had hundreds of children and not just three (plus two cats and a dog) and his job was arguably even more full-on than mine. But… as Moses stood there on the edge of the Promised Land, looking backwards and forwards between yesterday and tomorrow, he took time to reflect, to really pause (a whole Torah book of a pause) and that’s the gift we too are given in this season.

So, like Moses, let’s take it – take a breath, breathe in the things that were good this year – breathe out the things you need to let go. Remember, all of us are balancing the guilt of being present for our kids and present for ourselves; Moses became a great leader when he realised that he could not do it all on his own and gave himself a break.

The summer is good/bad because it is not the whole year; because it puts contrasts with the rest of the year. Freedom is the sweeter because of slavery, life because of death, joy because of sadness – let’s embrace all the diversity of l’chaim as we enter this new year and ultimately commit to this being the year that we give ourselves a break.

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