(Jewish News) It’s that time of year again. Backpacks and school binders tumble off the shelves at Target, crossing guards in bright orange vests patrol the road and parents are bemoaning the hectic schedule that “back to school” requires. But there’s positive energy in the air as kids, tanned and freckled from the summer, greet each other in the schoolyard as they begin a new school year.

The fall is a time for new beginnings and the Jewish calendar is right on track.

Rosh Hashanah kicks off the parade of holidays with a spirit of perennial optimism. When we wish one another “L’shanah tovah tikatevu v’taihatemu” (May you be inscribed and sealed for a good life), we are saying that we hope this year will be a good one all around; a year of good health and well-being in relationships, family, work and life.

But if that isn’t enough, we are given another ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (Yomim Noraim) to reflect on where we have been, where we are going and what we want to do differently in the coming year.

It’s a time of personal and spiritual introspection grounded in the idea that we have the continuing capacity, each and every year, to change the way we live. Judaism promotes and is based upon this powerful idea: that in each of us, at every age and stage of life, is the capacity to change. This power of personal transformation is not beyond us but within us and Judaism gives us guidance by which to make it real.

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Amy Hirshberg Lederman is an award-winning author, nationally-syndicated columnist, Jewish educator, international public speaker and attorney. She has written more than 400 columns and essays that have been published nationwide, amyhirshberglederman.com.

Amy Hirshberg Lederman will be the featured speaker at The Center for Jewish Philanthropy of Greater Phoenix’s Women in Philanthropy Event, ‘The Power of the Purse,’ on Wednesday, October 26, 2022.

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