Throughout these years, we have hosted hundreds of adults and children alike. We have eaten many, many meals, cooked a lot, played, learned, celebrated, and simply created community. We have nurtured friendships, both for David and I and for our children. We have hosted and entertained, truly embracing the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim, of welcoming guests.
But there was one aspect of our house that made me crazy, and anyone who has been in our home knows exactly what I will say - our home is covered with mirrors - floor to ceiling, wall to wall mirrors. At first, I found the mirrors distracting on a daily basis. And then, I actually learned how to ignore looking at myself in the mirror, knowing exactly where to sit at the dining room table so I would not need to stare at my own reflection. I learned how to enter the front door without looking at myself in the front hallway mirror. I became a pro when it came to avoiding the mirrors on one entire wall in our bedroom every time I woke up. I got so good at avoiding my reflection that I didn't even see myself in my bathroom mirror, a more "typical" place one finds a mirror.
Once I had lived in our home for two years, I realized one day that I had been avoiding the mirrors completely. I didn't want to look at my reflection on a regular basis, and that led to never admiring my reflection. This caused me to think about how often we avoid the reflection in the mirror. If not literally, then at least figuratively. But sometimes, we need to take a good hard look in the mirror. We need to examine who we are, what causes us to do, to act, to speak, to feel. What pushes our buttons and lights the fire deep inside each one of us.
During this month of Elul, may we look deeply into a mirror and see our reflection, may we understand what we see, what is behind the physical that lies deeply within each one of us. May our reflection on the outside allow us to reflect on life, family, community and justice. And may we see the beauty within each and every one of us.
Now let the sound of the shofar be heard;
And let our souls be awakened!
Rabbi Debbie Bravo
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