These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

[Alumni Guest Post] Sara Brandes: Newness

Posted on January 1, 2013 by The Director of Digital Media

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Sara Brandes (Year '01, Fellows '02, Elul '05) wrote this blog 
post for New Years 2013... Enjoy!

It takes the body seven to ten years to regenerate. Skin cells, heart cells, brain cells – almost all are are replaced over the course of a ten year period – which means, there literally is no part of you that is the same as the you who existed ten years ago.

Our own impressions of ourselves are, of course, quite different from this. So often, we perceive our lives, our roles, masks and fate, as unchanging. We are who we are, whether we like it or not. In this case, however, both faith and science are in agreement – our perceptions are wrong. We are, in truth, recreated everyday, in every minute.
Mini deaths. Mini rebirths.

Blessed is the One who makes creation new, in goodness, every day, always.
(Yotzer prayer, Jewish Morning Service)

Every morning, the siddur, the Jewish prayer book, directs the practitioner to the daily, ever present, miracle of creation. Creation is not an event of the past, declares the siddur; Creation happens in every present moment.

God, in God’s abundant generosity creates and recreates the world everyday, in every moment. Every moment is pregnant with newness, and with the fingerprints of the Divine Creator.

May the reality of this truth be alive for us on this, the dawning of a new secular year. May we know that we, our bodies, our souls, our selves, are ever changing. May we believe this to be true, and in so doing, may we know that every new day, and new year is pregnant with infinite potential. The body is created anew every seven years. The world is created anew each day. May we too, create ourselves anew, in this new year.