As many of you know, I am an avid cyclist. Most of my rides are done solo so when I come to a crossroads, “an intersection of two or more roads”, I need to make a decision. On most rides, the decision I make has little or no consequences. However, when I am on a group ride, get separated from the group and find myself lost, which has happened, the decision I make at a crossroads can either mean I do get back on the route and ride the 100 miles or end up adding 10 or more miles to an already long ride.
As with cycling or any other similar types of activity, there will be crossroads and the need to decide which way to go, the same holds true for the crossroads we confront in our lives calling upon us to make decisions, sometimes decisions that will affect the rest of our lives. In addition to the definition above, crossroads can also be defined as, “a point at which a crucial decision must be made that will have far-reaching consequences”. Such crossroads are met when decisions must be made regarding health issues (having surgery, going for chemo or radiation treatments), relationship issues, engagement, marriage, having a baby, taking a job, moving, etc., etc., etc.
Actually, we are facing crossroads all the time, but they are brought into the limelight and call for our most undivided attention during these High Holy Days that are now upon us. We are facing the crossroads of a New Year 5783. We are faced with the decision as to what kind of a person we want to be. We are faced with the decision as to what kind of a person we want others to see us as. There are personal decisions with which we are being confronted and have to make the decision as to how we will handle them.
This idea that we are facing the crossroads of a New Year and the decisions we will need to make will have far reaching consequences is pretty scary. As with all challenges, however, we need to dig deep down inside ourselves, take a deep breath, ask God for help and support, and just dive in. If the decisions we make are the wrong ones, well we will just need to deal with this. If, however, they are the right ones, then we can pat ourselves on the back in addition to saying “Thank you God”.
I pray for a good, sweet, safe, and healthy 5783 for all. I pray for less divisiveness, hatred, and distrust in our country. I pray for peace in Israel, the Ukraine, and the world. May God bless us all as we face the crossroads of this New Year and those that come up along our roads of life. Amen.
Rabbi Dr. Steven A Moss is Rabbi Emeritus of B’nai Israel Reform Temple in Oakdale, NY, a synagogue he has served since 1972. He recently retired to Boynton Beach, FL, and is serving as rabbi of Temple Sinai of Palm Beach County. He has also authored, God Is With Me; I Have No Fear, and A Poetical Journey Through Sefirat HaOmer.