The New Year creeps ever closer. On this last Shabbat of 5778 I feel fragile and frightened.
Since our return from Germany in June, my summer has been dedicated to deciding to have shoulder surgery, anticipating surgery, having the surgery and recovering from it.
Six weeks post op, I still deal with pain and the inability to use my right arm at all.
The good news — and it is VERY good news — is both my surgeon and my physical therapist say this is normal. The operation was “massive” but successful. With time, patience and lots of physical therapy I can look forward to a full recovery.
I am working hard on that in therapy and at the gym.
But in the meantime …
- Tonight I shall conduct Shabbat services for the first time since my surgery.
- I feel fragile and frightened.
- My strength and energy are not nearly 100%.
- I cannot even think about holding or carrying the Torah, let alone lifting it high above my head after the reading as I so love to do.
The congregation will surely understand my limitations. But will I?
At my very best, the Days of Awe require an enormous outpouring of emotional, spiritual and physical strength.
And so I turn to you O God!
Be gracious to me, for I need Your help.
Although months from now, I can hope for a complete physical recovery, I must stand and deliver meaningful spiritual guidance TONIGHT and during the holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur just ahead.
Although I feel fragile and frightened, let me act as if I am not.
Help me, Eternal One, to serve You and the people who are counting on me in ways that will find favor in Your sight.