By Rabbi Ellen Greenspan

  • I am following in the footsteps of my colleagues and have chosen to write on the High Holy Day theme for today suggested by Rabbi Phyllis Sommer in her #BlogElul.

I am not a math person, yet when contemplating the word “counting” as part of my Elul reflection, I find myself a bit dismayed at all the things I count.

Do I have enough peaches from the farm stand to make this yummy sounding recipe for home made peach ice pops? (Lots of recipes on-line, but I tried one from a book I found in the library).

How many tomatoes are growing on my sorry looking tomato plants? (Not enough, but at least I have some)!

How many minutes did I run today in my effort to prepare for my first 5K in October? (A challenge from a friend to do a “Couch to 5K” program).

How many days until I send my daughter back to college in California (from our home in NJ)? She has not been home much this summer, and I am enjoying having her home for these last 2 weeks of the summer. But she is so eager to return to Pitzer College for her sophomore year that I can’t help but be excited for her.

How many shooting stars did I see when I was in the Finger Lakes of upstate New York with some college friends? Far from the city lights, we saw lots – and we didn’t even watch the sky for that long because it got chilly. It was the Perseid Meteor Shower, a reminder of G-d’s glory.

I could go on…. The things I count run the gamut from mundane to funny, from inspirational to depressing. “Counting” seems to be an unavoidable fact of life.

But, in this season of reflection and teshuvah, I am also counting my blessings. For my loving family, my amazing and supportive friends, good health and for life itself – all things that should not be taken for granted.