Autumn is the season for repentance in the ancient Jewish calendar. Celebration of the New Year on Thursday and Friday of this week brings the chance to review the twelve months just passed, considering where we fell short and how to do better in the year ahead.
Prominent politicians need the lessons of the season: Hillary Clinton, for instance, in her current best-seller WHAT HAPPENED?, explains her defeat by blaming others more than focusing on her own mistakes. Meanwhile, President Trump famously declared that he’s never asked God for forgiveness.
The idea of repentance suggests you can’t succeed in the future until you’ve acknowledged why you failed in the past. The Hebrew word for repentance—t’shuvah—really means return: getting back to who you should be, and drawing closer to the source of all goodness.
For individuals and societies, identifying our own most obvious errors is the first step in reform, self-improvement and Making America Great Again.