Elul 12 5776
I hope you are feeling better today.
This time last year, I wrote to you with an apology for not visiting you often enough. It was a difficult year for your health and a super busy year for me with grief, work and school. And yet, you are a cherished mentor now struggling with age and illness and eager for more time with students and friends.
I made a promise that I’d do better and visit often.
Well, here we are again. I broke my promise.
Today is day 12 of Elul and I’m in the midst of writing letters of love and regret and commitment, listening to what is weighing on my heart and where repair is needed.
Please forgive me again for not being there with and for you as often as you’d like as often as I’d like to as well.
I think of the verse recited in our prayers “Do not cast me aside when I’m old, when our strength is depleted, do not forsake us.” I feel guilty and sad for not doing more to be there for you and others, family, elders, teachers and friends at times of need.
I know I am not the only one to come back year after year to the same broken promises and best intentions. What cycle can we break today? What promise or commitment can we take on today - and plan to stick to?
I will do my best this coming year to plan better, use time more wisely, be more sensitive to needs and be more present to you and to others struggling with age and illness. Because of basic obligation, one human to another, and because of the debt of gratitude to the priceless teachings you’ve given me, and because, each time I visit, I am reminded of how much you mean to me and how precious our friendship is.
Thank you for understanding. I hope you forgive me and I look forward to visiting with you this coming week, and often after.
May this year bring better health, less loneliness and more joy to you and to us all.
PREPENT: Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie’s annual journey to the new year, with 40 ways in 40 days to reflect, refocus, recharge and restart life. This year features daily love letters inspired by Lab/Shul’s theme for the High Holy Days, “וְאָהַבְתָּ re:love.”
This story "Prepent Day 12: Please Forgive Me, Again, for Not Visiting" was written by Amichai Lau-Lavie.