My computer crashed a week and a half ago.I had to take it into the shop and have it checked out. There was nothing wrong with the hard drive. The technician said it passed the diagnostics test. The actual computer worked fine. It had a software problem.
To solve the software problem the technician had to “wipe my computer clean.” In other words, he had to erase all the data.
Of course, I panicked. My whole business and all my writing projects exist on that laptop, not to mention years of accumulated files and data. Then I realized everything was backed up through an on-line program. I could download it all back onto my laptop…a slow process, but I could obtain all the data once again.
However, that left the other issue: software. The software had failed me. Somehow one piece or more of it had become corrupted and mucked up the whole workings. And now I would have to reinstall all of it piece by piece. While the hard drive – the internal workings of the computer – its body and soul – was working fine, the part of the programs, computer that tells it what to do – the mind and emotions – had failed. Now I had a chance to add brand new programs.
Each fall we have a chance to wipe clean the computers of our personal lives – maybe not of all the data but at least of the programs that aren’t working. When the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur roll around, we are asked to look at which “programs” – which ways of thinking, acting, and feeling – have failed us in the past year. And we are asked to commit to changing out those programs for new or changed ones. We acknowledge that there is nothing wrong with the basic workings of our computer. Indeed, our souls are pure. Elohai neshama shenatata bi t’hora hi. “Oh God, the soul you have given me, she is pure,” we pray each morning when we wake up. It’s the programs – the programming – we give that computer that mucks up the workings.
The programs we take off a computer and then reinstall are much like the repentence process we go through during the High Holy Days. Prior to Rosh Hashanah and during the ten days between this holiday and Yom Kippur, we consider all the things we have done wrong that have mucked up our life and our relatioships. We then repent, ask for forgiveness and try to remove these actions, thoughts, behaviors, habits, etc., from our lives. We try to replace them with better, newer, updated “programs.” We can wipe clean our“computers” and do a “restore” or the data we lost and then replace the faulty programs with working ones for the New Year. We can commit to thinking more positively, feeling more loving, peaceful, joyous, moving towards the targets we set more diligently every day.
What programs (and data) will you take off your computer this year and what will you restore or install? Will you actually run those new programs and use them?
Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset tomorrow, Wednesday, 9/27/11. You then have 10 days to wipe your computer clean and install the new programs you want to use in the New Year. Good luck with your restore process.
(Check out my book for help using the 10 day period to return to your best self.)