Elul Day 21

It''s almost the first day of fall. Why do some people call it fall instead of autumn? What will we be falling into when September 22nd arrives?


I have always loved autumn: the rich colors of fall foliage, warm days and cool nights, and the excitement of new beginnings, not only because of Rosh Hashanah, but also because the beginning of the school year was a time of delight for me as a young child. 

Fall, falling down, falling short, falling in love, falling off the wagon, falling prey, falling asleep, falling to my knees, falling from the sky, falling from grace, falling out, falling on my face, falling on hard times, falling into her arms, falling back on, falling rain, falling stars. 

Some of these phrases evoke the beauty of surrender, of resting in the comfort of sleep or the sound of rain.  Others embody a sense of collapsing or crashing. Even the poet RIlke danced with the word fall in his poem "Autumn:"


The leaves are falling, falling as if from
far up,

as if orchards were dying high in space.

each leaf falls as if it were motioning

And tonight the heavy earth is falling

away from all the stars in the loneliness.

We're all falling.  This hand here is falling.

And look at the other one….It's in them

And yet there is Someone, whose hands

infinitely calm, hold up all this falling. 

–Rainer Maria Rilke

What can you fall back on in your life right now? 

Who is holding you up with infinite calm?