I have driven through these suburbs of Copenhagen and I had no idea that there was such a pattern to the streets and homes. I didn’t have the perspective of this aerial photograph, and couldn’t see the broader picture.
It’s not much different from the way we perceive most of the situations in our lives. We see things from our perspective, often forgetting that there are numerous views of the same situation.
The Netziv (Ha’amak Davar, Genesis 45:5) points out that even after the brothers saw Joseph as the viceroy of Egypt, able to save his entire family, they refused to accept that they had been wrong to sell him! They believed that they were right all along, even in choosing to sell him as they did, because their actions led to his rise to greatness. Even when they had “perspective,” they could not see themselves clearly. They needed to fly up in a helicopter and photograph a bird’s eye view of history to gain true perspective.
I often see how all of us become so caught up in a situation, that we lose perspective. We remain stuck in the way we perceive a conversation or event, and have difficulty repairing relationships with someone who has a different perspective. It’s even more frightening to me when I, or someone else, is willing to be open to a different perspective, but lack the bird’s eye view of the story.
Rosh Hashanah is a perfect opportunity to gain real perspective: When we examine the past year through God’s perspective, we will be able to see the patterns in our behaviors. We will see both the beautiful and the ugly perspectives that we so often miss.
Zichronot connects us to our entire history, stretching back to the first moments of Creation. It offers us the opportunity to fly up in the air and see the much broader picture, often one of great beauty and surprise.
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