I've always harbored a certain envy for retrograde amnesiacs. Imagine not having a personal past to deal with yet having the balance of ones cognitive function intact. Unfettered from the past, the next move takes on a gravity and consequence that is only possible when the scales are at full equilibrium. When the canvas is blank any portrait is possible and, potentially, could be a masterpiece and a work of genius.
Alas... for those of us with our memories more or less intact, our canvases are graffitied with diverse Pictures of Dorian Gray. We are all products of our prior choices and, as such, prisoners of our pasts.
For some of us this means being dragged down by the ball and chain of sins of commission and omission, being slowed, cowed or immobilized by opportunities squandered and roads not taken. And while all financial investment ads end with the disclaimer that "Past performance is no guarantee of future results" that is the way to bet. And so we are assailed with the gnawing suspicion that if at first, second and third we did not succeed the fourth time, ad infinitum and ad nauseum, will NOT be the charm.
For others the confidence borne of past achievements and success has matured , nay metastasized, into hubris, smugness and self-righteousness. Based on our illustrious resumes and the social-spiritual capital that we've hoarded, we tend to coast through our ever diminishing "todays" and not put too much stock in, nor grow very anxious over, our next (1000) move(s) . We figure that we're so far ahead of the game that nothing short of a titanic iceberg could sink our ship now.
Only one human being experienced the vitality suffused, life-giving now. He had a perfectly undetermined future precisely because he lacked a past that would influence determining it. Only אדם הראשון began living with a Tabula rasa. Unlike any of his descendants he lived his first day without yesterdays. He was the freest of anyone who exercised free will as his nature was super and his nurture nonexistent.
Khaza"l teach us that the קדושת הזמן of ראש השנה inheres in it being the day of the creation of the first human beings. I've often thought that the scales being the Mazal of Tishrei is not merely symbolic of the scales of Divine justice but of the perfectly balanced scales of human free will as well. Scales empty of any content, or at least in perfect balance. Scales so sensitive that the next human thought , speech or deed is the fateful one that will tip them.
To all my friends, enemies and undecideds reading this I want to wish you a healthy, happy and wealthy New Year. May you and yours be inscribed in the Book of Life. But most of all to live sweet vibrant lives animated by storming blood yet suffused with viscous honey I want to wish you a Rosh Hashanah in which the light of קדושת בריאת האדם shines so strong that you are liberated from all the yesterdays that incarcerate you. Whether the days gone by anesthetize us into complacency or paralyze us with despondency may we all merit to recapture the flavor of the first humans First Day and to live all our days without yesterdays. If not ALL then at least the first one of the New Year. יהי רצון that we be all heads with no trailing tails.