5775: A Palindromic Effect

By Naomi Korb Weiss

By the time Thanksgivvukah passed last year, most of us were sick to death of marveling over the coincidence. Yes, it had never happened before, and it will never happen again. Enough with the turkey latkes.

This year, we have a new shtick in place for the high holidays that won’t happen again for 100 years. The new year, 5775, is a palindrome – a sequence that reads the same backward and forward. To me, this number feels calming, symmetrical and – yes, a little shtick-y. And I can’t help but read into the deeper meaning.

Palindromes are often silly. The most commonly known are likely “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama” and “Madam, I’m Adam.” My personal favorite is “A Toyota’s a Toyota” (How much did some advertising firm get paid for THAT?)

They’re clever and they’re memorable – and perhaps, they’re more.

The high holidays are a time to look backward and forward, to reflect and introspect. They are a time to take an accounting of one’s year, one’s self and one’s life; to atone for mistakes, renew our commitment and have a hand in inscribing our fate.

How many times do we say the shemone esrei over the high holidays, taking three steps backward and three steps forward? Let’s use this as a tool to visualize the palindromic effect of our prayers – and SEE the steps we choose to take forward.

The high holidays are about holding up a mirror to our lives and seeing a reversed image, not an identical one – an image of a future that is more about giving than taking, and more about progress than status quo. If the eyes are the windows to one’s soul, than how can we draw that soulfulness from our reflection and share it with the world?

What will you create this year from within your reflection?

And how might we set ourselves up for one additional step forward next year – to 5776? Let’s make the most of this shtick and create an inspiring 5775 for all.

Naomi Korb Weiss is CEO of PresenTense Group.