Deep Reflection: An Accounting of the Soul


On Rosh Hashanah it is traditional to take stock of our lives—to look back at what we have done and to look forward and make goals for the year to come. This is called heshbon hanefesh, a deep reflection, literally “an accounting of the soul.”

This year, we suggest that you use the questions below to guide your own heshbon hanefesh. You can read and consider them during High Holiday services, or take turns answering questions with your family and friends over a holiday meal.

The questions are drawn from the fourth year of Moving Traditions’ signature program, Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing!

What are the three most important things in your life?
What are you really good at?
What do you wish you could do more of?
What motivates you when you are feeling lazy?
What is your fondest memory of the past year?
What is something that concerns you?
What do you like most about your life?
What makes you feel better when you are feeling blue?
If you had a day to spend in a huge library studying anything you wanted, what would you study?
How would you like to be able to contribute to your community?
What is your most prized possession? Why is it so important to you?
If you could be someone other than yourself, who would you be? Why?
What accomplishments are you proud of?
What is something that always makes you happy?
Given these reflections, what are your top three goals for the year ahead?

We hope these questions inspire you this High Holiday season, and help you live a sweet year with kavana, intention.

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