I will always remember the night I stayed up past midnight for the first time. It was Selichot, the Saturday night before Rosh Hashanah.
The service began at midnight, and as my father would say at the conclusion of each Selichot service, “Boker Tov, have a good morning!”
Jews around the world recite these penitential prayers in the days leading up to the High Holidays. It is the first time we take our fist and beat our chest for the confessional. It is the first time we hear Avinu Malkeinu and open the ark to find the Torah covers are white. It is the first time we hear Shema Koleinu, God hear our prayer!
And it is the only time of the year, when a service begins in darkness, concludes after midnight, and we have the ability to greet each other with, “Boker Tov, good morning!”
It takes effort to stay up until the clock strikes 12, and we know it takes effort to get out of bed in the morning and recognize God’s blessing before our eyes.
Jewish law teaches us we should rise up in the morning like a lion to serve God our creator, so that it is us whom awakens the dawn.
So many days we wait for the day to wake us up. Our tradition teaches contrarily; it is we who awaken the dawn.
Today is the day, let’s wake up!