“Do you think,” [the Scarecrow] asked, “if I go to the Emerald City with you that Oz would give me some brains?”
“I cannot tell,” [Dorothy] returned, “but you may come with me, if you like. If Oz will not give you any brains you will be no worse off than you are now.”
- L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz
In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy takes three friends (and Toto, too) on a “whirlwind” journey to meet Oz. The book’s powerful story relates to us on many levels. Like Dorothy, we must keep our goals in mind as we travel on our path. Like her companions, we must acknowledge our shortcomings so that we can improve upon them. We are most successful when we travel in partnership, relying on the comfort and strength that we get from our friends and family. When we reach our destination, we often find that we have always had the power to achieve our goals.
So too can we achieve our goals during the High Holy Days that approach when Elul ends. We have a destination in mind: teshuvah. We acknowledge our shortcomings through S’lichot and making atonement. We feel the closeness of our community when we gather in prayer. And by the end of Yom Kippur we may realize that to achieve our goals, we have always had the tools we need to accomplish them. Only through making the journey together can we learn from the experience.