High Holy Days
There are many people who only attend services on the High Holy Days. Some folks come to meet old friends and acquaintances. Others attend because what else would a Jew be doing on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur? Then there are the vast multitudes who show up as penance for not attending during the year.
Judaism provides us with "warm up" exercises to get
ready for the Holy Days. Each day of the month of
Elul, which starts on August 23 - the shofar is blown
in order to awaken our souls. We also read Psalm
27 in which we entreat God to show us the way and
lead us on a level path. These are spiritual
gymnastics so that we don't jump into the deep end
of the pool without a life vest.
There is also a special service which is held the
week before Rosh Hashanah called Selichot. The
music and themes of the Holy Days are introduced
and aid us in the process of teshuvah - returning:
returning to our own best selves and acknowledging
our God-given gifts. We begin the process of
personal introspection of our own faults and examine
our relationships. We approach those we have
wronged with humility in the hope that they can
forgive us for hurt, damage or distress we have
This year's Community Selichot Service will be held
at Brith Sholom on Saturday, September 16.
(Further details to follow.)
As the Holy Day season approaches, I wish you the
blessing of personal compassion.
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