Parsha Vayalech: Days of Awe

This week’s parsha, Vayalech (“and he went”), is read on Shabbat Shuva– the Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, in the middle of the “Days of Awe.” This timing is supposed to feel liminal. We’re poised between the birthday of the world and the day of death’s dress rehearsal. On Rosh Hashanah, we listen […]

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Standing With All of Ourselves – Parsha Nitzvim-Vayelech

This week’s Torah portions, Nitzavim (standing) and Vayelech (and he went) detail the covenant G-d makes with the people of Israel before Moses passes along his leadership prior to his death. When looking at these portions in the context of the Jewish calendar and the upcoming High Holidays, we can glean some inspiration for our […]

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The Nature of Teshuva

What is the nature of teshuva (often translated as repentance or return)? How does this process begin?  How do we ourselves take steps towards being our best selves, and how do we create the space for others to do so? One immediate response might be that which Maimonides, the Rambam, suggests in his Laws of […]

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Jonah and In-Between-ness

Here we are in the Days of Awe, between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. The books of life and death are open. This is the time, we’re told, that the gates to heaven are open. Teshuvah (returning/realigning/repenting) is most possible now. It’s a good time to meditate, I think. We can watch our own shifts […]

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A Yom Kippur Inquiry

A fun Yom Kippur game my family and I played on Rosh Hashana is to ask yourself (and your family/friends): If I were being described to someone in one word, what is the word I would least like them to use? The most? People usually only take a few seconds to name the words, and […]

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The gift of being “bad”

As I have mentioned in some of the sits, I’ve always struggled with some of the traditional ways T’shuva and repentance were taught to me – the guilt-inducing, chest-beating, “I’ve-been-so-bad-but-next-year-I-will-be-better” variety. As a kid during the High Holidays, I was racked with guilt about how “bad” I was, and how badly I wanted to be […]

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