This time of year, we hear again and again about how much emphasis Judaism places on the nuances of how to address harm of all kinds. I am convinced that the steps of repentance and repair outlined by the medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides make sense not only in our individual lives when we harm our coworkers, friends, family, and intimate partners, but also in reference to the communal, cultural, and national levels.
Related Blog Posts on Yom Kippur
Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur worship services are among the most-attended services of the year. That can be a challenge when those worship experiences are not the easiest entry points to Judaism, especially compared to the joyousness of Simchat Torah, the food and rituals of Hanukkah, or the sensory stimulation of Passover.
It’s a long-standing custom for Jews to wish one another a “sweet new year” on Rosh Hashanah; to hope that this coming year will be one filled with joy, fulfillment, and an abundance of blessings. However, Judaism isn’t a path focused simply on wishing for good things; if our goal is to make each year “sweeter” than the last, we must work to make it happen.
This Elul, what comes to mind as I think about my own growth and what empowers me towards religious action is the work of Northeastern University’s Community Fridge.
As part of the URJ Reflection Project, a new set of offerings and experiences for the High Holidays in a time of social distance, we’ve also developed three short essays that allow you to go deeper into the essence of Jewish wisdom that grounds these rituals.
Meet 88-year-old Murray, an astounding man. Quiet, sometimes reserved, Murray became my father-in-law 31 years ago, when God softly whispered to me, “Don’t wait.” I confess I didn’t appreciate him fully until recently.
I told them, "As someone who is in the process of return to Temple Israel, I wanted to briefly share what a meaningful experience I had for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur services."
Do we see ourselves and this moment as grasshoppers, or do we jump on top of our chairs and say “Yachol nuchal, surely we can overcome this”?
At Yom Kippur, we wish one another "a safe and easy fast," but for those of us with eating disorders, it will be neither safe nor easy. It will be dangerous, but more so detrimental.