We spend a lot of time coordinating High Holiday worship, but when we strip away the particulars, our experience strongly resembles an AA meeting.
In the game “Truth-or-Dare,” I choose “truth” nearly every time. I’m not much of a dare-taker. Thus, if you and I were playing “Special Edition Truth-or-Dare: High Holy Days,” I would confess that the prayer Avinu Malkeinu provides me with both my second-favorite liturgical moment and my second-greatest pet peeve of the year’s liturgy. (Note: Even though I may have to repent for it, I will leave you in suspense about my favorite liturgical moment and my greatest liturgical pet peeve. Also, “Special Edition Truth-or-Dare: High Holy Days” is fictional, although I hereby declare copyright in the event Mattel or Hasbro comes knocking at my door.)
We can hold on to our injuries, or we can begin the work of forgiving – not for the sake of the other, but for our own sake.
The waning of summer's warm days signals the arrival of the Hebrew month of Elul. It's a time to contemplate the approaching Days of Awe and how best to prepare for them.
The “Days of Awe” is a good name for the High Holiday season because when we are in awe of something, that's a good thing, but I like “Awesome Days” so much better.
For more than 50 years, High Holiday sermons were consequential both for the rabbi and the congregation. Why has the Reform preaching tradition waned?