When my husband and I visited Vienna several times in the 1990s, the gemeinde (official Jewish community) would not publish the schedule of services at the Progressive Congregation Or Chadasch in its communal newspaper or even allow the congregation to buy an ad.
Selichot is a time for forgiveness. During Selichot we repent our sins to get ready for the up and coming New Year. This repentance starts on the Saturday before Rosh HaShanah, through the New Year, and ends at Yom Kippur.
Every moment of Shabbat, all the way through Havdallah, is special and memorable. On Shabbat, we dress differently, we live on different time, we come together as a community at times that we generally are separated into age groupings.
Shabbat Shuvah is the Sabbath between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. The name is derived from the opening word of the haftarah reading that urges us: Shuvah Yisrael ad Adonai Elohecha, “Return, O Israel, to the Eternal your God.”
In the book of Nehemiah (chapter 8), we find a description of an ancient Rosh HaShanah at the time of rebuilding Israel after a period of exile.
“You hurt me.” “I feel betrayed.” “How can I trust you?” As the High Holidys draw near, questions of morality, goodness, justice, forgiveness began swirling round my psyche and my heart. I got married last May to a woman I love with all my being.
My husband was working late, so my son and I had a thrown-together dinner of leftover pasta, yogurt, and carrots. I added one touch, store-bought challah, to give our table a semblance of Shabbat.