While we have been having a relatively warm winter in the United States, it cannot compare to what winter is like in Israel. It is the rainy season there, the time of year that Israel greens up, with cooler temperatures and rain (which feels like a miracle every time I experience it) in between
With great excitement, tinged with a touch of trepidation, I moved to Israel in the summer of 1996 to begin my first year of rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College.
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.