I began my journey to Judaism nervously. Unlike the Charedim (ultra-Orthodox) who are anxious before the word of God, I was anxious in the uncertainty of the future.
"Take a moment to settle in to being here," I say aloud. My eyes are closed, but I know there are three other people in the room this morning. I heard them walk in, each to their own place in the sanctuary, and I waited until the sounds of their arrival had ceased.
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.)
This week's Torah portion, Acharei Mot, "After the death" [of two of Aaron's sons], continues the focus on ritual purity that began earlier in Leviticus, and begins the section of the book known as the Holiness Code.