As fulfilling as it was to engage in Shavuot programs, a lot weighs on me. With COVID-19 continuing to ravage Black communities and racist violence all over the news, I almost feel like it’s Yom Kippur instead – the time when Jews are supposed to be most aware of their own mortality.
This week, I tell a friend I’d love to chat but actually I have to run Yom Kippur services are starting soon and I’ve got to repent for my sins before the gates are closed. She laughs. “Well, you’re gay, so you’ve definitely got a lot of repenting to do.”
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.
Several times during the year, the Jewish calendar places joyous and challenging holidays near each other. What lessons we take from this juxtaposition?