My fiancée and I recently joined a congregation about a block from our home. We went to the new member Shabbat, were called by the rabbi, welcomed by members and Abby (my future bride) was called this morning to read an aliyah on Rosh HaShanah.
There is a moment during the N'ilah service on Yom Kippur that stays with me, always. I want to say that it haunts me, but that's really not the right image. It's more a flooding, a rushing-out-and-rushing-in-at-the-exact-same-moment kind of thing.
Each year as I prepare for the High Holy Days, I return to the familiar melodies that make up our Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur services.
In the democratic society of Israel, we with struggle the concept of what it means to be am chofshi b'artzeinu, "a free people in our land." We ask, "What does the responsibility of freedom require from us?" Every year, it seems the answers are less obvious and the search to find them be