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.
During the year I spent studying in Jerusalem as a rabbinic student, it was impossible to escape the upcoming High Holy Days.
“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.
When I started a new chapter in my life as a freshman at Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!), I met people left and right.
As Jews, we approach every autumn with the understanding that a new year is starting and that the High Holy Days are up and coming. In between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, we observe the Days of Awe, or the Yamim Noraim.
Turn the Torah scroll.
Turn back to Genesis
for the Rosh Hashana reading.
As the Torah scroll is rolled,
one person is on one side
pulling forward -
back to the beginning.
One person is on the other side
releasing the past.