I'm uncomfortable entering unfamiliar synagogues - solely because I am mixed race, and people assume that I am not Jewish.
As we begin the year 5777, let us commit to putting greater inclusion, equality, and acceptance of all God’s children front and center.
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.)
Ushering in the High Holiday season, Selichot – which falls this year on Saturday night, September 24th – is the warm-up stretch that precedes the spiritual workout we give our souls during the Days of Awe.
Compared with others over the centuries, I paid a piddling price to express my pride in being a Jew. But my small act of affirmation helped seal my career choice and allowed me to feel that I was one with Jake Pitler, Hank Greenberg, and Sandy Koufax.
Elul is famously a month of t'shuvah, returning and atonement, and these five films anticipate the penitential prayers.