As a teenager, I would sit on my bedroom floor listening to old records of Belgian singer-songwriter, poet, and performer Jacques Brel. I didn’t need to keep a journal, because his lyrics wove together everything I felt at the time. Brel had a fire within, and his anger, longing, passion, and truth blazed through every word he sang. His music, raw and real, transformed and fed my soul; it informed and shaped who I am today.
To devote ourselves to an accurate accounting of the soul, it is customary to refrain from five specific activities related to our bodies on Yom Kippur.
During the 10 days of repentance and especially on Yom Kippur, we struggle with ourselves, shedding our flaws and the parts of our spirit that detract from our holiness.
We want you to come to High Holiday services, but we want you to come back, too -- when it’s less crowded and when we can welcome you and show you what we’re all about.
I don’t want to raise my children in a home with yelling. And yet, when I slip in a way that’s human and understandable, I fail both myself and my children.
At recent years’ Days of Awe services, I could swear I saw index fingers popping out all over the place – fingers of accusation, not of ownership or responsibility.
On Rosh HaShanah it is written; on Yom Kippur it is sealed. But there’s an awful lot that happens in the middle.
The real preparation for the upcoming Days of Awe is the work I need to put into myself. To be the best model for my congregants, I must practice what I preach.
Our daughter-in-law gave birth to our first grandchild. A couple of months later, On the Chocolate Trail was published. Each whispers of mortality and immortality.