Dear RTPV Community
The Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, is known as Shabbat Shuvah, which means the Shabbat of Returning, because it falls in the midst of the days in the Jewish calendar dedicated to teshuva. One way of understanding teshuva is as the return to a journey of spiritual homecoming to our true nature, not just a one-time event but a pathway to travel on for our life’s journey.
We read from the parasha Ha’azinu, which means “listen up”. You can read the Torah portion and find relevant commentaries at www.urj.org
Services are at 8PM followed by a delicious Oneg and schmoozing.
Yom Kippur is coming on September 28th and 29th. Are we ready? Below is a Yom Kippur ‘Prep Sheet’ to help us get focused on beginning our year with a clean slate, created by an organization called JewBelong
YOM KIPPUR PREP SHEET
HEENAYNEE by Rabbi Rami Shapiro
Here I am.
A little bit nervous, a bit self-conscious.
After all, who am I talking to?
And what have I done?
Am I a sinner in search of grace or
a saint seeking salvation?
Am I so evil
or so good
as to warrant this season of introspection?
And yet here it is, and here I am:
this time of change and correction,
this heart of confusion and contrition.
Oh, if I could change!
If I could be so sure of myself
that I no longer had to imagine the slights of others; to be so loving of myself
that I no longer had to ration my loving of others;
to be so bold with myself
that I no longer had to fear the bravery of others. Oh, if I could change
there is so much I would change.
Maybe I will, but it scares me so.
Maybe I won’t and that should scare me more.
But it doesn’t.
So let me pray just this:
Let no one be put to shame because of me. Wouldn’t that make this a wonderful year? Heenaynee -Here I am!
WHY FORGIVE? by Johann Christoph Arnold
Forgiveness is a door to peace and happiness. It is a small, narrow door and cannot be entered without stooping. It is also hard to find. But no matter how long the search, it can be found… When we forgive someone for a mistake or a deliberate hurt, we still recognize it as such, but instead of lashing out or biting back; we attempt to see beyond it, so as to restore our relationship with the person responsible for it.
Our forgiveness may not take away our pain – it may not even be acknowledged or accepted – yet the act of offering it will keep us from being sucked into the downward spiral of resentment. It will also guard us against the temptation of taking out our anger or hurt on someone else.
Forgiveness does not mean ignoring what has been done or putting a false label on an evil act; it means, rather, that the evil act no longer remains as a barrier to the relationship. Forgiveness is a catalyst creating the atmosphere necessary for a fresh start and a new beginning.
GET UP! by Rabbi Allen Maller
O Lord, sometimes I feel sad, useless. So aware of the times I have failed. Last Rosh Hashanah’s resolutions soon faded away. My bad habits remain unbroken. My good intentions remain unrealized. I can make no new vows, I can make no new efforts, so I give up.
And then, during the Kol Nidre, I heard your plea, “Get up! I only commanded one day for afflicting your soul. I gave you ten days for repentance, for turning over a new leaf in the Book of Life. Now you will have 50 weeks… to be renewed. Even if you don’t have faith in yourself, I have faith in you. Get up off the floor and get up quickly. Falling isn’t the worst sin. Staying on the floor is.”
FOR THE SIN WE COMMITTED by Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins
For the sin we committed
By not reading enough.
By reading too much and not acting on our reading.
By not serving our community.
By serving our community and neglecting ourselves and our families.
By having a narrow point of view and not listening to those who disagree.
By listening to others always and not having convictions of our own.
By chasing after material possessions.
By thinking we are unworthy of owning nice things.
By neglecting our dearest friends.
By chasing friends and running away from ourselves.
By saving the world and ignoring our own people.
By saving Jews and ignoring the rest of the world.
By disobeying our parents.
By obeying our parents and not listening to our own mind.
By ignoring our children.
By indulging our children.
By letting our anger control us.
By suppressing our rage and not playing enough.
By being selfish.
By not loving ourselves and not caring enough for ourselves.
By ignoring God.
By relying on God instead of ourselves.
By ignoring the past.
By living only in the past.
By saying “We don’t make a difference.”
By pretending we can save the world.
A REBBI’S PROVERB by Danny Siegel
If you always assume
the one sitting next to you
is the Messiah
waiting for some simple human kindness
you will soon come to weigh your words
and watch your hands.
And if the Messiah so chooses not to be revealed in your time
it will not matter.