- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On September 21, 2018
- 0 Comments
Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings!
I sometimes wonder how long after we have beat our chest with the alphabet of woe—ashamnu, bagdu, gazalu—that we start to engage in those very acts of transgression for which we have fasted, prayed, meditated, and hungered for forgiveness. Do we make it out of our seats before we even have an unjustified angry thought? Do we make it to the door before we have passed judgment without information? Have we even taken a bite of a bagel with a delicious shmear of cream cheese before we have spoken ill of another person?
Yom Kippur is hard work and places demands on us not just in the moment, but long after we leave the sanctuary of our prayerful t’shuvah. The very act of striving for our best selves accompanies us through the year. We do not leave it behind.
But it is not easy. Being a human takes vigilance and hard work.
The holiday cycle assists us. We are in forward motion toward the festival of Sukkot. The festival juxtaposes two states of being. On the one hand, the Sukkah is a physical reminder of frailty and susceptibility. The hut is subject to the capriciousness of the winds. It is not meant to be another home, but temporary and temporal. We, too, can be frail and susceptible to the hard winds of life. And yet, the holiday celebrates the bounty of the harvest. Laden with the gathering, plenty abounds. It is a time of great joy. The celebration of abundance fills us with a sense of what might be possible. Sukkot reminds us of our own potential of harvesting all that is good and beautiful about our very being.
On Sunday night, we gather in the Sukkah, the next stop of the calendar year in our journey of being human; fragile and strong, vulnerable and resilient. T’shuvah weaves its way through the year with us. And though we know well our time on this earth may be temporary, as long as we are here, we have much to celebrate and rejoice. Sukkot will remind us of this for sure.
Hag Sameah and Shabbat Shalom
Qabbalat Shabbat begins at 6:00 p.m. If you are unable to join us live stream HERE. Tomorrow Torah Study begins at 9:00 a.m. with a short service followed by a lively discussion.
Erev Sukkot is this Sunday, September 23rd. Join us for a festival service and vegetarian potluck celebration under the Sukkah of Justice and Compassion. Please RSVP to Tali at firstname.lastname@example.org. Monday, September 24th the Sukkot festivities continue at 10:00am with a Young Children’s Program and an Adult Festive Service with Study Session.
I look forward to your thoughts and reflections, please send them to me directly HERE.