Days of Awe (September 2012)

Ready or not here they come!

As the slow, balmy days of summer come to an end, we approach the Days of Awe once again. Our Jewish tradition will remind us of the solid ground on which we, as Jews, stand when confronted by uncertain times. We will gather — this great community of Temple Sinai — to worship, to reflect, to grow in our Jewishness and in our humanity. We will, as we do every year, find strength — as Jews have always found strength — in each other, in the wisdom of Torah, in the story of our people, and in God.

That is precisely why we are asked to come together for these Holy Days. We need a New Year that comes to remind us of the powerful vision that Judaism holds for our lives. We need to be challenged by a vision that declares the possibilities for goodness and wholeness in our lives and in our world, despite the painful reality that the realization of that vision is, at this moment in history, so very distant. We need to feel the strength that can be derived only when we are part of something greater than ourselves, only when we help strengthen each other in community. Rosh Hashanah inspires such resolve, both personally and as part of the Jewish people. And it inspires the courage we all need to face the uncertain times in which we live.

Let us celebrate this New Year, 5773, together, seek atonement together, and then work for a better world, hand in hand. May you be blessed with a sweet and healthy year, surrounded by the warmth of those whom you love.

Rabbi Jeffrey Bennett