On Rosh Hashanah evening, I spoke about the process by which we find strength as we usher in a New Year. During this season of reflection, “we seek teshuvah. This word is commonly translated as repentance, but that word seems hollow. It lacks energy. Teshuvah really means to return to our better selves; to animate the divine spirit that is implanted within us. Teshuvah is a return to our most elevated selves: caring and compassionate; honest and true; generous and forgiving. Teshuvah is recognizing the godliness in every human being; seeing all life as sacred; treating the earth with kindness. Teshuvah is acting on behalf of our congregation; giving generously of our time and resources to guarantee the well-being of Temple Beth Torah not only in this year, but for many years to come. Teshuvah is seeing a linkage between ourselves and Jews around the world; expressing solidarity with Israel and acting on behalf of those who are endangered. Teshuvah is seeking to right wrongs; establishing justice in our cities and upholding the high ideals of our beloved country.
Rosh Hashanah is known as the Birthday of the World. It is a time for celebrating our unique customs. It begins a season for remembrance of our loved ones and for committing ourselves to fulfil the ideals they exemplified. On this birthday of the world we can elevate our souls; return to our better selves; seek forgiveness from God and one another; and begin this New Year with joy.”
May your year be filled with blessings and peace.
My High Holy Day sermons will be published after they have been reviewed by my angelic proof readers.