DAY 437: The Holiest Time of the Year

September 10, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 437: The Holiest Time of the Year

Dear Hevreh,

We are in the middle of perhaps, what one member shared in his words yesterday, one “the holiest times of the year.” These ten days of repentance, in Hebrew aseret y’mei hat’shuvah (עשרת ימי התשובה) present an opportunity for us to use all of that positive spiritual energy that’s been building up through Rosh Hashanah to be a powerful vehicle for the change we want to see in our lives. In picking up on a theme we discussed at our musical Shabbat by the Sea in August, the Talmud teaches us that if we seek God, we can still find God “in the fields” during these 10 days of repentance (Rosh Hashanah, 18a). In other words, God is not far away in Heaven judging us, rather God is near us in the fields, waiting for our hearts to open to let God inside.

While it may be easy to talk about letting God in, it may be more difficult to understand how it works. What does it really look like to let God into our hearts? Perhaps one way to think about it is that the closest likeness of God that we can find near us, (“in our fields” so to speak) is each other since, according to the Torah, we were created b’tzelem elokim (בצלם אלקים), in the image of God. And what is the best way to allow people into our hearts, but by opening our hearts to them especially if we’ve closed ourselves to them in the past. Whether it was willingly or without our knowing we might have wronged someone we care about, someone with whom we wish to connect. So let’s take that vulnerable risk to open our hearts and empty our cups and reach out to reconnect with them, and by doing so we will let God enter our hearts to truly make these days a “holy time of year.”

Kol Tuv,

Rabbi Ari Saks


P.S. If you need any help working on the vulnerability you need to reach out,researcher/storyteller Brene Brown (and her 10 million-hit Ted Talk) may be able to help


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