Where there’s life, there’s hope…

My father, may his memory be a blessing, always told his children: Where there’s life, there’s hope. (Jerusalem Talmud). As we near the end of 5774, and reflect back on the year soon to be over, we also look forward with confidence. There’s hope in our hearts for the new year!

A football coach who was known for his confidence, entered the locker room and told the team: Here we are! We’re unbeaten, untied, and unscored upon – we are ready for the first game of the season!

We are getting ready for our new “season”, but first we need to prepare ourselves! If you were a marathon runner (and some of you are), I expect that you stretch before you begin to run. To prepare for the Holy Days, we all need to do some metaphoric “stretching”. This includes a mental review of our behavior during the year, and then taking the first steps to repair our failings and engaging ourselves in the process of repentance.

This Friday night, Congregation Emeth will help each of us “warm up” spiritually. As part of our Erev Shabbat (Friday night) experience, we will include a Selichot (s’lee-khot) Service. The Selichot Service includes our Prayers of Forgiveness, the core prayer service of Yom Kippur. It serves the purpose of infusing us with the spirit of this holy season. We will begin the Selichot Service by changing our Torah covers to the traditional white in honor of the holiday. I encourage all of you to attend this new addition to Emeth’s High Holiday experience.

Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova,
Rabbi Debbie Israel