A rabbinic conference call with President Obama
As Elul draws to its close

A pre-holiday message

I sent this to members of my congregation this week, as part of a longer letter; I want to say it to all of you who read this blog, too.

Each of us comes to the High Holidays laden with memories. Memories of what shul was like last year, or the year before, or when we were kids sitting beside our parents or grandparents. Memories which we cherish, and also memories which may cause us pain.

Each of us also comes to the High Holidays bearing expectations. What do you imagine services might be like this year? When you anticipate sitting in synagogue, how do you feel: eager? anticipatory? already bored? (All of the above?)

I'd like to invite each of us to cherish the memories which bring us joy, and to release the memories which bring us pain. To let go of the vision of what we imagined these holidays would be, and embrace instead whatever they actually are.

I want to bless you that you might find the connections, the insights, and the spiritual richness you need, in whatever your experience of the Days of Awe may be.

L'shanah tovah tikatevu v'techatemu: may you be inscribed and sealed for a good year! (And Shabbat shalom to all!)