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30 Days of Elul - Day 22 - Slow to Anger

One of the more ground-breaking things the editors did with the new machzor is add alternative Torah readings not normally read.  One of the additions for Yom Kippur is the end of the Joseph story (Genesis 50.)  The reason this is added is because it is blatant about forgiveness. Joseph, the

30 Days of Elul – Day 21 – Elul - Graciousness

30 Days of Elul – Day 21 – Elul - Graciousness

Ever feel truly embarrassed?  Years ago, in high school, I once felt terribly embarrassed when I arrived for an event and realized I was completely under-dressed.  Everyone was in suits and formal attire – I misunderstood and wore jeans and shoes with no socks.  I apologized to my host, and

30 Days of Elul – Day 20 - Compassion

30 Days of Elul – Day 20 - Compassion

How many of us watch TV and when we see suffering in the world, their pain becomes our pain? How is that possible? How can we feel the pain of others we don’t even know? One of the thirteen attributes of God is compassion. And that divine attribute lives within us all. People, like God, have

30 Days of Elul – Day 19 - El

We are told that there are 72 names of God. These names appear throughout our tradition, and each highlight or illustrate some characteristic of the Holy One of Blessing. But in our Torah, there are two names that are used for God over and over again, names that are familiar to us: Adonai and

30 Days of Elul - Day 18 - Adonai

Without fail, every year, during Selichot services, the Saturday night before Rosh HaShanah, there is a point in the service that touches me deeply.  Standing in front of the ark, we sing “Adonai, Adonai,” this gorgeous moment that relives Moses seeing God pass before him in Exodus 34.  I imagine it

30 Days of Elul - Day 17 - Adonai with Rabbi Dan Levin

30 Days of Elul – Day 16 – The Thirteen Attributes

30 Days of Elul – Day 16 – The Thirteen Attributes

Moses was really depressed. He led the people out of Egypt, brought them to Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, and when he descended the mountain, he found them worshiping the Golden Calf. “That’s it!” he thought to himself, and went before God for help. He asked to see God’s face- a wish that

30 Days of Elul - Day 15 - Consequence

Consequence - we all understand the basic premise that whatever we put out into the universe comes back to us – many times as blessings and curses. Study and you’ll do well on that test. Be kind and you will be rewarded. But in this month of Elul we can aspire to dig more deeply and think about

30 Days of Elul - Day 14 - Elul Renewal

“I can see clearly now, the rain is gone…” is how Jimmy Cliff described his feeling of renewal, in his famous song. “Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind, it’s gonna be a bright, sunshiny day”.  I personally have that feeling of renewal every morning after I’ve finished my exercise class; I

30 Days of Elul - Day 13 - Return

“The words of the prayer book are like freeze-dried coffee.  Our problem today is that we’ve forgotten that in order to enjoy it, we need to first add boiling water.” -Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi In English, a prayer book is a prayer book.  It might be a high holy day prayer book or a Shabbat