Faith Voices: A Reflection for the High Holy Days – Rabbi Eliot J. Baskin, DMin

In the Jewish tradition, this is our season for Turning. Rosh Hashanah falls on Monday the 26th and Yom Kippur on October 5th, with the ten days of Atonement or At-One-Ment in between where we take an accounting of the soul and ask forgiveness. Please enjoy this reflection for the commencement of the High Holy Days:

“On Turning” by Rabbi Jack Riemer:

Now is the time for turning. The leaves are beginning to turn from green to red and orange and gold. The birds are beginning to turn and are heading once more toward the south. The animals are beginning to turn to storing their food for the winter. For leaves, birds and animals turning comes instinctively. But, for us turning does not come so easily. It takes an act of will for us to make a turn. It means breaking with old habits. It means admitting that we have been wrong, and this is never easy. It means losing face; it means starting all over again, and this is always painful. It means saying: I am sorry. It means recognizing that we have the ability to change. Those things are terribly hard to do. But unless we turn, we will be trapped forever in yesterday’s ways.

God, help us to turn – from callousness to sensitivity, from hostility to love, from pettiness to purpose, from envy to contentment, from carelessness to discipline, from fear to faith. Turn us around, O God, and bring us back toward You. Revive our lives as at the beginning. And turn us toward each other, God, for in isolation there is no life.

– Rabbi Eliot J Baskin, DMin
Denver Metro Faith Leaders Caucus

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