“The Soul’s Compass”

I’ve always loved the High Holy Day season. In the outer world, the weather turns cooler, the air feels crisper, and the leaves on the trees dance and change hues. In the inner world, the soul comes alive.

The days leading up to and including Selichot, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur, then extending through Sukkot and Simchat Torah, are replete with family and community, deep memories and emotions, rich imagery, and the eternal spiritual verities of renewal, forgiveness, reconciliation, gratitude, joy, and the Divine that animates all life.

The High Holy Day season is a time of deep introspection and reflection. Teshuvah—Return—marks this deeply soulful time. Return to ourselves, to our loved ones, to our community, to our traditions, to our God, and ultimately and hopefully: Return to our most cherished values and to the best that is within us.

We have the precious opportunity during this sacred time to dust off the compass of our lives, get our bearings, and return to the direction we most deeply need to be heading in our lives. The “soul’s compass”—to borrow a beautiful expression from spiritual teacher Dr. Joan Borysenko—takes precedence during the High Holy Day season, pointing us toward renewed life with our families, friends, community, and God.

If we can acknowledge the pointing of that compass and trust in its guidance, God’s blessings will flow forth in abundance, and Life and the world will truly be renewed for us.

May you and your family be blessed with a good, sweet, and happy New Year.

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Explore posts in the same categories: High Holy Days, Jewish Values

2 Comments on ““The Soul’s Compass””

  1. Naomi aguiar Says:

    My mother and father belong to Temple Sinai and I was fortunate enough to attend Rosh Hashanah services with them this year. I found your sermon on “make me a mench” so inspiring that I made a New Year’s resolution immediately after services: to make donating food a habit!

    Thanks so very much for reminding us to do our part to make the world a better place- particularly given the difficult economic climate in our country. Your sermon reminded me that we are not helpless- we can find ways to help each other through this difficult time.

  2. Just a Jew Says:

    Rabbi I loved your sermon on Erev Rosh Hashana, would you be willing to post a transcript of your high holy day services?


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