Forgive and be Forgiven
Shuva/ Haazinu 5778 Dvarim 32; 2 Samuel 22
Shana 5778 Tova Tikateivu vTichateimu – May you be inscribed and sealed in the Good Books
Both a farewell and a sweet New Year
Are coming soon to bring us cheer.
Moshe says farewell with history and song.
On Shabbat Shuvah, return after so long
To the precepts and mitzvot, good deeds;
Sorrow for warnings we do not heed.
Sincerely repent as we accept our past sins
While making amends, as best we can, so to win
Forgiveness, Atonement, a fresh new page
To start this year with hope, without hatred or rage…
Adapted from one of my most appreciated prayers:
Holy Creator of All! I and we herewith forgive anyone who may have irritated, angered, or injured me/us –whether acting against my/our persons, my/our possessions, or my/our reputations. Let no one be punished on my/our account, whether the wrong done to me/us was accidental or malicious, unwitting or purposeful, by word or by deed.
May it be Your will, O Holy One who was the Holy One of our ancestors, that we not repeat the wrongs we have committed, that we sin no more. May we never again anger You by doing that which is evil in Your sight. We pray that our sins will be wiped away not through sickness and suffering, but rather through mercy.
For Yom Kippur:
How can I ask to be forgiven?
What words can I say?
What for should I be forgiven?
Where have I gone astray?
For if I know not the depths of my sin
Or which words to pray,
Can I know if my prayer's to begin
With Man or G-d today?
Shabbat Sukkot [Intermediate] 5778; EXODUS 33:12 - 34:26 ; EZEKIEL 38:18 - 39:16
Sukkot days 1 &2 Leviticus 22:26 - 23:44; Numbers 29:12-16 ; ZECHARIAH 14:1-21 d.1; I KINGS 8:2-21 d.2 [10/4eve-6]
Shemini Atzeret, 8th Day of Assembly: Deuteronomy 14:22 - 16:17; Numbers 29:35 - 30:1; I KINGS 8:54-66 [10/12]
Simchat Torah: Deuteronomy 33:1 - 34:12; Genesis 1:1 - 2:3; Numbers 29:35 - 30:1 ; JOSHUA 1:1-18 [10/13]
This past couple weeks has been particularly challenging. SO much death and destruction! Hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, mudslides, flooding, terrorists, genocidal bigots… A combination of ‘natural’ and people-made disasters all. SO much pain and sorrow…
At this festival season, we are told to embrace happiness and joy. There is also a tradition to welcome guests, lots of guests, into the sukkot [sukkahs]. Over the years, it became understood that the guest could also be the soul of the ancestors.
In the spirit of that custom, I will welcome all souls to be guests in my Sukkah, be they here or distant, alive or not. Let us all welcome in particular the souls of the recently passed innocents. Honor them. Remember them and their stories. Love them.
May we all have a meaningful and loving festive season of Sukkot!
Shabbat Shalom, Chag Sukkot Sameach, and Moadim L’Simchah!
Good Shabbas, Happy Sukkot Holiday and Seasons for Joy!
Shabbat Bereishit 5778; Beginnings
Shabbat Bereishit 5778 Beginnings; Genesis 1:1-6:8; Isaiah 42:5-43:10
Now we come around full circle and begin our Torah reading yet again with Parashat Bereishit. We see cliff-notes to how the universe began, how plants began, and how animals began. We learn of how disobedience and evil behaviour started as well as suffering and hardship.
Then we read about interferences by HaShem’s messengers which might have influenced human advancement. To that understanding we are given the names and accomplishments of people of note who started certain innovative ways of living, men all, save for the very last of name on the list. A single woman is named at that end but without her accomplishment!
In the time of Adam and Chava, the male and female were equal helpmates. Over time patriarchal, sexist males took over the record keeping and minimized, if not eliminated, the names and accomplishments of women as much as they could get away with. So it happened that the accomplishments of Naamah [likely dealing with organized music and singing] were deleted.
Worse yet, later male leaders/ sexists Rabbis made up horrible, defaming stories about her. Possibly this was in conjunction with the prohibition against hearing a woman’s voice [as in singing?]…
Subsequent beginnings described include man’s unsuccessful attempts to be like Hashem or HaShem’s messengers and man’s experimentation with all manner of perversions. Yet not all men followed the perverted path. So next week we will begin with the times of Noah.
As we begin this New Year of 5778, what new beginnings are you embarking upon? Shabbat Shalom!