Yom Kippur: spending a whole day in prayer, song, chant, and deep introspection while fasting with a whole community is quite a way to open up one’s soul connection. I'm incredibly privileged to work with Cantor Abbe Lyons and extremely grateful for all of our fantastic PCS volunteers, on and off the bimah.
I always find Yom Kippur a soul-stretching experience. I want to say "transformative." I'm not sure that I'm actually transformed, but my soul definitely feels more transparent and my ethical aspirations feel challenged and stretched. A few years ago, I published a personal essay about the holiday's deep JOY (yes, joy) that you can find here.
I was very moved by all of our community interactions over the High Holidays, as we learned and prayed together, and especially as I heard some of our members talking about the wonderful mitzvot that they do and how we can participate. As I said, I have #mitzvahaspirations. If you want to be involved with Tikkun Olam/Social Action, Refugee Resettlement, Greening the Synagogue, or the Chesed/Caring Committee, please be in touch and I'll connect you to the appropriate person.
It amazed me the day after that exalted state on Yom Kippur, to find myself outside, hammering nails into the sukkah with my husband Avraham. I felt how much Judaism values our spiritual lives but also our embodied, physical lives. We have to come down from that holy mountain in time and create something very concrete and grounded, to start the New Year right.
It was great to host many of your for dessert and great conversation (and a little singing!) in our Sukkah on Sunday evening, and then to jump into so many fun events for all ages over the week! I also enjoyed leading an Erev Shabbat Hike and a B'nei Mitzvah parent-child hike at Rockefeller State Park Preserve. It's a joy to help people to discover their spiritual connection in nature. Wishing everyone a great Sukkot and hope to see you at my "favorite" holiday of Simchat Torah!. (We are having a 3-piece band; hooray!)
Former PCS Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan shares her thoughts (and some original photos) and invites your comments.