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September 2022


Rosh Hashanah - Jewish New Year 5783 🍎 🍏 

It’s that time of year again when the leaves 🍃 🍁 begin to fall, the sun sets earlier 

And we begin to face the High Holidays with symbols of apples and honey and sounds of shofar.  This is a festival of possibilities. As we prepare our homes for special meals and family and friends, it’s also time to “clean house” with our Creator, family and friends, and mend our relationships through Teshuvah, Tefillah and Tzedakah - repentance, prayer and charity. On a soul level, to get myself in this frame I reread Rabbi Alan Lew’s thoughtful book, This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared.  

The book describes a path from complacency to awe by using the rituals of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to awaken our souls and wholly transform ourselves from the inside out, and be a person who behaves in our higher selves.


For all of us it’s the third year into the pandemic where we were all unprepared and experienced both losses and blessings that have a lasting impact now as we gather in groups to celebrate a holiday or birthday. It’s a worthy challenge for us to RE engage as a community to take stock of our lives in reaching for a Purposeful life by marking this time and season.  Leo Tolstoy wrote that “Everyone thinks of changing the world,”  “but no one thinks of changing himself.” And so the world continues with its imperfections, everyone complaining about the others while paying very little attention to themselves. Most people want to change the world to improve their lives, but the world they need to change first is the one inside themselves. Starting small, what small act of chesed / kindness could you do for someone that would change yourself and your world? 


Wishing you all a new year of true possibilities and turning for using this special time as a period of contemplation and turning inward, then outward, using these ancient rituals and words to and open our broken hearts to healing and renewal, a new start, beginning for all of us.  


L'shanah Tovah  לשנהטובה 

Rabbi Valerie Joseph

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