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Reb Lisa's Message

September 12, 2023


So, here we are! The time is now. This Friday evening at sundown we bid farewell to the Jewish year 5783 and open our hearts and minds to the clean slate-ness of a new year. It’s not too late to engage in the work at hand. What we do now matters. The gates of heaven are open and remain so until the closing of the gates at ne’ilah, the final evening service of Yom Kippur. There’s still time to reflect, repair, and release.

The process we follow during the Ten Days of Awe, from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur, is often referred to as the Three T’s. This ancient formula allows us to renew ourselves and create the pure heart we seek on Yom Kippur.

What do I mean exactly about all these T’s?


Teshuva (return/repentance): We take a look back and consider our misdeeds. We do this by engaging cheshbon hanefesh, an accounting of our souls. But we don’t stop there. We go back to the source of our misdeed and do our best to fix it. This requires apology, forgiveness. It’s humbling work and requires courage, stamina, and faith.


Tefilah (prayer): We do what we can to repair our relationships with each other. This requires inner strength. Prayer helps. Additionally, there are some things that need to be worked out between us and God, and us and us - self forgiveness. Much of this is done through sincere prayer.


Tzedakah (justice/righteousness): We correct the imbalances of the world’s homeostasis that we have caused by callous acts and unconscious living, by giving back. We also stand up for what is right in the world, locally and globally. Righteous acts, charitable giving, becoming active in the cause of equity and justice. This is tzedakah.


I’d like to add a “Fourth T” to this formula . . . TASHLICH!


We feel this fourth T in our bodies, as we unburden ourselves of what we have been carrying that really ought to be released. We are totally allowed, in fact obligated, to let it all go, to cast it off. So doing, we move closer to that pure heart we are granted on Yom Kippur.


During taschlich, we head on down to the water’s edge–where the creeks, rivers, and oceans flow. These moving waters lovingly accept all that yucky stuff that held us back and pushed us down–a year’s worth of regrets and disappointments, misdeeds and misjudgements, anger and resentments, wounds and scars.These living bodies of water carry and gently churn it all into holy neutral-ness. The bread crumbs we throw are literally dissolved and dissipated, and washed away - a mikveh that composts what we want to cast off into nothingness.


Taschlich at CBI!: Want to get involved in that 4th T in community? Join us for our Tashlich dinner picnic at 5-Mile on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, Saturday, September 16th! Together we’ll cast off what we want to leave behind so that we are freed up and enlivened into a new year. See all the details in the eblast!


L’shanah tovah u’metukah - to a good and sweet year full of love and laughter, health and healing!


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